Girls Who Lift
Strength Isn't Just For Men
There is a misconception out there, and that is that men and women need to train differently.
There is another misconception out there that claims men and women need to train exactly the same,
As always, the answer is somewhere in the middle. .
The CORE of the workout should be the same, regardless of sex. The difference is in the frills.
At the risk of being too general (I'm a risk taking mother lover), the following are components of a workout that everyone should include, whether you use the restrooms with the triangle body or the straight blocky body.
The components above are important in any workout, and should make up 80% of your workout. The other 20% is where the sexes typically part ways.
The fellas tend to....
While the ladies tend to...
Since this is about workouts for women, we will ignore what the fellas want for now.
(Sorry guys, I'll get a next time. Promise.)
NOTE: Be sure you are cleared to exercise by a Dr. before attempting any exercises or workout programs in this or any other article.
If you aren't sure how to do an exercise safely, have a professional check your form before continuing with your workouts.
Basically, be safe, and don't hurt yourself.
Round butts are all the rage, and they are one of the most common goals women have when it comes to training their bodies.
So how do you train your butt effectively? Here are a few movements you should be including as the icing on the cake of your workouts.
Bulgarian Split Squats
These are a nasty exercise that will hit your glutes hard. This exercise is taxing, and challenging, but what they deliver in terms of glute gains makes them worth your while.
Here is how to do them.
Also known as hip extensions, these come in many different variations. All of them work your glutes effectively because they all share a very similar movement pattern.
To keep it simple, hip extension is the act of pushing your hips forward, or extending your leg back (raising your leg in front of you would be the opposite movement)
This is the main function of the powerful gluteus maximus, the largest muscle in the butt. Hip extension variations work your body in this exact movement pattern.
Here are a few examples.
Hip Thrust From the Floor
Hip Thrust From a Chair
1 Leg Hip Thrust
Barbell Hip Thrust
Rounding Out Your Glute Work
Finally, we need to hit the often forgotten about Gluteus Medeus.
This muscle is found on the upper/outside of your glutes, and it's primary function is hip abduction, which means it lifts your leg away from your body.
The following exercise is an effective way to get some extra glute med work at the end of your workout.
These are called fire hydrants because...well....you will look like a dog peeing on a fire hydrant when you do them. Don't let that deter you though, they are still a great exercise.
The next most sought after trophy goal for most women is shapely thighs.
This is going to be accomplished during the bulk of the workout, using the squat, deadlift and single leg exercise variations.
The difference would be slightly more lower body work volume and slightly less upper body volume than I would recommend for (some) men.
This feels like an appropriate time to mention that this can vary on a case by case basis, but talking in general terms, this is how I recommend you approach things.
A Small Waist
This one is easy.
It's really that simple. The size of your waist will be determined by your genetics (size of your frame), and how much body fat or muscle you carry on your mid section.
Because of this, I recommend only a little bit of ab work for the purpose of maintaining proper core function and general stability during larger movements.
Do you need to worry about doing too much core work and your waist blowing up? Probably not, but if your abs are functioning during your bigger movements and providing the necessary stability, your time and effort are better spent else where.
Pulling It All Together
"All this is great. Now what should I do with it?"
Alright, let's build a sample workout together.
First, we established that the bulk of a woman's workout will be the same as a man's, so let' start with the bulk of the workouts movements. Let's go with:
For the icing, let's add in some extra glute work. We'll be sure to include some glute max and med work.
Now we know that you are prioritizing your lower body in order to get the glute and thigh gainz, so we will keep this in mind when choosing the sets and reps of your workout. We will also prioritize the lower body work. Let's call it....
Dumbbell Squat: 4 sets of 8, 90 secs rest
Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift: 4 sets of 10, 90 secs rest
Bulgarian Split Squat: 3 sets of 12/leg, 60 secs rest
Pair the following exercises as a superset:
Overhead barbell press: 3x10
Seated Cable Row: 3x10, rest 1 minute between super sets
Let's finish the workout off with a short glute focused circuit. We will even include a little ab work.
1 Leg Hip Thrust: 3x15/leg
Ab Wheel Rollout: 3x10
Fire Hydrant: 3x15/leg, rest 1 min between each circuit
The old- school thought that women should just lift pink dumbbells or else they'll get "too bulky" has been proven false time and time again. But the thought that women should train exactly like men isn't exactly true either.
There are differences, although subtle. These slight tweaks to your program can make a huge difference in the way your body looks, and how quickly you achieve your personal physique goals.
"Training with Mitch, I lost inches AND felt like a superhero. His workout and nutrition progressions are very effective, he drives an active community, and overall Mitch is an attentive and motivating fitness expert!" - Rory
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