Weight Training in females is as popular as it’s ever been. To some though, when I start working with them, or just seeing them around the gym - there is a confusion of what exercises the should be doing or how they should be doing them. This in turn means they hide on a machine somewhere or stick to the dreaded cardio.
To be lean/ slim/ toned / reduce body fat; a girl needs their muscles to be highly efficient at burning calories. The muscle is our engine and if food is not being used as energy it is more likely to be stored as fat.
Therefore the weights we lift must be stressful enough on the body to create neurological and physiological adaptation in the muscle. All the girls I train will loosely follow this kind of protocol. In other words when they left a weight it should be within their capabilities but pushing them to a certain limit. This doesn't mean trying to murder them with weights, everybody starts and lifts where they have the ability. For a beginner it may be giving someone a 2 kg weight, for an advanced it may be giving them a 100kg weight. But the point is they should be lifting to their maximal effort.
This is the kind structure I stick to when training a female, if we have just started this wouldn't be the case. To begin with it is all about correcting movement, posture training technique. Anyhow:
- Exercise 1 we go in BIG to create this adaptation we spoke of earlier. We want the muscle to basically say " what the hell is happening!! we need more help!". This cry for help will lead the muscle to ask for muscular connection and more of our nervous system to help out. The body has been "shocked" in yo stimulus. This is what creates a metabolic boost.
- We attempt 1-3 sets of 3- 5 reps at a MAX weight on a compound lift. Deadlift, squat, overhead press what ever has been selected for the individuals program. Females tend to be strong as hell on their legs but not so much with their upper body, so we choose according to the goal.
- 2nd exercise we use 2-4 sets at 6-8 reps to continue the assault on attempting to create the physiological and neurological adaptation and the metabolic boost. Again we stick to compound moves.
- 3/4th exercise the main work is done; now we are just going for glycogen (carb) depletion. The more carbs that are depleted the more the body will burn fat AFTER the workout! This is key! Burning extra calories when you are not even in the gym is key to long term weight control. We hit the muscles now with a different, higher volume stimulus. We are going for the BURN 2-4 sets and 10-20 reps.
Safety is the ultimate priority when lifting heavy, so your technique has to be on point. But if you stick this structure and you are consistent your body shape will change fast. MUCH faster than compared to cardio, and a lot more fun, lifting weights holds the ability to change you whole body composition.
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