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5 Ways Women Can Embrace Resistance Training

5 Ways Women Can Embrace Resistance Training

Gym intimidation and the lack of knowledge to put together effective workouts will leave you standing next to a treadmill, daydreaming and gazing at exercise equipment. Don’t be this person. That constant state of indecision will keep you from losing the body fat you so desperately want to lose.

Well, it doesn’t have to be this way. I have five ways for women to hit the gym floor without hesitation.

Woman on Weight Machine

GO TO THE GYM WITH A PLAN

“Failing to plan is planning to fail” – Alan Lakein

No matter when and where I train, three things never change.

  • Someone is standing around thinking of the next exercise they should perform.
  • The order of exercises makes zero sense.
  • There is a jackass in the middle of the gym who uses lousy form. (Ok, this one has nothing to do with my point. However, it’s true).

Make sure you train at least three times per week. One or two days are not enough. Three hits the sweet spot. For beginners, more than three days can cause damage, as you might not get adequate recovery.

On those days, warm up for five minutes. The warm-up will raise your body temperature and loosen up joints, muscles, and nerves.

Next, your routine can be drawn out in various ways. My two preferred methods of training over the years are:

  • Push (Chest, Quads, Triceps) vs. Pull Days (Back, Hamstrings, Glutes). I throw in everything else on a separate day.
  • Total Body Routines (Work major muscle groups with compound exercises. Don’t waste time with isolation.)

If you’re a beginner or just getting back into the gym, stick to the Total Body Routines. Your muscles can recover faster than men’s. However, allow for 48 hours of recovery before you train the muscles again.

REALIZE THAT YOU WON’T GET BULKY

Let’s put an end to this nonsense. Men have eight times the amount of testosterone than women do. Therefore, unless you have freakish genetics, weights won’t make you bulky.

We want your muscles to develop and burn fat while you’re resting. To accomplish that, you must lift things and challenge your body. The muscles must be challenged. If not, then you’re wasting your time.

No Excuses Exercise

AVOID MACHINES

To build a solid foundation for muscle growth, people must develop and train fundamental core and stabilization musculature. Training these building blocks of muscle growth will require the usage of barbells, dumbbells, and cables.

The human body is not meant to sit in a machine. Machines don’t train complete human movement patterns. Your body can perform these movements: Squat, Lunge, Push, Pull, Rotate, Hinge, and Gait. The body is a complex structure of connected muscles, ligaments, bones, tissue, joints, and other features. Therefore, people must train these connected parts as one unit. We need movement, not someone sitting on their ass.

ELIMINATE STEADY STATE CARDIO

If you’re a runner wanting to change your body, it’s time for you to reconsider your current training plan.

Building muscle to achieve a better body composition requires a plan that’s purely focused on resistance training, as well as increasing the anaerobic threshold. Running at a steady state for long periods of time requires more body fat. Carbohydrates are your number one fuel source. When they run out (no pun intended), the body will rely on fat because it can store more calories for fuel.

Consequently, if you choose steady-state cardio over weight training, then you’re deciding to prefer fat instead of muscle. Plus, you only burn calories during the activity. Therefore, your body is no longer working hard to burn fat at rest. Is that really what you want?

If you want to include steady state cardio in your routine, perform it AFTER hitting the weights. Don’t pre-exhaust your muscles with cardio when you could do it with one or two warm-up sets of each exercise.

Woman Running on a Treadmill

COMMIT TO HIGH-INTENSITY INTERVAL TRAINING (HIIT)

Pressed for time? Need a workout that can be completed in less than 20 minutes? Meet my friend HIIT.

Research has demonstrated that HIIT can provide equal, and in most cases, better improvements in aerobic capacity to those of steady state cardio. Also, HIIT helps you build muscle, increase your metabolic rate, and make you stronger.

All you need is a park, field, or track. Run 30-second sprints for 8-10 sets with 2-minute rest intervals between sets. Begin with one day a week, but double it when you become more comfortable.

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