Workouts for Women: Get Your Superhero On
I like to think about myself as an equal opportunity personal trainer – all clients should have the privilege of squatting till your legs shake. In all seriousness, there’s no such thing as a “man’s exercise” or a “woman’s exercise.” Between both genders, the muscles and how they function are relatively the same. The muscles in your hips help you stand up. Both men and women have shoulders. Guys have biceps and last time I checked, so do women. Workouts for women should be relatively the same for men, give or take a few minor differences.
The major difference between the genders lies in the hormones. Men have way more testosterone than women; about a 20-25 fold higher concentration. It’s responsible for adding more muscle along with making us say stupid things. But that’s really the only advantage that men have. So those extra hormones help if your goal is to add a lot muscle mass…..or say dumb things that make your spouse frown.
Workout programs for women should take one thing into account: rest periods. It seems that women can outwork their male counterparts with shorter rest periods. I see it in my clients a lot: women seem to be able to recover faster in between sets. So if I took a male and female client and had them both squat with a 8RM load (the most weight they can squat for 8 reps) and only let them rest for 60 seconds in between sets, the female client should be able to get more reps in. While women can use shorter rest, they also need smaller jumps in weight. Going from a 20 lb dumbbell to a set of 25’s can be a huge jump, so women can benefit from 1 to 2 lb jumps (total) in weight. These are those small differences we spoke of earlier.
So with that being said, let’s take a look at this workout that women can use to build a bit of muscle while dropping bodyfat. I’m not going to lie, it’s a tough workout program. It will focus on two days of lifting along with two days focused on energy system work (intervals). The rest of the time should be spent prepping food, resting, and seeing the occasional superhero movie. Let’s get to it.
Day 1- Circuit Training
A1. Front Squat – 4 x 6-8, ES/P/F, rest 60 seconds (pause for two seconds in the bottom)
A2. DB Row, elbow out – 4 x 6-8, S/F, rest 60 seconds
B1. Back Squat with Heels Elevated – 3 x 8-10, ES/F, rest 45 seconds
B2. Wide Grip Pronated Pulldown – 3 x 8-10, C/F, rest 45 seconds
C1. Swiss Ball Crunch- 3 x 10-12, ES/F/P, rest 35 seconds (pause as the top of the crunch)
C2. DB Incline Curl – 3 x 10-12, S/F, rest 35 seconds
Day 2- Sprint Work
50 meter sprints. 15 rounds, 60 seconds of rest.
Day 3 – OFF
Day 4- Circuit Training
A1. Snatch Grip Deadlift – 4 x 6-8, ES/P/F, rest 60 seconds
A2. High Incline Neutral Grip DB Press – 4 x 6-8, S/F, rest 60 seconds
B1. Prone Leg Curl– 3 x 8-10, ES/F, rest 45 seconds
B2. Seated DB Rotary Overhead Press – 3 x 8-10, S/F, rest 45 seconds
C1. Back Extension- 3 x 10-12, ES/F/P, rest 35 seconds (pause as the top of the crunch)
C2. Kneeling Triceps Rope Extension – 3 x 10-12, S/F, rest 35 seconds
Day 5- Interval Work
60 seconds of hard running/60 seconds of walking. 10 rounds
Days 6 and 7 – OFF
Get to the gym and get ready to work hard. You’ll be in superhero mode in no time!