Training Tips for Women
If you want to be lean, sexy, and hard, you need to train with heavy weights using compound, multi-joint movements.
A desirable female physique is one that can only be achieved by moving some serious iron in the weight room! But what about all the talk about weight training making women big and bulky?
First, it is physiologically impossible for you as a woman to put on large amounts of muscle mass; your body's hormonal makeup is not one that will allow you to do so. Yeah, I know what they told you: lighten the load and go for the burn… hogwash. To comprehend why this is indeed nonsense, we have to understand a few things about muscle tone in general.
There are two types of muscle tone; myogenic and neurogenic. Don't get thrown off by the sciency words; the first simply refers to your muscle tone at rest. It is affected by the density of your muscles; the greater the density of your muscles, the harder and firmer you will appear. Heavy training increases your myogenic tone through the hypertrophy (growth) of the contractile proteins myosin and actin (myosin and actin are by far the most dense components of skeletal muscle).
Training in higher rep ranges promotes more sarcoplasmic (fluid) hypertrophy, which in turn yields a "softer" pumped look. If you want to be hard, firm, tight, etc, the latter is certainly not the way to go.
The second aspect of a muscle's tone is neurogenic tone, or the tone that is expressed when movements or contractions occur. Again, lower rep training comes out on top as training with heavy loads will increase the sensitivity of alpha and gamma motor neurons, thus increasing neurogenic tone when conducting even the simplest of movements (i.e. walking, extending your arm to point, etc).
Why, then, is it commonly recommended that women train with lighter loads? Well, there are a couple reasons. First, there is the typical stereotype that women are weak, fragile creatures who can't handle anything more than pushups on their knees and bicep curls with pink dumbbells. Try telling that to 123 lb Mary Jeffrey, who bench presses a world record 275 lbs and you'll likely get smacked upside the head with a 45 lb plate. The belief that high-rep training increases muscle tone is 100% myth. Forget the butt blaster, forget leg extensions and leg curls, and forget "muscle sculpting;" if you want to sport a hard body, you better start training heavy. Big, compound movements such as the deadlift and the squat are superior to machine, isolation-type movements for hardening up your thighs and butt as they allow you to use maximal weight while training a number of muscle groups simultaneously. Another benefit obtained by performing multi-joint compound movements is increased confidence. With strength comes confidence. Also, there is nothing like claiming your ground in the gym by loading up the squat bar and proceeding to execute a few heavy, crisp repetitions. After all, 90% percent of the guys in your gym probably don't squat, and those of them that do most likely resort to using the smith machine and/or doing partial repetitions. Know why? Because free squatting with a full range of motion is hard. It takes will power to get under that bar week after week and squat all the way down. Simply put, most people fear the squat and the deadlift (along with anything else challenging in life). So, after that macho guy gets done barbell curling in the squat rack, throw the bar up on the J-hooks where it belongs and show him what kind of woman you are!
Eat six or seven small, frequent meals a day.
Have you ever wanted to eat more to weigh less? Here's how to do it.
One of the most important and simplest things you can do to lose fat easily is to eat smaller, more frequent meals. This means eating six or seven small meals a day instead of the usual three big ones.
Each time you eat, you stimulate your metabolism, which burns more calories. Eating this way also allows your body to make more efficient use of the nutrients you are putting in rather than trying to deal with a whole bunch of nutrients all at once. The process of digestion actually burns calories with protein (the building block of muscles—found in foods such as meat, eggs, soy, beans, dairy, etc.) requiring the greatest amount of energy to digest.
By eating smaller, more frequent meals, your body will become a fat-burning machine!
Have a plan… Change things up!
Why do most people fail? They do not set goals and write out detailed plans on how they will attain the goals that they set for themselves. You can go to the bookstore and pick up numerous books on how to train and they all say something different. So which one is correct? They all are! Everything works just not forever. This is where planning comes in.
A goal without a plan is only a wish!
The key to sticking with a workout routine for most people isn't the odd satisfaction that some of us get from the burn that takes place in a long set of squats or deadlifts, or the feeling of a massive weight in our hands weighing us down. For most people the satisfaction comes from enjoying the workout to some degree. You must train hard, of course, and give it your all, but there is always some room for slight changes.
Dont be afraid to try different things and step outside your "comfort zone." Doing so will only maximize your results and give you the body that you deserve.