Most people feel comfortable with aerobic workouts. They simply know how to do it. After all, almost everyone has been running or walking since childhood. Strength training, especially for beginners, is a different thing. Many women first start with the misconception that they’ll build big bulky muscles. You can, but it’s really hard for women to do because of sexual hormones. It takes far more dedication, a special diet and longer hours in the gym for women to achieve bulging muscles. Misconceptions that often stop people from strength building are the reason I created this blog. Everyone needs strength training.
Most women want strength and toning, not bulk.
If you want to build strength, lift something heavy. It’s that simple. However, for toning the body and ensuring you have balance, you need a good exercise program. Always start with what you can do and push toward exhaustion for strength building. It increases muscle size only slightly in men and even less in women. To tone muscles, lift lighter. Go at about 70 to 80 percent of your ability. If you don’t have equipment at home, fill water bottles or use soup cans. Do as many as six sets of 12 repetitions. Toning muscles for women and building them for men is more about higher repetitions with less weight.
Bodyweight exercises are excellent ways to build strength.
My DVDs are all about exercises you can do at home without equipment and how to use them to get a toned, beautiful body. Strength training isn’t just about weights, it includes exercises like push-ups, squats and lunges. One simple exercise is the plank, which can be modified based on your ability. The key is to have both fast and slow twitch exercises in your repertoire. Fast twitch muscle fibers take over when you do high intensity movements, such as jumping or do circuit training where you do one exercise back-to-back. Slow twitch is low intensity exercises that are done for longer periods, such as walking. Fast twitch builds bigger muscles.
Go slow at first and learn the proper form.
I can’t emphasize form enough, especially with strength training. If you can’t do a regular push-up without compromising form, don’t do it. Instead, do the modified form on your hands and knees and build to the traditional push-up. Doing each exercise correctly may mean doing only a few at first or taking it slower to ensure you have the right form. However, having the right form means you’ll progress faster and reduce any potential for injury.
- When you’re doing strength training, or any kind of workout, always warm up before you start and cool down afterward. Don’t forget to include flexibility training in your workout or you’ll lose your range of motion.
- While my DVDs already have a great program for you to use, if you want to do your own at home, do a circuit of exercise combinations for both strength and cardio, that include push-ups, squats, walking lunges, a plank, jumping jacks and dumbbell rows.
- Never do strength training for the same muscle groups two days in a row. You need to rest your muscles so they can heal. Give them at least 48 hours and as much as 72. You can do strength training every day if you’re working different body areas, like upper body one day, lower body the next.
- Strength training burns tons of calories as it builds muscle tissue. The more muscle tissue you have, the easier it is to lose weight, since muscle tissue burns more calories than fat tissue does.
For more information, contact us today at Get RIPPED! Jari Love