Women’s Strength Training
Women’s Strength Training
Alright ladies, you want to tone up, right? You want a nice pair of arms that you won’t be ashamed to show off in a sleeveless top? You want to lose the bat wings and you don’t want your arm to keep jiggling 20 seconds after you stop moving it, right? I can’t tell you how often I hear women say, I just want to tone up, I don’t want man arms or I don’t want to look too muscular. Well, have no fear, accomplishing the body builder look is way further from your grasp than you can possibly imagine.
I want you to just sit for a second and think about someone you know, male or female, and we all know at least one person like this, who lifts weights, but doesn’t have huge muscles. If you’ve been to the gym, you will notice that there are the huge, meat heads and then there are the guys who struggle to lift but don’t seem to look any different. Now think about the females in the gym. You will rarely see a female who has the physique of a bodybuilder. There’s a reason for that. Women are not designed to build muscle as quickly and densely as males do. It takes a whole lot of work, dedication, proper nutrition and supplementation (sometimes illegal) for a woman to build a large amount of muscle mass. Sometimes it’s a genetic thing. Some women are just genetically more muscular or pure mesomorphs who tend to build muscle very easily. But, that is a rare thing. Most women lack upper body strength. It takes a seasoned lifter to be able to handle heavy loads of bench presses, to be able to do pull-ups or knock out military style push-ups without a bat of the eye.
Fear not the heavy weights
If you are looking to tone, which equates to building muscle and losing body fat, then heavy weights are for you. Creating a sleek physique involves challenging yourself, not pumping out 20 reps with 3 lbs. dumbbells. When you lift heavy, it creates microscopic tears in your muscle fibers. Your body, then has to repair and re-build the muscle, making it stronger and thicker. It takes the right amounts of protein and carbohydrates for your muscles to build and recover. That’s why it’s important to have a well-balanced diet while weight training. Your muscles will develop and grow based on the amount of nutrients your body is given. If you take in more protein and carbs than your body needs to maintain, then your muscles will have enough stored energy to grow. If you are dieting while weight training, your body will use carbs for energy and body fat stores for recovery. If you aren’t taking in enough nutrients, carbs before and after your workouts, your body will start to breakdown muscle for energy, which is the last thing you want to happen. The more lean muscle mass you have, the more calories you burn on a daily basis. Burning lean mass means you are slowing down your metabolism.
Gaining muscle is a good thing, especially if you’re burning fat at the same time. You may not see quick changes on the scale at first, but your clothes start to fit better, and you can see the changes in the mirror. Muscle weighs more than fat, if you gain 3 lbs. of muscle and lose 7 lbs. of fat, don’t be discouraged when you step on the scale and only see a 4 lbs. loss. You probably appear smaller and can start to see the changes in your shape. The scale is not a good indicator, by itself, for fat loss. Once you start to gain more muscle, your body is busy at work pumping up your metabolism. You became a calorie burning furnace! It’s so much easier to drop body fat when you have more lean body mass (muscle).
So, ladies, ditch the cute pink 5 lbs. dumbbells, grab the 20 lbs. and freaking challenge yourself. Toned arms are not produced by lifting something lighter than a newborn. Unless you get on steroids or testosterone, it’s almost impossible for you to get man arms. Many outsiders don’t know just how hard it is for women to achieve that firm, muscular build, unless, of course, its genetic. It’s easier for newbies to gain mass, but once you reach your genetic potential, it becomes a challenge. Working out hard and eating right, you can probably gain about 10 lbs. of muscle per year. That’s if you’re extremely dedicated and that’s on the high end. Always push yourself. Rule of thumb is, if it’s still easy by the time you get to the last 3 reps, then you need to go up in weight.
Subscribe to our mailing list
for a free giveaway!