Posted on September 28, 2016 by Meghan Eggleston
I often assume that my fitness knowledge is common knowledge, especially when it comes to strength training. However, I keep having conversations with different women and I’ve realized that there are many misconceptions. So I decided it’s time to share my Top 3 Strength Training Tips for Women.
Top 3 Strength Training Tips for Women
First, you need to know if you’re not strength training, you really need to be doing it. Not even because you want to get buff, but because as we age, we lose muscle mass. Between ages 50 and 70, people lose about 30% muscle mass per year! But it starts before then, and you need to be doing activities to continue to build that important muscle mass.
Tip 1 – Lift heavier weights!
There is a common misperception about heavier weights. I get asked all the time, “How much should I lift?” Some people believe if they lift too heavy, they’ll get too big.
In order to build the muscle mass, you need to lift as heavy as you can. And you’re not going to bulk up like crazy. I promise.
Your weights should be heavy enough that the last few reps should be almost impossible to squeak out. If you’re getting to the end of the set and you can do them all with no problem, you need to increase your weight. When you’re trying to lose fat, you want to lift the heaviest weights you can for fewer reps. You’re not going to get bulky, just lift heavier weights!
Tip 2 – Lift first, Cardio Second
Let me say it again. Lift first.
Yes, I know. This is completely against what many of us are used to doing. If you’re at the gym and you run for 30 minutes before lifting, you’re going to fatigue yourself before you’re able to get the good workout in. The only exception to this is when you are training for endurance, but otherwise, hit the weights before the cardio. Strength training helps you lose fat through building lean muscle. The best and most effective ways to gain that lean muscle mass is by eating a lean diet and incorporating strength training.
I begin my workouts with high intensity interval circuits. These are incredibly effective in helping you tone and drop the weight.
Tip 3 – Large Muscles First!
Yes, you may desperately want to tone the flab on the back of your arms, but don’t do accessory work first! I can hear you now, “I want to work on my abs!” or “I need to tone my triceps.”
Large muscles first. Always. Squats, bench press, push ups, and other exercises like these are compound movements that use more than one muscle group at a time. Do these compound movements first. THEN you can move on to the accessory groups, or the smaller muscles, after the compound.
As a result of doing compound muscle movements, I rarely do sit-ups and ab work anymore because so much of it is already worked in the compound exercises. Doesn’t that sound nice? Plus, the major muscle groups will help you burn more fat, and before you can sculpt the abs, you have to get rid of the flab.
So there you have it. My three best tips for strength training for women.
Do you have any strength training tips to share?
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