Women and Strength Training
Women and strength training
Strength training (also called ‘resistance training’& ‘weight training’), is an exercise in which muscles of the body are forced to contract under tension using weights (dumbbells, bars etc.), body weight or other devices (resistance machines) in order to stimulate growth, strength, power and endurance.
More women are strength training now than ever before, and the days of aerobics, and just pounding away aimlessly on a treadmill are starting to be a thing of the past! However, a lot of women still don't understand how to strength train properly and achieve the results they really want.
The basis of weight training success is a combination of factors sometimes called FITT.
Frequency of training - how often
Intensity of training - how hard
Time spent - session time
Type of exercise - which exercises
Many hundreds of exercises exist to target many muscles and muscle groups and it
can get more than a little confusing for the average beginner to choose.
Exercise variations come with free weights, machines, racks and frames, body-only exercises, bands, balls and more. So, the type of exercise can be classified by equipment type, muscle target or even fitness goal, for example, aerobic or strength exercise,
treadmill or lat pulldown machine.
Compound exercises are those that involve more than one joint, and often several large muscle groups. Examples: squat, deadlift, and split squat
Isolation exercises. An isolation exercise is one involving only one joint and which
usually targets an isolated muscle group. Examples are the dumbbell arm curl for
biceps and the leg extension machine for quadriceps.
Which Exercises Should I Do?
This depends on what your goals are, but for women who want to get strong and defined a combination of both compound and isolation exercises is probably the best and most effective approach.
Strength Training with The Proper Splits
The typical gym trainee should only be using one of two training splits: total body workouts (which aren't a split at all) or upper/lower splits in which they train upper body one day and lower body the next. These two training splits are the only two the typical gym trainee with ever need.
These splits will allow you to train your muscles with enough frequency. Plus, you will be stimulating a lot of muscle mass each training session so your metabolism with be elevated longer. Furthermore, these two splits will help you build a lean and strong body much faster than any other split.
Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is the pain and stiffness felt in muscles several hours to days after strenuous exercise.
The soreness is felt most strongly 24 to 72 hours after the exercise. It is thought to be caused by eccentric (lengthening) exercise, which causes small-scale damage (microtrauma) to the muscle fibres. After such exercise, the muscle adapts rapidly to prevent muscle damage, and thereby soreness, if the exercise is repeated.
The soreness usually disappears within about 72 hours after appearing.
To help ease the effects of DOMS you need to try and increases blood flow to the affected muscles. So low-intensity activity (walking, gentle stretching), massage, or hot baths, may all help somewhat.
*If you do have health issues or long-term injuries, get your GP’s approval before starting any exercises or nutritional programmes*
Written by: Jayne Hartley L3 Personal trainer & Liz Carter L3 Personal Trainer Norse Personal training