By Jamie Bantleman
UK Personal Trainer
A myth that has been a part of the fitness industry for a long period of time is that women should not weight train due to ‘putting too much muscle on’.
This is, in most cases, close to being impossible due to the hormones that women do and do not possess. Therefore, there isn’t really a specific type of lifting applicable to females – it’s more of a stereotype. Women can train extremely hard – even lift as much as males, yet their body composition will not replicate that of a male bodybuilder.
The ‘male’ hormone, testosterone, and the ‘female’ hormone oestrogen play different roles in the body that causes chemical reactions that create changes to body composition and general health and wellbeing.
The male androgen that increases muscle cell development, fat loss and in some cases cognition. As we get older, testosterone is effected and can be decreased especially in those who live a more sedentary lifestyle.
The female hormone that regulates the reproductive hormones alongside metabolic processes such as bone growth and cholesterol levels. It can also mediate fat metabolism and cognition.
However an excess in estrogen can lead to an increase in body fat percentage.
Why Women Won’t Turn ‘Bulky’
Hormones dictate the rate in which we gain muscle mass. Females, without a high level of testosterone will not apply muscle mass without serious increase in calories intake or of course, the usage of anabolic performance enhancing drugs.
For this reason it maybe be very beneficial for women to spend more time weight training, to help maintain a healthy balance in hormones.
Without the adequate amount of testosterone production it is very unlikely a woman will gain a huge amount of muscle mass to make them appear ‘bulky’.
Therefore, a training plan should be devised to ensure you are lifting weights alongside conditioning/cardio as secondary level of importance.
Ladies may want to develop areas of their bodies, men may not want to.
For example: you may want to focus more on the development of the glutes rather than the biceps and triceps.
Example Training Plan
|Monday||Glutes dominant Leg workout|
|Tuesday||Chest and Shoulders workout|
|Thursday||Quad and Hamstring dominant Leg Workout|
|Saturday||Back and Shoulders workout|
|A1||Wide Stance Barbell Squat||5||40s||3110||10s|
|A2||Sumo Squat with weight belt and dumbbell attached||5||40s||3110||10s|
|A4||DB Long Range Lunge||5||40s||2110||10s|
|A5||High Step Up||5||20s each leg||2010||10s|
|A6||Banded High and Wide Leg Press with 10s isometric hold at bottom of movement||5||10 reps||3-10-0-1||120s|
|A1||Wide Grip Assisted Chin Up||5||8||3110||10s|
|B1||High Face Pull||5||10||3110||10s|
|B2||Seated Side Laterals||5||10||2010||60s|
|C1||Supinated Grip Lat Pull Down||5||12||3010||10s|
|C2||Seated DB Bicep Curl||5||12||3010||60s|
|D1||Duel Rope Tricep Extension||1||D/S||3010||X|
|A1||Flat DB Press||5||8||3110||10s|
|A2||Kneeling Incline Press Up||5||8||3110||60s|
|B1||Seated DB Shoulder Press||5||10||3110||10s|
|B2||Incline DB Chest Press||5||10||2010||60s|
|C1||Seated Cable Flies||5||12||3010||10s|
|C2||Seated Cable Press||5||12||3010||60s|
|D1||Machine Chest Press||1||D/S||3010||X|
|A1||Deadlift Up Set x 3||5||6-8||3010||120|
|B1||Db Walking Lunges||5||20||2010||10s|
|B2||Bulgarian Split Squat||5||10||2010||60s|
|C1||Low Foot Leg Press||5||20||3010||10s|
|C2||Lying Leg Curl||5||8-10||3110||60s|