Lift Like A Girl Part 2

Lift Like A Girl Part 2

DSC_1026In my previous article (Lift Like A Girl Part 1), I discussed how females respond differently to training compared to males. I stated that high resistance training is the most effective and efficient way to tone the female body. I feel the information I shared was clear and concise, but how do we pursue a high resistance training safely.  For many, simply jumping into a high resistance training program is not the wisest thing to do. Novice lifters risk injury when starting a program with heavy weights. With my practice, I start novice clients with 2-3 months of moderate and low resistance training.  We work on developing structural integrity and correcting any imbalances we find along the way.  We also work on developing optimal movement patterns, which will be required to lift the heavier weights later in the program.  Once my client and I feel confident they are able to lift heavier,  we begin to progressively add weights and increase the intensity.  Patience is key to prevent injury and to allow my clients to perform exercise correctly as the load is increased.  Here is where progressive overload comes into play, which helps to bring about muscular adaptation.

What does progressive overload look like?

After 2-3 months doing 10-20 repetitions, add 5%-10% more weight to each exercise.  Depending on ability, sometimes less.  Increase by 5 percent in weight means a decrease in repetitions by 2.   Usually the upper body does very well with 5% increases, while the lower body with 10% increases.  Also, try to maintain volume as you increase weight.  During the first week,  perform 3 sets of 10 squats, which is a total volume of 30 repetitions.  During the seconds week, perform 4 sets of 8 squats, which is a total volume of 32 repetitions. Notice you will need to increase the number sets to maintain volume because each set becomes smaller.  The table below describes the progressive overload for squatting.  Take note of the increase in rest time between sets. As you lift heavier, you will need more rest to fully recover.  Most of the time I have to teach my female clients to rest.  They are accustomed to completing sets closely together and do not understand the importance of rest when lifting heavy.  Regardless, they learn quickly when they realize they can not complete another full set without full recovery.

1st Week 

65lbs 3×10

Rest 1min between sets

2nd Week

70lbs, 4×8

Rest 1min between sets

3rd Week

75lbs, 5×6

Rest 2min between sets

4th Week

80lbs, 6×4

Rest 2-3 min between sets

There is so much more that can be said about training, however this is all I have to share with you right now.  I hope that you gain something from this and apply some of the things I have shared with you.  Thank for reading my article.  Come Back again for more insightful information.