How to Lift Like a Girl: A Guide For Women
The first thing you need to do when it comes to lifting weights is get comfortable with your body. You don’t want to be scared off because you’re afraid of hurting yourself or getting hurt. If you have any doubts, then stop right now and go home and practice some basic exercises until those fears are gone. Then come back here and continue reading.
Now, I’m going to give you some tips on how to build muscle while maintaining a healthy weight loss routine. These are things that will make sure that you never gain fat from lifting weights. They’ll also keep your muscles strong and prevent them from atrophy (shrinking).
If you’ve been lifting weights for awhile, chances are you already know all these things. But if you haven’t, let me tell you why I think they’re so important.
1) Muscle Growth Is Not Just About Weight Lifting!
I see too many guys who only train their abs once a week and then forget about them the rest of the time. That’s just silly. You should be engaging your core (abs, back, etc.) in everyday movements.
Whether you’re picking up something heavy from the floor or walking across the room, you should be bracing your core. I’m not talking about rigidly staying still and sucking in your stomach. I’m talking about engaging your muscles so they can help you perform the task at hand.
2) Drink Lots Of Water!
I can’t stress this enough. Your muscles are composed of mostly water. When you get dehydrated, your muscles lose their plumpness and look deflated. This is bad for several reasons.
If you want people to admire your muscles, you don’t want them to lose that full look and have them shrivel up to nothing.
Also, a loss of water weight can cause your body to malfunction in other ways. A lot of guys will complain that they feel tired or dizzy if they don’t start drinking water again.
3) Eat Healthy!
You’re probably sick of hearing this, but your body is what it eats. And since your muscles are composed mostly of protein, you need to be sure you’re getting enough of it. Also, your body needs a wide variety of nutrients to keep those muscles growing properly. If you stick to a strict diet, then your body is only going to get stronger.
One of the most important parts of muscle maintenance and growth is getting enough rest. Your muscles grow while you sleep! If you’re in the gym for hours a day or constantly pushing yourself during everyday activities, then your muscles never have a chance to get the sleep they need. Make sure you’re getting at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night.
Now that you know the basics, let’s take a look at exactly what programs you can run to see maximum results. The one thing all these have in common is they’re full body. This means you’re engaging your muscles in every part of your body. You don’t want your muscles to get used to working only in certain ways.
By training them from every angle, you force them to grow in different ways so they’re always getting stronger.
The Weider System
The biggest thing to remember with this program is that the weight you use doesn’t matter. What matters most is consistency. You always want to be improving and building on the last time you trained that particular bodypart. It doesn’t matter if you can only bench press 10 lb.
If you’ve been benching 20 lb for a couple of months and can now bench press 30 lb, keep that weight there for another month or two and then add more weight. You’ll be surprised at how fast your muscles grow.
The Weider System (WEEKLY CYCLE)
* Each week you cycle through these exercises, hitting each muscle group once per week.
* You’ll notice that the first exercise in each group is the biggest and most important exercise. These are the exercises that you should focus most of your attention on. The second exercise is usually a isolation movement that involves just one joint and usually isn’t as taxing as the first movement.
* When cycling through the exercises, start with bench press and move to the next one below. Once you complete all of them, go back to bench press and start from the top again.
Keep your feet flat on the floor and make sure the bench you’re lying on is stable. Keep your head, neck and back straight and lined up. Bend your arms until they’re almost fully extended at the bottom of the movement (your arms should be directly out to your sides at this point). Bring the bar down to your upper chest and then push it back up to the starting position in a straight line.
Focus on using your pectorial muscles to do the work here; don’t use any other body parts or the bench itself to help you lift the weight.
2)CHEST-INCLINE BENCH PRESS:
This is a great way to target the upper chest and improve upper body strength in general. The main difference you’ll notice between this exercise and the last one is that your range of motion is somewhat limited. Lower the bar just past your chest and press it back up to the starting position. Keeping your head, neck and back in the same position that you used for the last exercise, bring the bar down to your upper chest and then push it back up to the starting position in a straight line.
For this exercise you’ll need to use a barbell with power discs. Set the bar up on the power discs and get under it. Your feet should be just outside shoulder width and your knees slightly bent. Hold the bar with your hands just outside shoulder width apart as well.
You want to keep your head, neck and back in the same position as you bend your legs and go down until your thighs are at least parallel to the floor. You’ll know when you’re at parallel because you can see your knees from the side still higher than the top of your toes. When you rise back up move in a steady pace and make sure to keep your head, neck and back in the same position.
4)SHOULDERS-DUMBBELL LATERAL RAISE:
You’ll need two dumbbells for this exercise. Hold one in each hand and sit on a bench with your back against it. Your feet should be flat on the floor and shoulder width apart. Hold the dumbbells with your arms bent and your hands just outside shoulder width apart.
Your palms should be facing each other and the dumbbells should both end up by your sides at the top of the movement. Keep your head, neck and back in the same position as you lift the dumbbells up to ear level with a slight bend in your elbows. Try to move the dumbbells in a straight line and keep them both an equal distance from the side of your body the entire time.
You’ll need a EZ curl bar for this exercise. Hold the bar at your side, your palm facing forward, and keep your head, neck and back in the same position as you bend your arm and bring the bar up to eyebrow level with a slight bend in your elbow.
Sources & references used in this article:
Throw Like a Girl: How to Dream Big and Believe in Yourself by J Finch, A Killion – 2011 – books.google.com
“I can take care of myself” the impact of self-defense training on women’s lives by JA Hollander – Violence Against Women, 2004 – journals.sagepub.com
Weighty matters: Control of women’s access to physical strength by J Brace-Govan – The Sociological Review, 2004 – journals.sagepub.com
Chapter 29 – Women, Team Sports, and the WNBA: Playing Like a Girl: Chapter taken from Handbook of Sports and Media ISBN: 978-0-203-87367-0 by C Ford – 2018 – Simon and Schuster
Bodymakers: A cultural anatomy of women’s body building by D Baroffio-Bota, S Banet-Weiser – Routledge Online Studies on the …, 2012 – Taylor & Francis
Playing like a girl: Transforming our lives through team sports by L Heywood – 1998 – books.google.com
The new encyclopedia of modern bodybuilding by M Betancourt – 2016 – books.google.com