Gyms are no longer the primary hang out places for men. A fitness boom is taking place with emphasis on women’s weight training. Recent research has clearly stated that women of all age groups must weight train for optimal bone health and muscle toning. The benefits of a gym workout are numerous.
These include muscle toning, increased strength and stamina, cardiovascular fitness, stronger bones and general good health. There is an unmistakable, radiant glow on a woman’s face especially after a rigorous session in the gym.
So how should women work out? I am an avid weight trainer myself and I will now tell you a step-by-step workout routine that is guaranteed to get you results.
Gym Workout Programs For Women
What Should Your Gym Workout Comprise Of?
Ideally women should do 4-6 weeks of split training or circuit training followed by 4-6 weeks of a regular workout schedule which concentrates on not more than 2 body parts per day. Changing your routine from split training to circuit training prevents you from hitting weight loss plateaus, boredom and monotony.
Along with these, 160 minutes of cardio vascular activity every week is a must in order to achieve fat loss. I will now go into detail of what a typical split training, circuit training and a routine training programme should consist of.
Important Points to Remember
Before I begin to delve into the nuances of these gym programmes, there are some important points to consider. Firstly, this workout is not sacrosanct and can be tapered to suit individual needs. You must consult a doctor before starting on a gym programme. This is especially true for obese women and women who have just undergone childbirth. Your doctor will probably give you a clean bill of health first before you begin an exercise programme.
Join a reputed gym in your locality. Do a painstaking research on the kind of equipment available at the gym. Ascertain the qualifications of the trainers and ensure that you will get individual attention and that your fitness goals are met. Always do the exercises with correct form and technique. This is done to prevent injuries. Take 2 days off in a week for muscle repair and recovery.
Circuit Training Programme
A circuit-training programme will be a 5-day a week programme. This will consist of 3 days of weight training alternated between 2 days of cardio vascular activity only. Your first day i.e Monday will begin with 20 minutes of cardio followed by weight training. Tuesdays and Fridays will be cardio days only since the body requires 24 hours rest after a typical weight training schedule. Try to take an off on Thursday and Sunday as muscles recover well with sufficient breaks in between. Wednesdays and Saturdays will be again devoted to weight training which begins with 20 minutes of cardio.
Make sure that your cardio is intense. Try doing high intensity interval training which burns the maximum number of calories. Weight training should be done on all body parts. Endeavour to complete at least 3-4 exercises for every body part.
These exercises include chest presses, dumbbell presses, chest flies, triceps kickbacks,triceps dips,triceps extensions, triceps pull downs. This routine should be followed by exercises for the back and biceps which include seated machine rows, lat pull downs, reverse flies, hammer curls and biceps curls. Lastly aim to do 3-4 exercises for the lower body and shoulders which include squats, lunges, leg raises, leg presses, hamstring curls, overhead presses, lateral raises and side raises.
The above is a typical circuit-training workout in which you exercise every body part during your weight training sessions. The beauty about circuit training is that it blasts the fat since you are working at high intensity levels.When combined with split training workouts, this workout gives the best result.
In split training, you will be doing the same exercises as mentioned above. The only difference here is that you will be alternating upper body and lower body workouts on two different days. For example – Monday will be utilized for the upper body only and on Tuesday, you will be only doing lower body.
This allows your muscles rest by giving a day’s gap in between. Split training can be done for two weeks in between to break a weight loss plateau and give the body a different workout.
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Trainings Involving Full Body Parts
In this, your entire week will be divided into 1-2 body parts. For example – On Monday you will be only working your chest and triceps. Tuesdays will be utilized for the back and biceps. Similarly, one day will be for shoulders and one day will exclusively be for lower body.
This is an intense workout and allows you to heavily concentrate on each body part. Exercises for each body part will be consisting of 5-7 exercises which you will be doing for 12 reps. This is definitely more challenging and gives you greater muscle definition.
Please do remember that during split training routines you will also be putting in 30 minutes of cardio vascular activity. A combination of cardio and weight training is crucial to give you the desired results. Cardio vascular training will help in fat loss while weight training will promote muscle toning.
Weight Training Essentials
Use the correct weight to weight-train. How much weight should you use? This will depend on how much you can lift during a particular point in time and what are your current fitness levels. As a rule of thumb, start with a weight that is moderately challenging. You should use a weight that allows you to reach failure at the 12th rep.
If your weight is not challengingly heavy, you will not make gains in terms of muscle strength and toning. I would highly recommend that women read up and do their own research when it comes to lifting weight, as little knowledge is dangerous.
Please remember that your hormonal profile will not allow you to become bulky or muscular as is conventionally believed. Therefore, you really do not have to worry about looking like a body builder. Feel free to lift heavy weights. Weight training is the only way to get a sleek, toned and sexy figure.