How Women Can Get Started In The Weight Room Successfully
I just read an interesting statistic saying injuries to women from the weight room have jumped 63%. This is mainly due to the fact that more and more women are getting into the weight room rather than sticking to the treadmills. This is a great thing!
However, the biggest mistake that women make and even professional trainers is progressing them too quickly into weights. You can cut this injury rate down to less than 10% with the right progression.
So what do I mean by progression and what should you do?
Step 1: Start With Bodyweight Exercises
Before you ever come close to using weights, master your own bodyweight. Your bodyweight can give you an amazing workout with more versatility than you can imagine.
The best type of workout to go with are circuit training workouts. These are fast and highly effective at not only burning fat, but they can build strength and lean muscle mass quickly.
Step 2: Master Form With Bodyweight Exercises
You need to learn to do all of the classic exercises and master form so you don’t have to think about it.
Master these exercises…
- Pushups (no knees on the ground)
- Squats and squat jumps
- Lunges and walking lunges
- Horizontal jumps
- Single leg squat
- Pike pushup
- Plus a few others.
When you can perfect your form on these exercises without even thinking about it… your transition to weights will be easy and incredibly safe.
Step 3: Build Key Strength and Endurance
Using bodyweight moves like we just discussed above, you can built the right types of strength to make weights much easier to get into.
I’m talking about key core strength as well as upper body strength. Women are notorious for having upper body strength that is really low. However, pushups and things like pull-ups will really help you.
I like to have barriers (levels of skill) that you have to pass before you should use weights:
- Do 10 perfect big girl pushups
- Do 8 to 10 chinups
- Do 50 squats in good form
When you can do these things, you know you’re ready to add some weight training into your workout schedule.
Step 4: Make Weight Training For The Big Muscles
When you start to get into weight training, keep it for the big muscles only. Here’s what I mean…
When I see other women in the weight room training, I always see these same mistakes. The biggest one is working on small muscles way too much. Small muscles are things like biceps and triceps.
Rather make your entire base of weight training around big moves like…
- The squat
- The deadlift
- The step up
- Bench press
Notice these are the same and very similar exercises as you were working on with just bodyweight. These exercises target the muscles which sculpt and build a strong body… plus they work the most muscle.
Think about it like this…
Your bicep is is maybe 6 inches long and a couple inches wide. It’s pretty small. Look at it compared against your thigh. Your thigh muscle complex is huge and it will work more muscle and burn more calories than your bicep every could.
Even more… your small muscle get worn out so fast that they can ruin the progression through your body. That is a topic for another article however.
99% Of Women Need To Start With Bodyweight Circuits FIRST
I’ve training hundreds of women and nearly all of them had to start with bodyweight. This isn’t a bad thing, it’s really a great thing. It will let you see faster results and then when you do get into the weight room, you’ll be nearly a pro.
If you have any questions, make sure you sign up for my newsletter. Also consider Fit Women’s Weekly because one of the bonuses you can get is a whole system of weight training workouts which are all proven.