Strength training has never been just a man’s game, although the advice on the web seems to be all about the boys and their weight lifting toys! Here are a few tips to get you started with women's strength training.
Firstly, you need to be lifting enough weight to make the exercise worthwhile. Obviously don’t go straight for the 100kg bench press, but make sure what you’re doing is actually at least a little bit strenuous.
The common conception for strength training with women is that doing very light weights will automatically tone up those"bingo wings" and shape that flabby bum is incorrect. Unless you want to get muscley, don’t go for the big weights, but you should be tired and sometimes a little bit sore after a workout.
Don’t be afraid of the guys either, strength training is certainly also for women. You get on the squat rack or bench press and don’t let a few odd glances from the guys in the free weights section scare you, ask for there help as sometimes you should have a spotter.
Women can do bench press, squats, shoulder press and dead lifts too and they work so many more muscles than using resistance machines so be sure to make the most out of them.
A weight and interval routine can prove effective for women. Between weightlifting repetitions, go for short, high intensity bursts of bike riding or running followed by a recovery period. This will break up mundane routines and is great for your metabolism. You’ll burn fat as well as getting stronger.
Try to do three strength training workouts a week. This will give you enough time to recover whilst is still being enough to see results and gain strength. One or two strength training sessions a week is not really sufficient to see results. Any more than three times is likely to be counterproductive as you won’t be getting enough rest.
Finally, you need to increase the weight you’re lifting over time. There’s no sense in sticking with the same weight for long periods of time as your body will simply get used to doing that way. A similar principle applies to the exercises you are doing. Mix it up every 5 to 6 weeks and avoid going through the motions.
One way to do increase the weight you’re lifting is to start off with a weight you can comfortable do 12 reps with. After 12, rest for a minute or two and then do 10 repetitions with a slightly heavier weight. Finish with another 8 repetitions with a slightly heavier weight again. This way you’ll be gradually increasing the weight you’re lifting, but still toning up your muscles.
Increasing muscle will help you burn fat - it's a fact! Don't worry that you'll end up with huge muscles as this rarely happens unless you are trying to build muscle mass. Anyway, a little bit of muscle definition looks great.
Not listed, probably the most important factor is to ensure you keep at your workouts. Don't stop because 2 weeks in your're not seeing a dramatic reduction in your weight. it takes time, but it's very much worth it in the end.