PT on the Net Research

Female Training Secrets


“I don't want to bulk up.”

I hear that, and I'm sure you do too, from many women that strength train for better bodies. And while it’s true that the main effect of weight training is building muscle, research shows that moderately heavy, low repetition training increases a woman's metabolic rate more than light weight, high-repetition training.

There’s no doubt that every woman needs some form of resistance training in her workout program. Science also tells us that gaining mass is a function of intensity and volume of training. So if a woman reduces her lifting volume, she can continue to train at a high intensity and reap the strength and metabolism boosting benefits without the fear of developing the dreaded “bulk.” Unfortunately, practically every female fitness magazine article is based on the high repetition, high volume, bodybuilder-influenced approach. So it’s no wonder women aren’t happy with their strength training advice, especially when they are given bodybuilder routines by default.

So what is the answer? What’s the next stage in the evolution of female fitness programs? I believe the best way to give a female client a well-rounded fitness and fat loss program is to reach a middle ground. Your options for fat loss aren’t just high repetition bodybuilder workouts, 60 minutes of cardio or a yoga class. Instead, if you use the following formula, you’ll help your female clients get lean and build the sleek, sexy physiques they’re after.

The Female Fat Loss Fitness Formula

Let’s start examining the formula by looking at the two methods of how women should train so that the risk of bulking up is minimal.

So how does the female fat loss fitness formula fit into a weekly training schedule? Through years of experience and reading the research, I’ve concluded that the proper training schedule for a woman wanting to get lean is hybrid workouts consisting of weight training and bodyweight exercises.

Three strength training sessions are performed per week, with a total body focus in each. Throw out your body-part training workouts - the ones where you do chest on Monday, back on Tuesday and so on. Instead, structure your workouts around four multi-joint exercises. Once you get those taken care of, you can add exercises as time permits.

A typical workout would begin with a bodyweight circuit to prepare the body for the four main exercises. In addition, the start of the workout should address the muscles of the abdominal wall, lower back and pelvic area. Recommendations for training these areas are highly individual and depend entirely upon your fitness assessment of each client.

Moving into the main strength training portion of the workout, your four multi-joint, multi-muscle exercises must address a pushing movement, a pulling movement, a squat and an exercise for the muscles of the posterior chain. Do eight reps per set. And here's the key: do only one to two work sets per weight training exercise. You can include advanced bodyweight exercises such as a single leg squat in the four main exercises, or you can complete the workout with a bodyweight circuit to burn more calories and train more muscle groups. And for women that insist that all weight training exercises will make them bulk up, you can use bodyweight exercises exclusively and still follow the above workout formula.

Follow this plan and women will boost their metabolism, burn more calories and fat at rest, and they’ll have no worries about becoming a female “Ah-nold.”

Exercise Program for Female Fat Loss & Body Sculpting

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