Undoubtedly, if you find what seems like a solid strength training guide on the Internet, it is usually aimed at enthusiastic men who want to exercise at home. They usually look for the highest muscle growth, with arms that are larger than our entire body.
The problem is, ladies, we don’t want that!
But strength training doesn’t have to be the equivalent of Superman’s muscles, nor does it mean you have to pack a lot of (muscle) weight on. However, if you want to build some muscle and tone yourself, you are in the right place.
With so many enthusiastic women looking for new ways to tackle their busy schedules and incorporate effective exercise, we thought it would make sense to create this guide!
So here it is: A complete guide for strength training at home (or even in the gym).
Why should you strength train?
In recent years, more and more women have attended body pumping sessions, online lessons and even dedicate their time to watching workouts on YouTube. These have usually become the go-to options for women who aren’t so sure about lifting weights.
A couple of women want to gain muscle, sure! But the days when it was believed that women should not gain muscle (and strength train) are long gone (hooray!). This means that the number of women who do strength training at home (and at the gym/classes) is increasing. But strength training is not about trying to become the Hulk, but about improving muscle definition, improving cardiovascular health and protecting the whole body by building strength.
But it’s not just about increasing how toned you are. But instead a new route for taking care of yourself. In fact, strength training can help prevent injuries and continue to promote a strong and healthy lifestyle.
A quick scroll through social networks and you will meet thousands – if not millions – of women around the world who feel strong through strength training. Believe me, you will thank me for this guide later!
Here’s how to weight train at home
Five minutes in the gym and it’s easy to get confused by the terminology used by gym buffs. So before we dive in, what is “strength training”?
Simply put, strength training is every exercise designed to build and improve your strength. For example, running on a treadmill can help improve cardiovascular health. While strength training can improve your overall strength.
Typically, strength training involves weighted compound moves, such as:
- Glute bridges
If you have no weights, no problem. You can also strength train using your own body weight or buy resistance bands online at a low price. However, exercising with your own weight is our highest possible recommendation.
Let’s take a closer look at strength training and what we’re setting ourselves up to achieve!
Strength training: Will it add bulk?
Oh, a common concern for many women who want to lose weight and tone up via strength training. This is a popular misconception about working out at home with weights.
The truth is, there is no hard evidence that building strength will leave you feeling (or looking) 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 (enough to get toned) 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 into shape. If your aim is to slim down and tone up, you’re in the right place!
It is also important to combine regular exercise with a healthy and varied diet.
Hitting the right strength training exercises
It’s easy to work yourself ragged doing cardio at the gym. On the other hand, strength training is a small impact exercise (so you shouldn’t be gasping for breath!) and brings rewarding results.
But keep going, ladies. Consistency is key here!
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
Now you know what to do, how does it look as part of a workout? You can check out this bodyweight workout for starters.
If you’re new to lifting weights, 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
Start off slow at around 5kg per arm and gradually increase the weight as you build strength.
As we’ve already mentioned, there are plenty of benefits of strength training!
Simply put, it helps prevent injuries, helps you lose weight and tone up and, of course, strengthens your entire body (and bones). As well as improving mood, mental health and reducing stress.
Also Read: How to kick sugar cravings to the curb
In addition, strength training has the potential to improve strength, flexibility, speed and neuromuscular control.
Are there any cons?
The biggest concern for many when starting a strength training plan is the potential to gain lots 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 having to squeeze through doorways anytime soon, don’t worry! With the right form, you can reduce the risk of injury.
Not sure if to give strength training a go? Why not book a couple of PT sessions at your local gym?
Our top 5 tips for weight training beginners
Contemplating getting started with strength training? Amazing! With these 5 tips, you’ll be on the path to success in no time.
1. Book a PT session or gym induction
To help prevent injury, it’s important to learn proper form. Book a PT session or induction at your local gym to get to know weights and machines.
2. Ask plenty of questions
Whether you’re seeking the help of a PT locally or speaking to an online coach, don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions. Getting the right technique and finding out what works for you is key to committing to your new workout plan safely and successfully.
3. Be inventive if you don’t have weights
No weights? No problem! It’s time to get inventive with household items. Or why not treat yourself to some home weights or resistance bands?
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 of lifting weights! It’s definitely a learning curve to perfect your form and create the perfect workout plan. While it may be slightly unknown territory to begin with, you’ll feel amazing in a couple of weeks!
Ready to CRUSH strength training?
Ignore what the myths lead you to believe! Strength training ISN’T just for men! In fact, women definitely do it better…
Remember, if you book a PT or induction, don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions and spend the time perfecting your form! Need a hand in smashing your goals? PhenGold is here!
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