Phuket: Lean, firm and sexy: weight training for women
PHUKET: It's a myth that only men should work out with weights and that woman should stick to group classes.
Patrick du Preez
Monday 25 February 2013, 09:23AM
In fact, woman that work out with weights often have firmer and more toned muscles than their counterparts in group classes.
Mind you, I have seen the fairer sex participating in group classes with a tremendous endurance that would make my knees wobble and lungs gasp for fresh air.
If you see how well-toned female gymnasts, sprinters, tennis players, swimmers and triathletes are from constant, hard, intense training, that often includes working out with weights, it's no wonder that they are in such great shape.
Lifting weights can be as important to your overall health as aerobic exercise.
It can help you build a toned, sculpted, feminine body, and build stronger bones.
In addition, it can boost your metabolism, making you not only look but feel great, too.
Strength training or resistance training will help you reduce your overall body fat, it will help you develop a stronger heart and further slow down osteoarthritis, osteoporosis and muscle wasting as you get older.
Frequent progressive weight training with basic compound exercises will not make a woman big and bulky.
The only thing that gives women the ‘bulky look’ is excessive body fat. If you really want to get that toned look you need to work out with weights to help you lose that excess body fat.
Strength training is not time consuming. If you perform a proper strength routine workout you will achieve more in a shorter period of time than plodding away on a treadmill.
Weight training is quite safe as long as you have been taught the proper form. As time progresses you need to train heavier to stimulate and strengthen your muscles.
You might think that working out with weights will cause your muscles to bulk up like male bodybuilders. This will not happen as the hormone testosterone is much lower in females.
Female bodybuilders will need to take supplements to increase their testosterone levels if they want to bulk up and increase muscle size.
Ideally a combination of both aerobic and strength training will help you develop the firm, lean and toned muscles that you desire.
A good resistance training session with weights or bands/straps will help you burn those additional calories. You will not only burn fat but will further improve your metabolism.
The more lean muscles you have the more fat you will burn. A woman who begins lifting weights will soon find out that the benefits and results are amazing.
Cardiovascular exercises by themselves can only do so much – but if you really want to reshape and tone your body, weight training is a must.
You can achieve a great physique and keep your feminine curves by working with a reasonable amount of weight.
Here are five great machines in the gym to get started. After three to four weeks do two sets, increase the weight and do 8-10 repetitions.
1. Cable Tower – Bicep Curls
2. Lat Pull Down – Latissimus (Lats) / Biceps
3. Leg Press – Quads / Glutes
4. Smith Machine – Chest Press (Pectorals, Triceps)
5. Shoulder Press – Deltoids
If you're a beginner, get a personal trainer for the first few sessions so you can learn proper techniques and posture to avoid injuries.
When starting out, aim to work out 2-3 times a week. Beginners should do one set on each machine, with 8-15 repetitions and 30-60 second breaks between each exercise.
Beginner’s Strength Training Tips
Learn proper form – When starting to work out in the gym with weights get an instructor to show and demonstrate the proper and correct technique from the start.
Stick to the basics – five to eight different exercises.
Many fitness centres have selectorised strength machines – these are often set up in a circuit sequence and are ideal for starting out.
Be consistent and don't give up
Set motivating goals
Patrick du Preez
MD, Club Asia Fitness, Royal Phuket City Hotel, Phuket Town
The opinions and advice contained in this column are those of the author only. The Phuket News is not responsible for the outcome or results of following any advice in any situation.