If there is any one thing that many women are lacking in workout plans, it’s heavy resistance training. Most women I work with always seem to be afraid of lifting heavy weights. There’s this stigma of getting big and bulky, the reality is that it just won’t happen.
In some instances, there are women I have worked with that do have a tendency to put on a noticeable amount of muscle (especially in the hips and thighs). When working with this body type, I recommend adjusting reps and sets to those “fast growing areas” after about 6 weeks of training.
One thing to consider is that the “feeling” of building muscle may feel more obvious because unlike guys, gals tend to wear more form fitting clothes more often. Because of a having more snug fitting attire, any change in muscle size is felt almost immediately. This is especially true if you haven’t done any weight training.
“My legs are bigger, I can’t do weights.”
This is what one client said to me after 2 sessions of training.
Depending on your body type, and the type of clothes you wear, you may experience this feeling.
Don’t be afraid.
It’s just water being pulled into the muscles. This is a normal thing and it is a good thing. I have to explain this often to some women. After this initial feeling of “growth” that some women “feel,” it soon goes away as they begin to lose weight over the coming weeks.
Important note: If you lift weights and have the body type that puts on muscle easily but you don’t change your diet (or eat worse) you may end up blaming the weights for making your legs getting so big. Remember that any type of resistance training (even body weight squats) will require more water and more fuel. Everybody is a little different, but if you’re a female with weight displaced in your lower half, you may experience this feeling. You have to remember that this is a feeling and it is only temporary.
Here’s an example 30-40 minute workout for weight loss for women:
Leg Press x15 reps x 3 sets
Walking Lunges x20 reps x 3 sets
Push-ups x[Until you can’t do anymore] x3 sets
Sit ups x20 reps x 3 sets
Seated Cable Row x12 x 3 sets
Standing Barbell Shoulder Press x10 x 3sets
Rest period is 60-90 seconds between sets
How much weight should I do?
The weight choice should be based on 3 factors:
1.) Having good control
2.) Good form.
The key thing to remember with resistance training is intensity. Results come from intensity. The harder you push yourself; the impact on EPOC is much higher.
What is EPOC? Exercise Post Oxygen Consumption
This is the technical term for the “after burn effect” from an intense workout. You burn more calories after the workout.
The reason why it’s important for women to weight train for weight l loss is this after burn effect last for several hours after an intense resistance training session. For cardio, the after burn effect is usually only 20-30 minutes, and if you’re in really good cardio condition, the after burn could be eliminated all together.
The workout I listed above is just a simple example. There are many other workout plans that will help women (and men) lose weight. If you need some ideas or other resources, post a comment below. Thanks for reading.