Most ladies starting out in the weight room are doing it wrong.
There, I said it!
Now, please don’t take this the wrong way. Any training is better than no training. Power to you if you have taken the first step to get yourself into the gym. But what I would love to see is more women breaking the stigma of what is ‘ladies training’.
I can honestly say that some of the toughest, strongest people I train ARE women. Some of these guys are FREAKING WARRIORS in the gym! I’ve had housewives squat double bodyweight, do chin ups for days, complete training volumes that would make me sick, and come out the other side ready for more! I have even seen one lady doing banded parallel bar dips, getting smacked in the face (HARD) mid set with that band, only to get an INSTANT BLACK-EYE, shrug it off and do another set. NOT EVEN KIDDING HERE!
Stay with me here ladies as I would really love to help a few of you make some quality changes to your training plans. They might be mistakes now, but if you stick with us we’re going to give you the tools to overcome them.
Mistake #1 – You’re Not Using Enough Weight
The research is very clear here. Unless you’re lifting a weight that challenges you appropriately, don’t expect to get the end result you’re after.
The amount of women I’ve seen doing a dumbbell squat with the pink dumbbells (that probably weigh as much as a can of baked beans) for sets of 50, hoping that the higher rep sets will ‘burn up’ some of the fat from their thigh and butt; drives me mad!!! 😤 😤 😤
Now assuming that like most people, you’ve taken up weight training in the hunt for more lean muscle, strength, confidence and maybe even a little fat loss. If you’re lifting weights that don’t leave you feeling challenged by the end of the set (at least 4 reps away from failure at a minimum), don’t expect much progress beyond newbie gains.
As the saying goes, if it doesn’t challenge you it won’t change you!
Mistake #2 – Not training through a full range of motion
Your range of motion refers to the full movement available to a potential joint or exercise. Let’s take the squat for example. It involves the joints of the hips, knees and ankles. A squat completed with full range of motion will vary a little for everyone, but a good goal for most is to be able to break parallel at the hip joint (relative to the floor), or best case, aim to squat so low that your hamstrings cover your calf muscles.
Make no mistake ladies, going FULL RANGE OF MOTION will always produce greater results in the long run. That goes for strength, fat loss, building lean muscle, joint health, ANYTHING!
The only time this may change is due to injury, individual structures, or if you’re super advanced and you’re choosing to train in a particular range for a purpose.
Notice that I didn’t say anywhere there that ‘pulses’ in the bottom of a squat is good for you? (Cough, body pump, Cough!).
Note: just because some girl with a great ass on Instagram does it, doesn’t make it right….
Mistake #3 – Not prioritizing the right exercises
At some point or another, I believe that most exercises will have a place in a program. But on the other hand, there are times that certain exercises shouldn’t really be in there.
If your goal is to get strong, feel amazing and lean up, I hate to say it but the butt and thigh abduction machine isn’t your best place to start. Yeah, yeah. I know it burns, but as we established, that really doesn’t mean SQUAT!
When starting out in the weight room, it’s my strong belief that your program should achieve 2 major things:
- Teach you movement literacy – Basically, teaching you how to use muscles and joints the right way, and start to learn some of the major lifts you’ll be focusing on in the future.
- Generally, prepare (GPP) you for future training phases – this means that your program should be built to progressively bring you from newbie to Wonder-Woman in a safe, effective manner. It should be increasing your ability to handle the workouts (increased work capacity), and give you confidence that you can handle the challenges that future programs will hold.
At some point, near any exercise is going to be a good fit. Making sure you’re choosing the right ones at the right time will go a long way to your results, and keeping you injury free in the long run.
Ok, so now you’ve got yourself some new-found knowledge, you’re kicking a few nasty gym habits and you’re ready to make some real changes in the weight room. Look at you all pumped up and ready to go! Now go get it!
Want more information on how the team at Performance Personal Training can help you achieve your goals, contact us and we’ll be in touch! We’ve got our PT Foundations packages that are ready to give you the advice and experience that will move you closer to your goals.
Maybe you want to see some of the amazing transformations of women who decided to take our advice above ☝🏼? Great. Head to the Testimonials Page.