How should women train for sexy curves?

You don’t want to look like a man….

That is probably why you avoid lifting heavy weights. And as a woman your anatomy is different to a man’s, so you should train differently, right? Wrong!

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Aside from the obvious gender differences the female body is not that different to a man’s body. This is especially true when considering the types of muscle fibres and their response to exercise.

For most women lack understanding about the different muscle fibre types and responses to training is why women pour hours, days, weeks, months, and even years into training without seeing great discernible results. To correct this problem, you must learn about muscle fibres and training responses.

Also check out Why women should lift weights

There are three types of muscle fibres Type I (Slow Twitch), Type IIa (Fast Twitch A), Type IIB (Fast Twitch B). The Type I fibres make up about 45% of the total muscle tissue of the body. These fibres do the work for any cardiovascular exercise lasting longer than two minutes or when strength-training sets of more than 15 repetitions.

The Type IIA make up about 20% of the total muscle tissue in the body and are responsible for high-intensity, short duration activities: strength-training for 1-6 repetitions per set and high intensity sprints or intervals that last 0-15 seconds.

Fast Twitch B fibres make up the remainder of muscle fibres at roughly 35% of the body’s muscle tissue. These muscles perform during strength-training exercises of 7-14 repetitions and intervals lasting 15 seconds to two minutes.

 work-out-routine-for-women_2

Why is this important to know when planning your workout routine?

Because every woman I have ever trained wants to look more “toned.” But what a woman is really saying is she wants better definition to her muscles, a misunderstood but admirable goal.

The problem is, before those muscles can be defined, there must first be muscle. Going back to the previous paragraph, if all you do is train the Type I fibres, you are missing out by neglecting more than half of your body’s potential.

Those Type II Fast Twitch fibres are going to need some stimulation if you want better curves on your body. Do you want leaner legs, a rounder butt, and a flatter stomach?

Then ladies, it is time to fall in love…with big, heavy weights.

I can hear your objections, “But I will look bulky like a man!” Actually you will not and there is science to prove it. A study done in 2010[i] found some interesting conclusions regarding women and strength training with heavy weights.

The key finding was that high levels of oestrogen in women led to significant improvements in muscle quality but not quantity. The translation: women can get strong, stronger than some men, but they will never achieve the same growth in muscle size as men.

The best results were found with women who trained in a repetition range of 3-10 reps per set. Do you do that? If not, you are missing out.

Ladies, it is testosterone that allows a man’s muscles to increase in size. Unless a woman is on anabolic steroids to raise her testosterone levels higher than what a man’s would naturally be; the size is not going to happen. But the strength? Work hard enough and guys may start coming to you for training advice.

What little muscle a woman will put on with heavy strength training will flatter her figure. Developing  physical strength while remaining distinctly feminine and beautiful is not only possible; it is a reality for any woman willing to take on the challenge.

Women who take this challenge will discover that physical strength enhances feminine beauty. Convinced?

Now all you need is a programme to make it happen! How about a programme to really slam those legs and glutes?

This is a six week workout routine for women  with four workouts per week

During the first five weeks each workout will begin with a heavy lift, followed by a strength-training metabolic complex:of three exercises performed back to back with little to no rest in a repetition range of 6-10 repetitions per exercise.

This format will comprise two workouts per week. In addition to this, two sprint workouts per week will be undertaken. This is to help combat any excess body fat as well as stimulate a little muscle growth.

That’s right, unlike traditional cardio, sprints not only slash body fat but stimulate muscles resulting in better curves and flatter stomachs. Kill the boredom by kicking up the intensity to get results.

The sixth week of the programme will keep the sprint workouts but eliminate the metabolic complexes. Instead the strength training will comprise of the heavy lifts using the weight from week one. Each lift will be done for a total of 100 repetitions with as little rest as possible.

A weekly schedule for this program would look like:

– Monday-Sprints
– Tuesday-Workout #1
– Wednesday-Rest
– Thursday-Sprints
– Friday- Workout #2

To perform the sprint workouts begin with an easy jog on the treadmill for five minutes. After five minutes elevate the treadmill to a 10% incline. Sprint for 20 seconds and rest for 40 seconds. Repeat this for a total of 10 sprints. Finish the sprint workout with a light five minute jog to cool down.

Sprints Week One Week Two Week Three Week Four Week Five Week six
10% incline 10 sprints @ 8 mph 10 sprints @ 8 mph 10 sprints @  9 mph 10 sprints @ 9 mph 10 sprints @10 mph 10 sprints @10 mph

Workout Number One is the Back Squat as the heavy lift resting 60-90 seconds between sets. After completing all sets of the back squat perform the metabolic complex of Banded Side Step, Hip Thrust, and Kettle Bell Swing. Perform the metabolic complex with little to no rest between exercises.

Workout #1 Week One Week Two Week Three Week Four Week Five Week Six
Back Squat rest 60-90 seconds between sets 3 x 10 3 x 8 4 x 6 5 x 5 5 x 3 100 reps of Back Squat at week 1 weight
Banded Side Step, Hip Thrust, Kettle Bell Swing: no resting. 3 x 10 3 x8 4 x 6 5 x 10 6 x 8 No Complex this week.

Workout Number Two is the Trap Bar Deadlift as the heavy resting 60-90 seconds between sets. After completing all sets of the Trap Bar Deadlift begin the metabolic complex of Banded Side Steps, Barbell Glute Bridge, and Weighted Back Extension with little to no rest between exercises.

Workout #2 Week One Week Two Week Three Week Four Week Five Week Six
Trap Bar Deadlift rest 60-90 seconds between sets 3 x 10 3 x 8 4 x 6 5 x 5 5 x3 100 reps of Trap Bar Deadlift
Banded Side Steps, Barbell Glute Bridge, Weighted Back Extension 3 x 10 3 x 8 4 x 6 5 x10 6 x 8 No Complex this week

 

[i] Mechanism’s Behind Estrogen’s Beneficial Effect on Muscular Strength in Females. Journal of Exercise and Science, Volume 38, Issue 2, April 2010.

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