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Strength Training for Women 101 – Part 3

What is the most common thing you see women do in most gyms? Cardio!

And if they do lift weights they pick up a 2 kg dumbbell and do endless reps.

Thankfully the women in my performance gym blow that concept away and train as hard as any guy and lift as strong as anyone.

As we have discussed in parts 1 & 2, women need to lift heavy, challenging weights just like men in order to gain muscle. While machines do provide sufficient stimulation to gain muscle, nothing can beat free-weight/compound exercises.

Now, we will go over a few free-weight and compound exercises that should be built into your training sessions.

Deadlifts are a full body exercise, meaning it stimulates just about every muscle in the body. Deadlifts hit the legs, back, traps, abs, obliques, etc. Deadlifts are a must for building a fully developed body. If you don’t do them, you are selling your results short.

Squats are perhaps the most effective exercise you can do for overall leg development. Free-weight barbell squats are a compound exercise that hits the entire upper leg, quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes. Like deadlifts, if you don’t squat you are selling yourself short. These are a must for sexy, toned legs. There is no better feeling for a full body workout than squats, plus you develop an ass like kim Kardashian!

Lunges are great for targeting the glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps. Lunges will help tighten up your legs and butt and give you the curves you want. Single leg workouts are extremely affective for getting stronger.

“The upper body squat”  work the muscles of the back, biceps, and forearms. Most gyms have an assisted pull-up machine, so if you cannot do pull-ups with your bodyweight, this machine will allow you to do pull-ups with less than your bodyweight. But, like in my gym, we use rubber bands to assist the client in the lift. We have girls doing pull ups and chin ups way more effective than guys. They adapt to the technique very fast.

Dips work the muscles of the chest, shoulders, and triceps. Dips are a great exercise for overall upper body development, especially the shoulders and triceps.
Most gyms have an assisted dip machine, so if you cannot do dips with your bodyweight, this machine will allow you to do dips with less than your bodyweight.

Hip Thrusts:
Without doubt my favourite for developing a strong toned butt!!If you want to tone up your bum then drive a bar into the air and work your glutes to the max.

Bench Press:
Yes, you heard me right. And no, it aint just for guys. The king exercise of them all can be the queen as well. For developing great pushing power and developing chest, shoulders and triceps then look no further. Extremely good for bringing confidence into yourself that you can lift in the first place.

Exercise Tips: Form Over Ego!
I cannot stress enough how important it is to maintain strict form on all movements. This means stabilizing your body and contracting your abs so you isolate the primary intended muscles.

For example, when doing a standing barbell curl, tighten your abs and do not rock or swing the weight. By tightening your abs, you stabilize your body and prevent momentum. This will also help condition your abs and save your lower back from injury.
Warm-Up Properly before you lift heavy:
You should perform 1-3 warm-ups sets before working a given muscle group. For example, I you are going to bench press 30kg for your work sets then do a warm-up set with 20kg (just the bar) and then a set with 25kg before trying to bench press 30kg. Rest, Don’t Nap, Between Sets.
We recommend 60-120 seconds of rest periods between sets. This allows your body to recover some of its expended ATP but is not so long that you lose the flow of the workout. But we don’t believe in staring at the mirror admiring yourself waiting for the clock. You can work on your mobility in this time which prepares you for the next exercise.
Remember, the goal is to get in and out of the weight room in 30-45 minutes.
What if I Miss a Workout?
If you miss a workout, simply work your schedule so you get back on track. Do not skip a workout! You have three off days per week. If you miss Tuesday’s workout then try to do it on Wednesday and then get back on your normal schedule.
Tricep, Thigh & Ass Fat: Why “Trouble Areas” Exist?
Most women have “trouble areas” or places on the body where the most fat is stored and it is difficult to get rid of.
In most women these areas are primarily the thighs, glutes (butt), and in some women the triceps (back of the arms) and “love handles”.
After dieting to lose weight and tone up these trouble areas the last thing you want to do is regain excess fat. If you don’t keep your diet clean and controlled you will gain fat, and it will most likely be in these trouble areas.
Simply put, some areas in the body have more receptors that block fat breakdown than receptors that increase fat breakdown. In men, these areas are the lower abs and love handles. In women, they are the thighs and butt.
Stored Triglycerides—Body Fat We Want to LOSE
While all cells contain some fat, it is mainly stored in muscle (intramuscular triglycerides) and in adipose tissue (body fat). Adipose tissue is the body’s main fat storage site and the fat we all want to lose. Adipose tissue is divided into individual cells called adipocytes.
These adipocytes hold stored triglyceride droplets, which serve as a source of energy for the body. These droplets make up 95% of adipocytes’ volume.
In order for this storage of potential energy to be used and to LOSE BODYFAT (everyone’s goal), it must be mobilized through lipolysis (the breakdown of triglycerides).
Lipolysis involves splitting the triglycerides into a glycerol molecule and 3 separate fatty acids (FFA).
Once the fatty acids exit from the adipocytes, they bind to plasma albumin (a protein in the blood) in order to be transported to active tissues where they can be burned.
In order to lose body fat, the fatty acids must be burned!So how do you do that?
By doing the following:
10-15 minutes HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)
This is amazing to do AFTER your weights session. All the good energy sources are directed into your muscles so now we want to train our body to break up the fat cells and burn them.
High Intensity Interval Training or HIIT is training where you alternate between intervals of high-intensity and low-intensity exercise.
An example would be sprinting all-out for 100 meters then walking for 100 meters then repeating. One cannot sprint at full intensity for a prolonged time because sprinting and any other form of high-intensity cardio utilizes the anaerobic energy systems, specifically the Phosphocreatine system, which power short-term activity.
After going all out, one must rest and give the Phosphocreatine system time to “recharge”.
Additionally after sprinting all-out a couple times you are going to start feeling fatigued. After 10 sprints you are pretty much worn out. While you might not be able to sprint at full speed anymore you can still walk and jog as the intensity is not as high as sprinting and other uses the aerobic energy systems.
Knowing this we can setup a cardio program to maximize fat burning!

15 seconds all out followed by 45 seconds of low-intensity cardio between sprints .Repeat 10-15 times.

You can effectively do this sprinting then jogging or I find the rower very effective as well.
For the people with access to prowlers then that will be brilliant as well


So, there you have it. Proper Nutrition, lift weights, sprint fast and recover. That is the key to burning body fat and sculpting an amazing strong, toned body.
Finally, the last tip I will give you is to be consistent. The most successful people are the consistent people that stick to the plan and stay the course. Stop starting will get you know where.
If you want to get strong, toned, learn how to eat healthily then click on the link below and book in for a free 30 min consult whereby we will look into your lives and see what plan is best for you.
Brian Roache

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