There has been a lot of discussion on this topic over the years, and with women now competing in events such as Cross Fit, Spartan, Tough Mudder and UFC, their training agenda has changed immensely.
I see a lot of ladies at the gym who continue to lift very light weights or none at all. When asked why, their response is, “I don’t want to get big like the guys”.
Now, let me start by saying that this, “being too big” is a common thread and one that I hear way too frequently. So I will put that to pasture, once and for all. Ladies you will not look like The Incredible Hulk from heavy weights, you just don’t have enough testosterone (unless you are on some form of performance Enhancing Drug PED which we are not aware of).
You will however increase your muscle mass, decrease body fat, burn more calories than running alone, increase your strength and stamina, find getting through the day easier, look fabulous in the LBD and improve your energy levels!
So yes, you should lift and lift heavy with correct technique, however with some differences to the male population. Why?
Men, generally don't need too much isolation work, women need more. Women find it hard to press and pull heavy and so they become arm dominant.
Training therefore should also focus on isolation for the arms, triceps/biceps.
Shoulder work, is important so utilise kettle bells and dumb bells as this allows for greater stability and activation.
Glutes – squat, squat and squat more. This is your foundation, however glute bridges will help emphasizing the ‘pushing into the floor’ and can be used as a warm up.
Now, as well, ladies you have bragging rights here, as you can handle more frequency and recover better than men. So on top of doing the big 3 exercises:
Squat – Bench Press – Dead lift
You should be adding isolation exercises, such as hammer curls, Close grip bench press, tricep kickbacks, Romanian Deadlifts and so on.
So there you have it, what are you waiting for, hit the gym and remember:
Strong is the New Sexy