Weight Training For Women – Strong Is The New Skinny

Weight Training for Women by Shannon ClarkWeight Training For Women – Strong Is The New Skinny

Looking to improve your physique? If so, you might want to consider stepping away from the cardio machines and over into the free weight section.  The research is in and weight lifting is the best way to build a dream bod that you can feel proud of.

Many women fear picking up free weights because they think they’ll just get big and bulky – like the male ‘bodybuilder’ types in the gym.  This isn’t the case though. Realize as a woman, you simply don’t possess the hormones to develop large bulky muscles, nor are you consuming the calorie level required to do so.

Instead, weight training for women will simply help you burn fat faster, reshape your body, and help you gain functional strength that will make everyday activities feel that much easier. It’s also one of the best ways to foster stronger bones, which every woman should be concerned about.

All of this said, you do need to perform your workouts correctly.  Let’s go over a few key concepts related to strength training for women that you should know about.

The Overload Requirement 

First, you must challenge yourself during your workout session. Don’t be one of those women who hits the gym and performs a series of bicep curls, tricep extensions and lateral raises all with the 5 pound dumbbell.

You can do much more than this.  If you want to really see results, you must push yourself.  Most women can easily lift 10 pounds for these moves, if not more.  Remember that you should be reaching a point of fatigue within about 10-12 reps. If you get to that point and can do more, increase the weight. It’s simply not challenging enough.

Remember heavy weight doesn’t mean bulky muscles – heavy weight means superior fat burning and enhanced muscle definition.

Proper Exercise Selection 

Next, you also need to choose the right exercises.  Going back to the above example, while bicep curls, tricep extensions, and lateral raises can be great for shaping your muscles, you want the foundation of your program to contain compound exercises, which are moves that target more than one large muscle group at once.

These are the exercises that will really boost your metabolic rate, enhancing fat burning, while giving you great functional strength gains.

Exercises like squats, deadlifts, lunges, step ups, push ups, bench press, bent over rows, shoulder presses, and pull-ups should all be a big part of your program.

Do these first and foremost, and then at the end of your workout you can add in the more isolated moves such as bicep curls and lateral raises.

Ideally 80% of your program would be compound exercises and just 20% would be isolation exercises. This is what will help you create a complete body transformation.

Weight Training for Women by Shannon ClarkFocus On Recovery 

It’s also very important that you are putting a high focus on your recovery capacity.  Remember, if you are exercising with intensity, your body needs time to rebuild itself so it’s stronger than it was before.

If you hit the gym five days a week, you aren’t giving your body that time off to recover.  If you choose to do a full body workout program, this would mean that you take one day off between each and every strength training session.

You can perform cardio on those off days – but stick to interval training if you do. This will be far more beneficial than hours spent going at one pace on a piece of cardio equipment.

And in addition to that, do make sure that you still have at least two full days off each week for maximum recovery. This will ensure you keep coming back to your workouts feeling stronger than you were before.

Add Variety

Finally, don’t forget to have fun and add in plenty of variety.  Avoid doing the same workout for weeks on end or your body will hit a plateau and you’ll just grow frustrated when you aren’t seeing results.

Try and change something about your workout every week – whether it’s adding a new exercise, using a new type of equipment, changing your grip pattern, or otherwise.  Change to your workout means change to your body.  Always remember that.

So don’t fear weight training. If you want to build a great body that turns heads wherever you go and is as healthy as possible, it’s the type of exercise you want to be doing.

1. Diamond-Cut Abs: How to Engineer The Ultimate Six-Pack–Minimalist Methods for Maximal Results [Kindle Edition]
2Bigger Leaner Stronger: The Simple Science of Building the Ultimate Male Body (The Build Muscle, Get Lean, and Stay Healthy Series
3. The Men’s Health Big Book: Getting Abs: Four Weeks to a Flat, Ripped Stomach! 
4The New Abs Diet for Women: The 6-Week Plan to Flatten Your Stomach and Keep You Lean for Life (The Abs Diet) 

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