Wednesday, June 10, 2009

For The Ladies

I had a request from a female reader of this blog to post some more female oriented training advice on here, and I would be happy to accommodate. In this post I'll cover three things women should try and do to get the body they want.
  1. People always seem to think that since women are different from men, they need to train a different way. I don't believe this is true. Alot of women I see in the gym have this routine: "run" on the elliptical for half an hour, do some shoulder raises with 5 pound dumbbells, do endless crunches to get a toned mid-section, then call it a day. On one hand, it is nice to see women getting into the gym these days, especially when it can be a bit intimidating with loud men running around who have been attacked by the sleeve monster (poor sleeveless souls). However, I believe that to get the results you want, you can learn a lesson from some of these men (and by men, I don't mean the guy with the popped collar doing calf raises on a Smith machine.) I mean the guys that are doing their deadlifts, Romanian deadlifts (great for having a sexy butt, just look at mine when you get a chance), squats, rows and presses. Basically, every lift should be as close to incorporating total body as possible. To make your entire body look good, you need to work your entire body. Don't believe me? The New Rules of Lifting for Women says different (and it's a pretty good read too. I say buy it.)
  2. Do planks instead of crunches. I'm not saying to completely shun them, but your ab program should not be based entirely on them. The planks will both strengthen AND flatten the stomach while alsoworking the posterior chain (or the muscles in the back of the body). For some good progressions and exercises, check out this article by coach Nick Tumminello.
  3. This is the most important/neglected/counter-intuitive part of training for either of the sexes. Brace have to EAT. Starving yourself will not help you, as John Alvino says in this guest post on Jason Ferrugia's site. Your metabolism will slow down, thus burning LESS calories throughout the day. Follow these guidelines for maintaining a healthy looking physique while actually consuming more than a crouton and celery at dinner:
  • Eat breakfast-this will ramp up the metabolism that has been dormant all night long.
  • Eat 5-7 smaller meals a day-this will keep the metabolism burning all day, which will help shed fat and allow you to stay thin.
  • Eat protein at every meal-protein has the highest thermic value of any macronutrient, meaning it actually heats up the body, allowing you to burn calories. Aim for about .8-1 gram per pound of bodyweight a day.
  • Front load your carbs-eat most of your carbs in the morning and less during the day. This will teach your body to use fat for energy later in the day, since that is what you will end up consuming mostly throughout the day.

That's it for this post. Until next time, be strong.

P.S. Check out these site's for more info.

1 comment:

  1. Loved the entry, and I have a few additions. I'm a self-proclamed gym rat who gets stares from men and women because I'm workin out pretty hard, not because I'm strutting my stuff in a pink sports bra and spandex spankies. What constitutes these "hard" workouts? Explosive movements (which you seem to be an advocate of as well, high five), maintaining a moderate to heavy level of cardio throughout the entire workout, no matter how tired I am, and heavy weights. It really aggravates me when women say something along the lines of "oh I don't want to bulk up." Trust me honey, five pounds will probably add little to your workout. So that's my take on the working out part, as a woman. Love the part on the eliptical- I see too many women spending an hour on the eliptical going slightly faster than a snail, and then completely ignoring the free weights. Free weights are the essence of my workout, and I have the muscles to prove it!
    As for nutrition, carbs are IMPORTANT. Mr. Atkin died for a reason. And not only are carbohydrates very important (the right kinds of course), fats are too. I hate watching my fellow females' eyes go straight to the fat content of a food package. Fat as part of a diet is like oil in a car, it keeps all of the parts running smoothly. There are definitely different types of fats, but the good kinds probably won't end up on the hips (as long as you're working out of course).
    That's my rant. Keep up the good work!