Weight lifting guidlines for women

Many women believe that the path to a better body is through long cardio workouts on the treadmill, or stair-stepper, when in fact increasing the muscle tone on your body will boost your metabilism and you will stay leaner.

Many female athletes have proven that by building muscle mass you will improve your overall physique. With this in mind it is important to have the correct training plan in place. It can be of little use to just lift weights in the hope to make a difference without implementing an overall plan.


Start with a warm up.

Begin your exercise routine with a warm up using lighter weights. Its is important for your metabolism and muscles to do two warm up sets on lighter weights before starting on the heavier weights. Doing a warm up helps to prepare muscles and joints for the heavier weights and helps prevent injury. Without a warm up your risk muscle fatique, poor overall performance and injury.
Rest Periods are needed.

If you are exercising to burn fat, it is common to take short rest periods and focus on cardio based exercises.

When exercising for increased strength, you need to allow longer rest periods as the weights that you are lifting are heavier and the body need to have time between each set to recover.

As your body is learning to adjust to the weight increase, it is appropriate to allow up to 2 minutes between each set for recovery. Allowing this time will help you body to maintain enough energy to do multiple heavy sets.

Adjust your weight selection each workout.

Building muscle bulk and strength is all well and good, but there is no need to push yourself to the maximum weight limit each workout. Try adjusting your weight training down a notch and lifting less weight some days. Maintain between 70-85 percent of your maximum weight, that way you will still maintain strength and muscle. Lifting less some days means you can go harder on the days that you have the extra energy.

To maintain and increase muscle strength, increase the weight you are using each week and monitor how your body responds to the weight increase. If you feel that you can increase the weight, do so and work at that weight level for a few sessions.

Less repetitions on heavier weights.

With heavy weight lifting, its a balancing game. Different muscles come into play and your stabilizing muscles tend to get tired quicker as you lift heavy weights. Its recommended to do between 1-5 reps with heavier weights making sure to lift your weight correctly as to not injure yourself.

When doing leg curls and leg extensions, as these exercises use your stabilizing muscles, you can perform up to 12 repetitions, but when engaging in back squats with heavy weights its advisable to not attempt more than 5 repetitions.

Remember that working stabilizing muscles helps to increase the size of your muscles, while lifting heavy weights will increase your strength.

Practice Good Form.

It is important to avoid injury by checking your form in the mirror or having a workout partner or instructor to check you are positioned correctly especially when working with heavy weights. It would be a real setback to your training and performance to have to stop for a time due to injury.

Rest and Recover

Take time for recovery after working hard at the gym. It is equally important for your body to repair and rest as it is to work out. Your body needs it recovery time and you need at least 2 days out from the gym per week to allow for this.

Muscle bulk and expectations.

Womens and Mens bodys are structured differently. Many women have a fear of becoming too bulky when working with weights in the gym. Mens bodies are designed to produce 10% more testosterone than womans and can build muscle bulk quicker.

For women, the muscle building process is far slower and we are able to maintain control of how much muscle we develop. On average women can expect up to 1 pound of muscle growth per month, but will not happen overnight.

If you are uncomfortable with your muscle gain, you can always cut back on the heavier weights and vary your exercises to a mix of cardio based work out and lighter weight lifts.

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2 Responses to “Weight lifting guidlines for women”

  1. Tonya
    February 13, 2015 at 6:07 pm #

    This is really good to know. I’ve always wanted to lift weights but wasn’t sure how to do it properly. This gives a very clear guideline. Thank you.

  2. Azia
    February 16, 2015 at 4:51 pm #

    I tried to do the same reps with the heavier weights and that really messed me up for a while. I wish I had seen this article before I did that. Why didn’t anyone at the gym tell me that. They have coaches all around. You’d think that they’d be nice enough to give that tip at least.

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