Weight Training for Women
One of the main benefits Strength training for women is that building more lean muscle tissue leads to burning off more body fat due to an increased metabolic rate. This is a major benefit that many women wish to achieve. Traditionally weight training, strength training and bodybuilding was an area that was dominated by men. This has completely changed in the last few decades. With the tremendous fitness boom that started way back in the 1970s, woman as well as men have benefited from regular exercise and strength training for woman has gained tremendously in popularity.
Many woman mistakenly believe that developing stronger muscles with high intensity exercise will yield unwanted results such as overly large and bulky muscles and an unfeminine body structure. It is unfortunate that his fallacy prevents many from engaging in strength training for woman. The very result that most woman want is achieved by the type of exercise that many woman avoid. The vast majority of woman will state that reducing their body fat level is one of their main fitness goals. By making the major muscle groups stronger a woman will be increasing her metabolic rate which means more calories are being used at all times. Active (stronger) muscle tissue simply burns more calories. Strength training for women will increase the metabolism which will result in a reduction of body fat as one build stronger muscles. Strength training for woman, when done properly, will have a tremendous effect in this area. The bottom line is that when you build more muscle you also burn off more fat.
Strength Training for Women – Different from Men’s Training?
As surprising as it may seen to some people strength training for woman should not be significantly different then it is for men. Both men and women have the same muscle structure. The function of the major muscle groups are the same in both sexes. The number of muscles and the movements they perform are the same for men and woman. The method of stimulating a muscle to get stronger with exercise and then adapting to that stimulus is the same in men and woman. When a man or a woman develop stronger muscles they both receive important benefits such as increased metabolism, increased athletic performance, body fat reduction and improved physical capabilities. Since the functions of the muscle are identical than it stands to reason that the way they are made stronger through exercise works the same way.
Strength Training for Women and Body Structure
Some of the differences in training results between men and woman are due to the difference in genetic body structure and natural hormonal levels. Most men have a body structure that has a larger cross section of muscle mass to begin with, hence overall natural body strength. The hormone testosterone in males plays a large role in allowing muscles to get larger as they get stronger. On the other hand a woman has the ability to make a muscle stronger without the muscle size increasing as much. This is one of the reasons why weight training for women will not result in large, bulky muscles like some males. Very few woman have the ability to build that much muscle mass. Everyone, male or female, has a unique genetic body structure that largely determine their physique and their response to exercise.
Strength Training for Women – Many woman engage in weight training and bodybuilding exercises because they like the challenges of the sport and want to obtain the great benefits of this form of fitness exercise. This form of exercise can be performed with weight training machines, free weights or body weight exercise. When done properly, in a high intensity fashion, women will find it to be just as beneficial and just as demanding as it is for men.
Rest for Muscle Growth
By Karen Sessions NSCA-CPT
Many factors apply when it comes to weight training for women and bodybuilding, and the most overlooked aspect is rest. As simple as that may seem it is essential.
Rest will allow your muscles to recover. Without proper recovery, you will never grow. Thus, you will never achieve that award winning physique you worked so hard for unless you make sure to incorporate adequate rest. In this article I will teach you how to properly tie-in rest into your workouts, making sure all of your hard efforts pay off 100%.
Rest Between Training Sessions for Muscle Growth
. I have had people tell me they can actually feel their muscles gaining size during a workout. Although it might seem like it, that is false. This “feeling” you get is called a pump, and is not to be confused with muscle growth.Muscle growth (hypertrophy) takes place during rest, not during a workout. You may get a pump during training, but it’s merely blood being pumped into the heated muscle, making it harder and increased in size temporarily. When this happens, many get a mental pump and drag the training out, resulting in over training, which is something we don’t want to do.
When your muscles repair themselves after training they are slightly stronger than before, which can lead to further growth if training is continued after sufficient rest. It is important to note if you train again before the muscle is fully recovered, you can retard growth, and if you fail to train at all you will lose size.
Rest needs vary for each individual. Dietary guidelines, stress, genetics, sleeping habits, age, and supplements all are contributing factors to recovery. So what may work for someone else, may likely not work for you.
Weight Training for Women –
How Long Before My Muscles are Recovered?
Training a body part (muscle group) twice a week is a common way to train. For people who train with REAL high intensity it may takes a muscle as long as 7 to 10 days to fully recover naturally. Therefore, training a body part twice a week is worthless. You will probably produce far better results by training each muscle group once a week.
Other factors that affect recovery are adequate sleep, proper nutrition, and supplementation. Sleep is important for muscle growth and you should get a minimum of 8 hours a night. Added power naps throughout the day are a benefit. Nutrition is important on the days you train, as well as the days off since growth takes place away from the gym. Many people fail to make the off training days productive by eating haphazardly. Your off training days are just as important as your scheduled training days.
Rest Between Sets for Muscle Growth
Just as resting between training sessions is important, so is resting between sets. This is often neglected when it comes to recovery.
