Do you want a fitter, faster, and firmer body? While the complex routines in health and fitness magazines might promise the perfect body, the best way to improve the way you look, feel, and perform is through weight training.
Weight training for women is a topic that’s finally getting the attention it’s deserved for so long. Every year, more and more women are taking up weight training to tone, shape, and sculpt their bodies.
In this blog post, we’ll cover the key reasons you should lift weights, the basics of weight training for women, and the truth behind why weight training won’t make you big and bulky.
Want to get started right away? Take our Gain Weight, Build Muscle and Increase Energy course to learn the science behind why weight training is such a great way for women to get fit and healthy.
Why women should lift weights
While magazines often promise incredible results from workout routines with no weight training involved, the reality often doesn’t match the hype. Weight training, on the other hand, lets you sculpt and build the body you’ve always wanted.
Whether your goal is fat loss, muscle gain, toning and firming, or simply improved athletic performance, lifting weights can practicing good nutrition is the only way for you to build your dream body.
Why weight training won’t make you big or bulky
Are you worried about gaining too much muscle? While you may fear turning into the Incredible Hulk, the reality is that gaining ‘too much’ muscle is hard, especially for women.
Women gain muscle mass at a much slower rate than men due to their hormones and genetics. Anabolic hormones like testosterone are much less prevalent in the female body than in the male body, making muscular development a slower, less extensive process.
Many of the female bodybuilders you see on television or in fitness magazines use synthetic male hormones like testosterone to enhance their bodies. Many also use human growth hormone and other illegal substances to improve their results.
Simply put, you can’t develop the big, bulky look of a bodybuilder or athletes as a side effect of your training. This type of body takes time, nutrition, and very hard training to build – it’s not something that’s achievable for most people.
Instead, weight training using a normal routine will give you a fit, firm, and toned body that’s closer to the Hollywood look than a professional bodybuilder. Without very hard training and steroids, there’s no risk of you getting too big or bulky.
The basics of weight training: the ‘big three’ exercises
At its core, weight training is built around three core exercises: the bench press, the squat, and the deadlift. These exercises form the core workouts used by millions of people around the word, and they’re just as useful for women as they are for men.
Each of these exercises can be broken down into variations. Instead of using a bench press to target your chest and arms, you can perform a military press – an exercise performed standing up – to work your shoulders.
At a basic level, weight training for women isn’t very different to weight training for men. Although your goals are undoubtedly different, the best exercises and routines rarely differ dramatically between women and men.
Building the body you’ve always wanted
Once you’ve decided to take action and change your body, it’s time to select a weight training routine that matches up with your goals. The best weight training routine is one that fits in with your schedule, not necessarily the most intense or challenging.
One of the most popular beginner routines is the three-day full body routine. Using this routine, you’ll target your entire body in three separate workouts per week, all of which are built around the ‘big three’ lifting movements from the last section.
Since almost all full body workouts involve the squat and deadlift, you should work on achieving the perfect exercise form before you begin. Enroll in our course, How to Deadlift: The Ultimate Strength Exercise, to learn more about keeping your form perfect while you lift weights.
Other great workout routines are listed in our No Bull Fitness Course. Designed for women and men interested in weight lifting, this course contains several excellent workout programs for building muscle, losing weight, and gaining endurance.
As well as learning what to do, it’s also worth learning what not to do. Some weight training exercises can result in injuries and stunted results. Our blog post, Strength Training Workouts for Overall Wellness, lists exercises that are best avoided.
Stretching and warming up to prevent injuries
It’s easy to rush into weight training. Once you get started, you might find it difficult to stop. Weight training is a fun, exciting way to enhance your strength and fitness, but it can often lead to injuries without the right warm up and rest routine.
Before you start your workout, you’ll want to stretch your muscles to prevent any joint or tendon injuries. You may also want to warm up your body’s cardiovascular system, especially if you’re doing a circuit workout that combines weight training and cardio fitness.
Our course, Yoga Poses Decoded, covers basic yoga poses that you can use to boost your flexibility and warm up before your workout. Warming up is an essential part of working out – whatever you do, make sure you don’t forget it.
The best nutrition and supplements for women
Even if your diet is far from perfect, you’ll notice some improvements to your body from starting a weight lifting routine. However, these results will be fairly minor if your diet doesn’t contain the right amount of protein, fat, and carbohydrates.
Adapting your diet to suit your fitness goals will help you get better results from your weight training routine. For example, if your goal is to gain muscle, you’ll get the best results if you start consuming a diet that’s rich in protein.
The best diets aren’t fads or temporary crash courses – instead, they’re easy for you to turn into long term habits. Our course, Key2bFit – Toning for Women, includes a detailed module on macronutrients such as protein, fat, and carbohydrates and the effects they have on your health and fitness.
As you progress in your weight training routine, you might want to use supplements to enhance your results. Supplements can be very effective, but only if you select the right ones and use them according to your long term goals.
Great supplements for women include whey and casein protein, which are ideal for gaining lean muscle mass without having to ‘binge eat’ normal foods. Many protein supplements are made using zero-calorie sweeteners to help you stay lean and firm.
Another excellent supplement for women is creatine. This naturally occurring health supplement adds volume and strength to your muscles and helps you recover after a tough or physically draining workout.
How to create a positive, effective routine
Weight training isn’t a temporary habit. In order to achieve good results from your routine, you’ll need to stick with it for the long term. Join our course, Fit for Life: The Science of Exercise, to learn how you can create social supports and a long term plan that keeps you focused on getting fit and healthy.
Whether you want to gain muscle, burn fat, improve your athletic performance, or just feel healthier, weight training is a fantastic way for women to feel better about themselves. Put on your workout gear and get started today!