The stereotypes that a woman should be fragile and weak, that even from a five-kilogram load she has a hernia in ten places, that “iron” turns graceful ladies into broad-shouldered masculine heroes, are still alive in the consciousness of our fellow citizens. For many ladies, go to the gym and pick up a dumbbell – this is a real “gap pattern”. But some stubbornly do not believe that the gradual weighting of these same dumbbells is a useful process, and not vice versa. Strength training among women is a rare occurrence.
Meanwhile, a competent increase in power indices is a pledge of strong joints and the spine, as well as volumetric beautiful muscles that form beautiful outlines of the body. Training with solid burdens and developed muscles weakly warm your metabolism, forcing the body to spend a lot of energy both during the sessions themselves and during the recovery period after them.
But even girls who all know it and are not afraid of numbers on pancakes of a bar, face difficulties. To realize the benefits of strong muscles – not even half the battle, but to make them strong is not always easy. In the first months of training, working weights grow quickly – the beginner’s body progresses with cosmic speed. But the farther into the hall, the more difficult is the barbell, and after some time you notice that you are not sticking around for the first month. What is the problem?
Most women come to the gym to get rid of excess fat. Thin girls, who want to add in muscle volumes, are afraid of panic, along with muscles, to gain at least a gram of fat. The result is one – fitness women often eat in a way that even Victoria’s Secret angels do not dream of. Contribute to this and fashionable fitness public, and incompetent coaches, inspiring girls that the only correct system of nutrition is 1200 kcal per day, boiled chicken breast, oatmeal without salt and cucumbers.
But in order to progress in working weights, energy and a sufficient amount of all macronutrients are needed in order to ensure a good recovery of the body after training. Therefore, even if you lose weight, the calorie deficit should be no more than 15% of the maintenance level. So you will become stronger and reduce your chances of meeting with overtraining.
“Do not be lazy,” “do not look for excuses,” “do not feel sorry for yourself” – motivational slogans now sound from each shoe. But for individuals particularly impressionable, they do more harm than good. Many girls try to imitate professional athletes, and train to wear. But if you do not live in the gym, do not give your body pharmacological support and do not renounce family and career in the name of fitness, this approach will kill you sooner than it will make you a champion. What can we say about the increase in power performance, when the muscles are not chronically restored, and the central nervous system in permanent stress?
The body needs rest. Do you like doing every day? Well, make yourself a competent split-program so that your muscles can recover, and spend no more than 45-60 minutes in the hall. Not satisfied enough if you are engaged in less than a half to two hours? Exercise no more than 2-3 times a week.
Basic polyarticular exercises have the greatest potential for increasing working weights. The girls also stubbornly continue to swing the buttocks with leads on a block with one or two tiles, and the deltas with flies with tiny dumbbells. Even if you have some contraindications, you can always choose for yourself the best and safest variations of exercises. Basic movements should be about 80% of the training volume.
Chasing numbers without developing a good technique is a bad idea. Either the body will resist such mockery and power indicators will not grow, or they will, but they will “give” you trauma. Enlist the support of a good coach, read detailed materials about the technique of squats, deadlifts and other basic movements. If now you are doing the exercises incorrectly, do not be surprised if at first the weight will drop, and do not be discouraged. In the future, this, on the contrary, will contribute to your progress.
Let’s go back a little to the first point – women either lose weight or are afraid to get better. In the fitness environment, the myth that multi-repetition training is optimal for fat burning is still alive, and girls in the sweat of their faces perform 15–20 repetitions “for relief”. Indeed, such training allows you to burn more calories during the session, but to grow strength with it is problematic.
The optimal range of repetitions for the growth of strength is considered to be the interval from 5 to 8. It is not necessary to constantly engage in this mode – it is recommended to cycle the load for best results. For example, for 8–16 weeks, you practice focused workouts to develop strength, and then return to a regimen optimal for muscle growth for 16–20 weeks, that is, with a range of repetitions from 10 to 15. Varying the nature of the load will help avoid both stagnation and overtraining.
