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Women and Weights

Have you ever been scared to lift weights thinking you will get too bulky? Nathan Robinson, an ACSM certified personal trainer, wants women to stop thinking that and to hit the weights.

Whenever I am doing an initial consultation with a new female client they almost always say this phrase. “I don’t want to get too bulky!” Most women are under the assumption that if they lift weights they will immediately turn into a pro bodybuilder with massive muscles. They fear they will lose their feminine physique and be seen as too manly.

Well I’m here to tell you that it won’t happen! It is very difficult for women to gain muscle because they have a low amount of testosterone when compared to males. Think about this. Even males who are filled with a ton of testosterone struggle to put on muscle. If it’s difficult for them, it is even more difficult for women.

So what will happen if you lift weights? You will get that “toned” look that almost all women are after. Your body will firm up, you will gain curves and it will help you lose fat.

You may now be wondering what type of workout you should do. There are a lot of different workout programs out there and most work. The problem most people have is they program hop and never stick to one. Let’s look at two different workout programs that are proven to be effective.

Full Body

With this type of workout you will hit all of your body parts multiple times per week. These workouts are normally scheduled for 3-4 sessions per week. Here is an example week;

Monday: Chest, Back, Arms, Shoulders, Legs

Tuesday: Off

Wednesday: Chest, Back, Arms, Shoulders, Legs

Thursday: Off

Friday: Chest, Back, Arms, Shoulders, Legs

Saturday: Off

Sunday: Off

Let’s break down an example workout.

DB Bench Press: 3×10

Cable Rows: 3×10

Shoulder Press: 3×10

Curls: 3×10

Skull crushers: 3×10

Squats: 3×10

Romanian Deadlift: 3×10

The biggest pro is high frequency. Your muscles are getting hit multiple times per week. The downside is that you aren’t hitting your muscles from different angles in a single workout.

Body Part Split

This is a common training program you will see in the gym. You may have even heard conversations where someone asks; “What are you training today?” “Oh I’m training chest!” You pick 1-2 muscle groups per workout and do multiple exercises for those body parts. For example:

Monday: Chest

Tuesday: Shoulders

Wednesday: Legs

Thursday: Arms

Friday: Back

Saturday: Off

Sunday: Off

Here is an example chest day workout:

Bench Press: 5×5

Incline DB Press: 4×12

Flys: 4×10

Machine Bench Press: 4×10

The biggest pro of this workout is that you can really hit your specific muscle hard and from different angles. The biggest con is low frequency. If you think about it, you are only hitting chest 52 times a year. Because of this you have to make your workouts really intense.

Final Thoughts

With both of these programs you can decide to use any exercises as long as you hit the specific muscle groups. The biggest thing you will want to do is make the workouts harder each time. Try to add weights, add reps, add sets or decrease rest period.

If you want that toned and sexy physique don’t be scared to hit the weights. You won’t’ get big. You will just look great!