How often do you find a great strength training guide online and it’s aimed at muscly men. I’m right in saying it’s all the time, isn’t it ladies? They’re out there looking for huge gains and wanting bigger arms than our torsos.
But that just isn’t us is it?
Strength training doesn’t have to be all about having the Rock sized muscles or having to bulk for ages. However, if you are wanting to get toned and build a little muscle, then you have come to the right place.
There are so many of us driven women out there wanting new and exciting ways to exercise that also fit around a busy life schedule, and we’ve got just the thing.
Without further ado, here is your ultimate guide for strength training at home.
Why should you strength train?
In recent times, an increasing number of women are taking themselves to body pump sessions, following YouTube workouts and online classes. These are usually the women that are worried about lifting weights.
Only a few women actually want to gain muscle anyway! In saying that though, long gone are the days when people believed that women shouldn’t be lifting weights. Yay for us! We’ve found that this means those women who were strength training at home are venturing out to the gym.
It has to be said again though, strength training isn’t all about trying to be bulky like the Hulk. It’s instead about improving muscle definition, enhancing cardiovascular health and protecting your whole body by gaining strength.
It’s not even about getting toned up either, it’s more about looking after yourself. Strength training can help prevent injury and help you to maintain a healthy and strong lifestyle.
All you need to do is take a quick scroll through social media to see a whole bunch of women all over the world feeling empowered by strength training. You’ll be thanking us for this guide later, I can assure you, ladies.
Our guide to strength training
You can be in the gym for two minutes and become muddled with all the terminology used by avid gym-goers. So before we really get stuck in, what is ‘strength training’ exactly?
In the simplest terms, strength training is any workout that is designed to increase and enhance your strength. As an example, you can boost your cardiovascular fitness by running on a treadmill, whilst strength training will increase your overall strength.
Usually, strength training involves weighted compound movements like these below:
- Glute bridges
It’s not a problem if you don’t have any weights, there are bodyweight exercises you can do too. Or if you’d like to, for a small cost you can buy yourself some resistance bands. Where possible, however, it is best to train with weights.
Let’s now take a closer look into strength training and what we aim to achieve.
Will strength training add bulk?
Oh, a common worry for many women who want to get themselves into shape. This is a popular misconception about working out at home (or in a gym) and lifting weights.
The truth is, there is no hard evidence that building strength will leave you like Arnold Schwarzenegger.
In fact, research has shown that strength training has the power to increase bone strength, improve joint function and reduce the risk of injury – while increasing muscle mass (which is not LOADS) and improving your metabolism.
If you are trying to lose weight, running on a treadmill can be good for burning calories, but weightlifting can also be effective in reducing body fat and helping you get toned. If you want to be lean, outlined and athletic, strength training is for you. Don’t worry, ladies, there’s no concern here about getting bulky!
It is also important to combine regular exercise with a healthy and varied diet.
What type of exercises should you do?
It’s easy to do cardio at the gym and leave yourself feeling absolutely drained. On the other hand, strength training has a relatively low impact level (so you shouldn’t be super out of breath) and brings rewarding results. But it definitely won’t deliver overnight!
Also Read: How much weight can you lose in a month?
But don’t let that kill your motivation, ladies. As soon as you feel the fire, you’ll be coming back for more! This means that you should not be overwhelmed by strength training, but you will experience the steady burn of various muscle groups.
Here are some of the most common strength training exercises to include in your workout:
- Squats (for the booty!)
- Bent over row
- Bicep curls
- Glute bridges
- Overhead tricep extensions
- Cable machine rows
How you structure your strength training is pretty much down to you.
If you’re just getting started, you may want to focus on your sets and reps. To begin with, kick-off with 5 to 7 sets, with 8 to 12 reps for each exercise – 3 to 4 times through. Something like this:
- Rep one: Squats: 8 to 12 reps
- Rep two: Row: 8 to 12 reps
- Rep three: Glute bridge: 8 to 12 reps
- Rep four: Bicep curl: 8 to 12 reps
- Rep five: Lunge: 8 to 12 reps
If you’re new to lifting weights, start off slow at around 5kg per arm and gradually increase the weight as you build strength.
Benefits of building strength
Although we’ve already talked about the many benefits above, we could be here all day discussing the benefits of strength training in detail for you!
Also Read: What is a calorie deficit and how can it benefit weight loss?
Simply put, it helps prevent injuries, helps you lose weight and tone up and, of course, strengthens. As well as improving mood, mental health and reducing stress.
In addition, strength training has the potential to improve strength, flexibility, speed and neuromuscular control. So leave the workouts that promise those crazy abs in days and opt for a workout full of strength to get you moving.
Cons of building strength: Are there any?
The biggest concern of most women when starting a strength training plan is the potential to gain weight in the form of bulked-up muscle. Of course, if you want to build a lot of muscle, you can with more reps, weights and so on.
But overall you won’t be getting HUGE, don’t worry! With the right form, you can reduce the risk of injury. There are so many tutorials on how to improve your form available online.
Not sure how to get stuck in? Why not book PT lessons at your local gym?
Our top 5 tips for beginners
1. Find a PT or book a gym induction
If you are not sure how to use a specific machine at the gym – ask. Book an induction at your local gym or book a session with a personal trainer to help you learn how to do the movements safely.
2. Ask lots of questions
Whether you are looking for help from a local PT or talking to an online coach, don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions. Getting the right technique and finding what works for you is the key to making your new exercise plan safe and successful.
3. Work with what you have
As we mentioned, you can do intense training without a gym full of weights. As long as there is some resistance, you can use things from home, your own body weight or indulge (go on, treat yourself!) in some weights or resistance bands.
Also Read: How to rediscover your workout motivation
It’s time to be creative with items around the house! Try water bottles, flour bags or even cans as weights.
4. Be consistent
It may not happen overnight, but you will start to see how your body is changing after committing to your new strength training. Keep it up, ladies!
5. Get ready to learn!
Don’t be afraid to follow online tutorials to perfect your form. As well as this, don’t let others put you off from lifting weights! While this may be a bit of unfamiliar territory to begin with, in a few weeks you will feel great!
Ready to smash your goals?
Strength training can be the answer to crushing your health goals! Remember that good form and consistency are key.
Don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions and ask a PT for help to make sure you are doing the moves correctly. You got it, ladies!
But if you need a little help to support your weight loss, Zotrim is always there to help you achieve your goals faster than ever before. Our 100% natural ingredients have been carefully selected to help you burn fat, reduce your appetite and speed up your metabolism.
Crush it, ladies!