Women Strong: 4 Strength Training Rules for Women | H4 Training

Apr16Women Strong: 4 Strength Training Rules for Women

Strength training is important for everyone at any age, but especially so for women, especially women that are in their 30s and up. As we all age, our bone density and muscle size decrease, but it can happen a little faster for women. That doesn’t mean you can’t slow it down, or even reverse it a little bit! That is where strength training comes into play, as it works like a magic pill.

It’s not just for building huge muscles! Strength training keeps you healthy and strong. If you are a lady, don’t be afraid of getting “big and bulky”. It’s tough enough for guys with higher testosterone levels to get big and bulky, chances are you won’t explode into an Olympian level bodybuilder. What will happen is you’ll notice more muscle definition, and feel stronger and more confident.

It’s imperative then, that women follow the following rules when adhering to a strength training routine.

Lift Weights 2-3 Times a Week

As women gracefully grow older, bone density decreases at a faster rate than men. It’s important to keep up a strength training routine with an ideal frequency of 2-3 times a week, to increase/maintain bone density and lean muscle mass.

Generally, a full-body routine will be best, as you perform compound exercises that recruit a large number of muscle groups – meaning they are the most bang for your buck. These exercises will burn the most calories and save you time by using more muscle groups at the same time.

Use Challenging Weights

In order for the first rule to work, the weights you use have to be challenging! The last 2-3 reps should be a really good push; still using good form, but really pushing the intensity. If doing bodyweight exercises, make sure the variation you are doing follows the same principles, albeit by changing the variation to make it harder – doing single arm instead of double, slowing down exercises, etc.

Make sure to progressively increase the weight/challenge too! You can increase the weight by 5 pounds every few weeks (or month or two, if advanced) and/or increase repetitions slowly. No changes will happen if we don’t force our body to adapt to new stimulus.

Eat Enough Protein

We sound like a broken record, but it needs to be said: get more protein! Chances are, you’re not getting enough. Aim for a minimum of .8 to 1 gram per pound of goal weight. That might sound like a lot, but if you break it down into manageable chunks, it’s much easier to get there.

For example: if someone who is 160 pounds wants to lose weight and reach a goal weight of 140, aim for 112-140 grams of protein. if eating 3 meals a day, it’s pretty easy to get 35-50 grams of protein in each meal. 1 palm-sized serving of chicken has about 20-25 grams of protein, plus any sides you might have like beans, grains, will have extra protein.

Recover Better

Make recovery a priority. Sleep 7-9 hours a night, do some light movement on your non-training days (yoga, light cardio, stretching, etc.) and you’ll reach your goals faster and stay in the game longer.

Sleep is like maintenance for your body, repairing muscle tissue, regulating hormones, and various other functions. Don’t neglect it. Also, movement focused on recovery helps sore muscles heal faster. If you’ve ever were sore from a workout, you might notice you get sorer after sitting for a while. Movement will help break up tight tissue by improving blood flow to the sore muscles.

In truth, strength training for women is no different from anyone else. Lift challenging weights, do it frequently and consistently, eat enough protein, and recover from it. Rinse and repeat!