Lactic acid is the little culprit that causes the soreness in your muscles the days following training. It is also the burn you feel when you lift to complete failure toward the end of a set, lessening your movement. Because of this burn we tend to stop our session short or lighten the load of our weights, cheating ourselves of a good workout.
For indirect growth, you want to allow enough rest so that you are fully recovered, but not to the point where you are cooling off. Therefore, two minutes of rest works well for gaining mass, power, size, and strength. If you start your next set before the two minutes, you can lack strength and intensity. Save the short rest periods for your “cutting phase” when your load is somewhat lighter and you are training at a faster pace.
Karen Sessions NSCA-CPT
P.S. For additional ADVANCED female bodybuilding information, check out Iron Dolls – Female Bodybuildng Secrets!! When you have the raw and uncut facts, the rest is child’s play.
By Karen Sessions NSCA-CPT
I’m going to trash some nagging myths regarding weight training for women. You may or may not have heard these, but if you have, I want to smash them again because if you hear wrong information too much, it can implant itself into your brain without consent.
Nagging Myth Number One:
Women who weight train will get bulky
This horrid rumor that weight training for women results in overly bulky muscles prevents a lot of women from even entering the weight room. To satisfy rumor starters, these ladies participate in aerobics classes and become cardio queens and don’t even come close to their true athletic ability or desired body shape. Those who dare to become bold and venture into the dungeon of iron find the lightest pair of dumbbells to work with and rely on cables and machines for the majority of their workout.Sure, light dumbbells, cables, and machines can help in adding some lean muscle tissue and increase your metabolism, but why limit yourself? I don’t care how much you can lift; you will never get huge and bulky by weight training as long as you produce more estrogen than testosterone. Those women you see who do sport the She-Ra-type body have specifically trained and eaten for it, and let me tell you, it’s not easy.
As a female, you can only build so much muscle, and that’s it. From there, you can increase muscle density, but you will never pack on the type of mass you see on true female bodybuilders. Rather than think of the weight room as an iron clanking sweat box for men only, look past that and think of the benefits weight training provides.
Regular weight training:
- Improves circulation
- Improves sleep
- Increases your metabolism
- Improves bone density
- Reduces depression
- Increases metabolism
- Improves self-esteem
- Lowers body fat
- Lowers appetite
- Burns calories
- Strengthens your mind
- Slows the aging process
Nagging Myth Number Two:
I don’t want to look like those female bodybuilders, they look masculine
Sorry, but masculinity is a personal choice in women. Weight training can’t form who you are no more than it can choose your spouse. This is just another form of labeling developed through ignorance and fear. Bodybuilding is an application of training and nutritional sciences, not a gender change. Weight training develops lean muscle tissue and proper nutrition burns body fat. Madonna, Janet Jackson, and Sharon Stone obviously weight train intensely and eat properly, as it shows through their bodies. This is not to say they are bodybuilders, but they certainly apply a form of it into their lifestyle. Anyone who disputes these ladies femininity is gravely mistaken and really must reevaluate their selves before judging others.
Nagging Myth Number Three:
Bodybuilders are unhealthy
Negative. Bodybuilding is about building the body inside and out, including the mind. Bodybuilders are some of the healthiest people in the world.
The idea that bodybuilding is unhealthy comes from detailed contest preparation we must go through for show. The last few days before a bodybuilding contest are unhealthy, but that’s just a few days a year. What makes the final few days before a contest different from the rest of the year is we severely cut our calories, macro nutrients, and water to make weight or look a certain way. This is really no different than any other sport (jockeys, wrestlers, etc) or models that live on lettuce and water.
Bodybuilding competitions is actually a sport of illusion. You would be amazed at how a bodybuilder looks once they dye their skin, apply oil, and stand under bright stage lights creating shadows. It’s 100% different than what that person look like backstage or in their living room. A 110 pound girl on stage can appear to weigh 130 pounds or more. It’s all an illusion and bodybuilders are the master of the art.
Nagging Myth Number Four:
Light repetitions with more reps get you cut and defined
Oh how I wish that was true. That means I wouldn’t have to diet intensely for contests. If light weights and increased repetitions defined your physique, there would be a lot more women in the gym with detailed cuts. Light weight and numerous repetitions build muscle endurance. Diet and cardio help you to lose body fat which helps get you that “cut” look in the end.
Nagging Myth Number Five:
If I stop weight training, my muscle will turn into fat
The myths just keep getting worse and worse. Muscle and fat are two completely different tissues in the body and one can’t change into the other. If muscle could turn into fat, wouldn’t you think that fat could turn into muscle? I am deeply saddened that there’s no scientific proof in finding that fat can turn into muscle. If any one could make it a possibility, they would be richer than Bill Gates.
The fact is, you can either reduce or increase your lean muscle mass and you can either reduce or increase your fat mass, but you cannot turn one into the other. Your goal in fat loss and an increased metabolism should be to lose fat and increase lean muscle tissue.
