At Fitness Institute, we were taught in our first class that women should exercise just like men.  There’s not much of a gender difference.  A muscle is a muscle.  Since men and women both have to do the same things in real life (walk, push stuff, pull stuff, etc.), they should exercise the same way.

The only reason there’s any question about this is because ignorant marketing companies have pushed stupid products where women are advised to be terrified of lifting any weight over 3lbs.  Apparently, if you pick up that 5lb dumbbell, you will morph into the Hulk.  No woman wants to become a ripped monster with a green skin tone.  There aren’t any matching L’Oreal shades.

In our Strength and Conditioning class, we visited a lot of gyms in the Boca Raton area.  One woman in our class asked over and over, “Is this exercise for women?”  The answer was invariably the same.  “Yes!”  Here are a few ways to implement this in your own exercise regimen.

 

1.  Women are not limited to machines.  Machines are for people with very weak cores or zealous bodybuilders who want to make one specific muscle grow.  You’re not restricted to the abductor and adductor machines.

 

2.  Pick up some dumbbells.  You can start light.  There’s no shame in using the 5lb ones as long as that weight challenges you.

 

3.  When there is no challenge in the right repetition range, there is no benefit.  You won’t gain the muscle it takes to increase your metabolism if you do 100 repetitions with a light weight.  It’s simply physiologically impossible.  Use a weight that makes it very difficult to complete somewhere between 8 and 12 repetitions.  If you can do number 13, it had better be ridiculously difficult… And you need to pick up a bigger weight for your next set.

 

4.  Never forget that adding muscle increases your metabolism.  If you want to have a fast metabolism, you have to do what people who have muscle mass do.  As a female, your hormone levels will keep you from becoming the hulk.  The heavy lifting will make you look like a fitness model.  Unless you mess with your hormones by injecting steroids, it is impossible for you to become bulky.

Sadly, the misguided thought that weight lifting instantly makes women “bulk up” has caused women to stay away from the very exercise programs that will make them feel and look the way they want to.  Beauty is found in having at least some level of strength.  The woman who has no strength is shapeless.  I’m very confident that is not what women want.

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