Women have been told for far too long that less is more when it comes to their bodies.  Words like ‘slim,’ ‘toned’ and ‘skinny’ permeate through most women’s fitness magazines.

Celebrity trainers have a dazzling array of bodyweight and pink dumbbell moves that target the hips, waist and thighs so women can have their best spring body ever.

What are those heavy dumbbells or that barbells on the floor? If I touch one of them, I might turn into the Hulk.

hulk-2

Don’t worry, ladies, this will not happen to you because of a little thing called testosterone and your lack of it in comparison to men. (1) Besides, testosterone makes men do silly things and we need you to help clean up our messes.

Wishful thinking, right?

maid

Strength training has tremendous health benefits for both men and women, including but not limited to

  • Injury prevention
  • Plays a role in disease prevention (2)
  • Protects bone and muscle mass
  • Helps turn you into a calorie burning machine
  • Helps with better movement and less pain

Should women deny themselves the benefits of strength training because of a few myths that never seem to die?  The short answer is no, you shouldn’t because strong is the new sexy.

However, if you’re new to all of this, where do you start?

Start right here. Let’s look at the movements you’ll be doing to get stronger and why you’re doing them.  Then I’ll outline a program for you, so you too can get strong.

1. SQUATS

This is a movement we’ve been doing since we were babies. Yet somehow between childhood and adulthood, some of us lose the ability to execute this fundamental human movement correctly.

Why it’s important to train 

  • It’s a full body exercise
  • Gives you great looking legs
  • Develops core strength
  • It’s a movement you perform every day.
  • Builds lean muscle and burns a ton of calories.

This is what a squat should look like

Baby-squat
I rest my case
2. BENCH PRESS

The bench press is not only for the guys. A lot of women I know get a huge sense of empowerment hoisting weights above their chest. It’s a great upper body strength builder that helps build lean muscle on your chest, shoulders and arms.

Why it’s important to train

  • Helps build upper body strength, a weak point for a lot of women
  • A great compound exercise that works multiple muscle groups
  • Gives you a great looking upper body
  • To show the guys up

 

3. Row 

We tend to forget about the muscles that we cannot see. That’s not a good idea because we live in a society that sits too much while slouching forward. Overtime this can lead to upper back muscles that are weak and overstretched.

A weak upper back contributes to poor posture and back/shoulder pain.  The row helps strengthen the upper back, grip and gives you better looking arms.

Why it’s important to train 

  • Strengthens your upper back
  • Improves your posture
  • Helps give you a better-looking arms, shoulders and back

 

4. FARMER’S CARRY

How often do you find yourself carrying around heavy stuff? Once a day or a couple of times per week?  It’s something that we do on a regular basis when you think about it.  For example, when we carry shopping bags.

So why not train this in the gym? There’s nothing complicated about the farmer’s carry. Pick up some heavy weights and walk. However, it’s not easy and it’s a challenge you’re sure to enjoy. Or not.

Why it’s important to train

  • Works on your core, strength and cardio simultaneously
  • Has significant carryover to real life.
  • Gives you a vice like grip
  • Develops great looking shoulders and upper back.

YOUR PROGRAM

This 6 week, 3 day a week program below will concentrate on the movements described above with a few exercises sprinkled in to work on the thighs, triceps and core.

The trainings are divided into heavy, light and moderate to help you build strength and lean muscle.

If you unsure on how to warm up before you train, do this.

 

Training A – Heavy (Monday or Tuesday)

Instructions- Do the exercises one after the other, resting 2 minutes between each exercise. Try to go up 2.5 – 5 pounds each week while maintain good form. Click on exercises for video demonstrations.

1A. Squats (Sumo OR Goblet) 3 sets 5 reps

1B. Single arm row (Dumbbell OR Cable) 3 sets 5 reps on each arm

1C. Single leg (Split squats OR Reverse lunge) 3 sets of 5 reps on each leg

1D. Dumbbell bench press 3 sets 5 reps

 

1E. Farmer’s carry (20-25% of your bodyweight in each hand) 3 sets 40 yards

 

 

Training B- Light (Wednesday or Thursday)

Instructions- Use a lighter weight than training A because you’re doing more reps. Exercises 1 and 3 will be done as superset (back to back). Rest as little as possible between exercises and rest 60-90 sec at the end of each superset. Exercise 2 do both sets with as little rest as possible in between sets.

1A. Squats (Sumo or Goblet) 2 sets 15 reps

1B. Single arm cable row 2 sets 15 reps on each arm

2. X band crossover 2 sets 15 reps

 

3A. Overhead triceps extensions 2 sets 15 reps

 

 

3B. Push up plank 2 sets to failure

 

 

Training C Moderate (Friday or Saturday)

Instructions- Use a heavier weight than training B because you’re doing less reps. Exercises 1 and 3 will be done as a superset (back to back). Rest as little as possible between exercises and rest 60-90 sec at the end of each superset. For the Suitcase carry, rest as much as needed.

1A. Squats (Sumo or Goblet) 3 sets of 10 reps

1B. Single arm dumbbell bench press 3 sets 10 reps

 

2. Suitcase carry (25% of body weight in one hand) 3 sets 40 yards in each hand

 

 

3A. Single leg (Split squats or Reverse Lunge) 3 sets 10 on each leg

3B. Inverted or TRX row 3 sets 10 reps

Wrapping up

After this 6-week program, you’ll be stronger and more confident in and out of the gym because strong is the new sexy.

Do you need any more help getting started? Then I have the program for you, a 12-week online program that will help you get stronger and more confident in the gym.

This program includes

  • A through fitness assessment. This assessment lets me know where you stand and is the baseline against which we can measure your progress.
  • A Skype consultation to discuss your short-term and long-term goals. This will allow me to write a customized program and to answer any questions you may have.
  • 12 weeks of customized programming, broken into 3 4-week blocks
  • Regular Skype and email check-ins to see how your progressing and to address any concerns you may have.

Hurry, spaces are limited. Find out more and grab your spot right here.

 

 

 

 

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