Move over, fellas. It’s the ladies turn to take over the weights section.
Here’s how to train like a girl and see real results from your workout.
Increase your weight and lower your reps
When it comes to toning, many women desire lean muscle definition. This results from undertaking a combination of weight-lifting and fat-burning exercises.
The key for women to get leaner, more defined muscles, is to complete fewer repetitions and focus on strength training workouts. Lower repetitions increase tension in muscles, which will further increase muscle tone.
However, doing lower repetitions doesn’t mean skimping on the amount of weight you’re lifting. Despite the myth, heavy weights won’t bulk you up, so don’t be afraid to push yourself a little bit further when it comes to how much weight you’re picking up.
Don’t be afraid to lift heavy
The reason you don’t add that much size to your biceps by lifting heavier weights (for less reps) is all down to myofibrillar hypertrophy and hyperplasia.
Hypertrophy is the enlargement of cells, better for bodybuilding as it helps to increase muscle size. When you are completing sets with higher rep counts (12 - 15 reps), your body will induce hypertrophy.
Hyperplasia, on the other hand, increases the number of cells, which in turn increases muscle fibres and strength but avoids muscle bulk. When you are completing sets with lower rep counts (4 - 6 reps), your body will induce hyperplasia.
Try to incorporate four to five exercises that target the target the muscles you want to tone (e.g. arms, back or legs), and perform one set of each exercise twice a week. When you start to feel less challenged with the amount of weight you’re lifting, increase your weights by 5 – 10%. This is called ‘overloading’ and is key to strengthening muscle.
Follow a clean eating plan
Finally, you can push on at the gym for as long as you like and spin on the elliptical as fast as you can, but if you’re fuelling your body with the wrong stuff, then you’re wasting your time. Real results come from a healthy and active lifestyle – and you need the best of both worlds.
Now that you are strengthening your cardiovascular system via aerobic activity and building denser muscle through strength training, it is important you follow up with a clean, corrective nutrition plan. This plan should allow the body to grow more muscle with protein, gain sufficient energy from fats and carbohydrates and still shed excess weight. This will allow your newly defined muscles to show their shape.
Did you know that some Genesis Fitness clubs have ladies only gyms? Some also have free child minding. Click here to find a Genesis Fitness club near you.
This article was proudly provided by the Australian Institute of Personal Trainers, who support Genesis Fitness and help our members achieve their fitness goals. If you are interested in starting a career in Personal Training, click here for more information.