Yes, there is such a side of the medal, paradoxically. Feeling the strength in themselves, women often begin to break records at each workout, to sacrifice technique for the sake of numbers. Yes, you have to progress, but the constant increase in loads of the same type is a road to nowhere. To do this, there is a cycle – to improve their results, without coring the body.
The accelerated growth of weights and constant work with maximum effort entails overtraining and injuries. This, in turn, leads to a “rollback”, and again you come to almost the same numbers with which you started. Training muscle strength is great, but everything must be done with the mind. Begin to purposefully grow weights on the bar only when you learn to feel well the work of the muscles and all the signals of your body.
In any of the methods of strength training, it all starts with determining a lifting maximum (LM). It means weight, which you can lift once with maximum effort, without breaking the technique. There are many calculators and formulas for calculating LM, but the following is considered the most universal:
1LM = YW / (1.0278- (0.0278xNR))
BW – weight of the bar, NR – the number of repetitions that you can perform with this weight. To simplify the task, you can use ready-made factors and simply multiply the working weight by a factor:
3 repetitions – 1,059
4 repetitions – 1,091
5 reps – 1,125
6 repetitions – 1,161
7 reps – 1,200
8 repetitions – 1.242
9 repetitions – 1,286
10 repetitions – 1,330
Women with a small training experience (up to 2 years) are best to grow strength with a weight of 70-80% of the LM. Suppose you are doing, say, a deadlift with a weight of 60 kg for 9 repetitions.
80% of the LM will be equal to 62 kg. Now we make a plan. Start with 5 reps per set, completing 5-6 work approaches per workout. Each week, add 1 repetition to each set until their number reaches 8. Then reduce the number of sets to 4 and continue adding 1 repetition to the approach each week until you perform 4 sets of 10 repetitions. Recount the LM – now it will be equal to 82.5 kg. Based on this figure, make a new cycle.
After 12–16 weeks of muscle strength training, you can return to focused exercises aimed at increasing muscle. By that time, your working weights will grow, and you will be able to perform 10-15 repetitions already with much more impressive figures than before.
You can use such a system only for heavy base movements — all kinds of pressure, squats, and bench presses — and perform the isolating exercises in the usual comfortable mode. To relieve the nervous system and the body as a whole, after each cycle, arrange a week of rest with a slight cardio and stretch.
We offer a “starter” program template that you can change at your discretion. The plan is designed for 3 lessons per week. Add or not add cardio-load – your right, it all depends on the well-being and training goals.
Squatting with a barbell on the shoulders 5×5
Romanian dumbbell 4×10
Dumbbell in the tilt 4×12 (on each side)
Dumbbell bench press sitting 4×10
Hands down in a crossover or a butterfly 4×12
Lifting the legs in hanging 3×8-10
Pull-ups on a crossbar or in a 5×5 gravitron
Bench press lying 5×5
Breeding dumbbells standing 4×12
Lifting dumbbells for biceps 4×12
Extending hands with a dumbbell from behind the head 4×12
Level 3х30-120 sec
Deadlift in sumo style 5×5
Lunges with 4×10 dumbbells (on each leg)
Thrust of the upper block to the chest 4×10
Thrust rod to the chin in the slope 4×12
Reverse pushups on the bars or from the bench 3×8-10
Twisting lying on the floor 3×15-25
Every week, increase the number of repetitions in basic exercises, as indicated in the previous paragraph. Select the weights in the auxiliary exercises according to the sensations – it should be hard for you, but do not reach the “rejection” and keep the correct technique. You can replace basic exercises with higher priority ones – instead of classic squats, perform frontal exercises, instead of thrust, sumo – classic.
Before each workout, do not forget to warm up well, and at the end – stretch to relax your muscles after hard work.
Do not be afraid to grow strength – with the right technique you will not be injured and you will not spoil your body. Muscle strength will help girls more effectively build up a high-quality mass and burn more calories, and also make your body more functional and sexy.