Conclusion to Feminine Iron
Even though we assassinate these myths daily on my forum, one fact will remain the same. There will always be someone who believes at least one of them. That is why I think it is important to hit these myth busters time and time again, to keep the information fresh in your head and for you to understand that weight training and bodybuilding are healthy and they do reshape your body without all the negative side-effect that people simply make up.
Karen Sessions NSCA-CPT
P.S. For more ground breaking bodybuilding information check out Iron Dolls – Female Bodybuilding Secrets!
Guys…your wife is watching your biceps getting bigger! Is she jealous? Does she want to start “bodybuilding” but is afraid of getting TOO big? She’s secretly want’s that finely chiseled body, too!
Here’s how she can build muscle for a lean, sexy physique without the fear of embarrassing you with bigger arms as you walk down the beach… There are a lot of myths around women and bodybuilding and they just don’t seem to die. I’d like to share with you an article that sheds light on women and weight training that will pave the path for your wife or girlfriend to adopt the bodybuilding lifestyle with you.
That’s right. We’re going to bust the women and weight training myths right NOW! Who better to do that than a woman who weight trains and understands your wife’s fears regarding women and weights?
Women and Weight Training Myth #1 – Weight training will make woman huge and manly.
BUSTED – Like most people, when you think of weight training for women you automatically relate that image to the professional female bodybuilder strutting her oiled-up mammoth physique across stage and striking a pose.
What’s NOT mentioned is that 99.9% of the professional female bodybuilders supplement with steroids to develop superhuman muscles. By the law of nature, women do not produce near the amount of muscle building hormone, testosterone, necessary to build huge swollen, vein-popping muscles. A woman is just not capable of building that type of massive muscle simply by lifting weights.
Bottom line: Weight training for women will NOT make a woman big and overly muscular.
Women and Weight Training Myth #2 – Women who weight train will lose their breast size.
BUSTED – (pardon the pun) Breast tissue is made up of primarily fat tissue. A loss of body fat will results in smaller breast size.
Weight training develops muscle tissue. Adding strength training will develop the underlying chest muscle on a woman and can add more shape to her upper body, creating those eye-pleasing and sexy curves. In addition, a good chest training program will add stunning high cleavage for that perfect fit in a dress or bikini.
To put it bluntly, the only way for a woman to lose her breast size is if she loses a lot of body fat.
Women and Weight Training Myth #3 – A woman’s muscle will turn into fat if she stops weight training.
BUSTED – There is an astronomical amount of women who won’t weight train for fear their muscle will somehow magically turn into fat if they stop weight training.
Again, muscle and fat are two completely different tissues responsible for their own functions. Muscle is metabolically active (calorie burning) and fat is metabolically inactive (fat storing).
Muscle CANNOT Ever, In Any Case, turn into fat any more than fat can turn into muscle. One can only build or lose muscle OR gain or lose fat. The two separate tissues are not interchangeable.
Women and Weight Training Myth #4 – Muscle weighs more than fat.
BUSTED – It’s no wonder women believe this ridicules statement. Dr. Phil has been known to say it in his highly publicized weight-loss book.
It’s a fact that a pound of muscle and a pound of fat weigh the same, a pound. What most women don’t realize is that a pound of muscle is denser and takes up less space than a pound of fat. Therefore, having more developed muscle on the female frame with less body fat will make her leaner, tighter, and give off that “toned” look they are after.
Bottom line: Adding natural muscle mass through weight training accentuates a lady’s femininity.
Endless Benefits for Women Who Weight Train:
Has training partner by default
Improves sex life
Lifts and shapes the booty
Builds a shapely physique
Builds positive self-image
Creates a positive attitude
Boosts immune system
Clears the mind
Creates more energy
Benefits other sports
Raises resting metabolic rate
Slows the aging process
Decreases chance of injury
Builds a stronger heart
Creates anti-aging effect
Relieves chronic pain
Builds stronger bones
Lowers LDL (bad)
Increases HDL (good)
Lowers risk for cancers
Lowers risk of heart disease
Lowers the risk of diabetes
|4 Myths on Women and Weight Training|
A woman with a well-shaped body through weight training will feel better about herself. In addition, she’ll better understand the process you go through to develop your physique, and have a better appreciation for weight training.
There’s a special bond with a couple that trains together.
Karen Sessions NSCA-CPT
P.S. If your lady want’s to develop a stunning and feminine body, Iron Dolls – Women’s Bodybuilding Secrets is the ultimate guide for such goals.
About the Author Karen Sessions has been in the fitness industry since 1988 and is a multi-certified personal fitness instructor and specialist in performance nutrition. She is a nationally qualified natural female bodybuilder, holding numerous titles in the southern states including two overalls.
Karen has written six eBooks on fitness. She also writes articles for several fitness websites, and distributes two monthly newsletters regarding weight loss and female bodybuilding.
Karen has helped hundreds of clients reach their goal of transforming their body. Her success and success stories speak for themselves. www.Iron-Dolls.com
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Weight Training for Women
Weight Training for Women