Women & Weight Training
Let's face it, how many women do you know who say they won't step foot in a weight room because they think they will get big and bulky? I'm sure you know someone who uses this as an excuse. Sure, women can get muscular like men ... if they use steroids. Other than that, the answer is simply no.
Women do not produce enough testosterone to build muscle at the same rate as men. It is physically impossible for them to get big, bulky and extremely muscular. Can women be stronger than men? Sure! There are plenty of women out there who workout that can out-lift a good portion of the male population. It seems hard to believe, but it's true.
Don't Fear The Weight Room
Women who want to look healthier by either putting on some lean muscle or by losing some stubborn fat shouldn't fear grabbing a pair of dumbbells. For the women who are already in the gym and telling the guys to quit hogging the bench or squat rack, good for you! More power to you. For those who only see what a weight room looks like from the
cardio room, shame on you!
There is nothing to be afraid of in the weight room. The guys in the gym won't make fun of you for using lighter weights. Most guys in the gym are there minding their own business trying to get a workout into their busy schedule just like you. Who knows, you might just find that you can lift just as much as some of the guys! In fact, women can do the same workout that men do (with the total weight being the only difference)- same amount of reps and sets.
- Women: BMR = 655 + (4.35 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) - (4.7 x age in years)
- Men: BMR = 66 + (6.23 x weight in pounds) + (12.7 x height in inches) - (6.8 x age in years)
I actually recommend that women train like men and push themselves every time they weight train with increased weights. There is no use going to the gym and cutting your progress short by selecting weights that don't push your body to change.
Doing just cardio is ok, but you risk losing some lean muscle mass. I know what some of you are thinking ... I want to look thinner so I'm fine losing whatever I need to in order to look that way. If you skip the weights and just stick with cardio and lose muscle mass, you will actually be slowing down your metabolism.
Obviously slowing down your metabolism will make you burn less calories and will stunt your weight loss. Muscle burns more calories than fat. This ultimately raises your basal metabolic rate (BMR). Your BMR is how many calories you would burn if you did nothing all day and basically lay in bed.
Here is a formula to help you figure out your BMR (English version):
Let's break down all the benefits women achieve from weight training:
To maintain weight and/or lose weight use a 15 rep range and to add lean mass to your physique use a 10-12 rep range: 3 day split
- Chest Press: 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps
- Incline Chest Press: 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps
- Wide-Grip Pulldowns: 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps
- Dumbbell Rows: 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps
- Dumbbell Shoulder Press: 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps
- Dumbbell Side Lateral Raise: 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps
- Machine Standing Calf Raises: 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps
- Seated Calf Raises: 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps
Note: Every few weeks it is a good idea to change the exercises shown to keep the muscles guessing and trick the body into making changes. You can also change the order of days you do the workouts so you aren't hitting the same muscle groups the same days each week.
|Share This Article: