Fit women get results by strength training
Strong. A word we hear all the time, but do we really know what it means? For women in the gym, it is the secret to sexy curves, incredible definition and athletic prowess that will make your gym groupies swoon.
A great strength program utilised big, compound movements that recruit the most amount of muscle mass. This includes barbell squats, deadlifts, lunges, chest press, push press, bench row, pull ups and more.
Too many gym bunnies spend too much time using isolation exercises or machines which will not build lean muscle mass at the same rate.
Training for strength will also mean training in the correct rep range at the right intensity. Pure strength is referring to one rep max. In a program, exercises can be performed in the 1-6 reps range but the weight being lifted should be appropriate.
For an experienced lifter this could be between 70-100% of your 1 rep max. For every person this will be different but a good guide is if you are doing 5 reps the last one should be hard and on finishing feel that you could have no more than one more.
Strength training also required rest and recovery. The best way to get sufficient recovery is by programming your training with proper splits. This means that you train particular muscles on one day and different muscles the day after, upper body and lower body for example.
I would not recommend this type of training to every ‘gal’ though. Those new to the gym should start by building strength endurance first and ensure that they are moving well before moving heavy.
Our new or soon to be mums should also avoid a program of this nature as it requires heavy ‘bearing down’ placing too much pressure on an already compromised pelvic floor and unstable pelvis.
Thankfully, the age old myth of weight training making women ‘bulky’ is almost dead and buried. Women have no reason to train differently to men to feel strong and powerful, although the menstrual cycle has a huge influence on metabolic state and training results.
In my next article I will discuss how women should work with their cycle and changing levels of hormones at different times of the month to get the most out of their training.
If you are interested in getting advice on how to get ‘Zap Strong’ or joining MFD’s 30 days of Strong, get in touch today.
Ange Drake is an personal trainer, women’s empowerment coach and fitness blogger in the northern suburbs of Melbourne. She is the director of one of the few womens’ only strength training gyms in Melbourne, 23W. Ange helps women to learn how to use strength based training, nutritional strategies and a positive mindset to transform their bodies, relationship with food and mind.
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