You’re a woman and you want to have a toned body, but you don’t want to become masculine. There is news for you! Lifting weights won’t make you bulky. Women don’t have the same hormone balance and body requirements needed to build larger, bulkier muscles like men have. Adequate nutrition and a workout plan will get you into shape.
Getting to the gym is already a big step for a woman who wants to get into shape. Don’t worry you’re not the only one skeptical about lifting, however, after a couple of weeks you will become more confident, see amazing results and let yourself enjoy the experience. This is a journey you will never forget.
Weight Training and Cardio Training for Women
Women often start working out to tone their bodies. During this weight training process, there is an emphasis on important muscle groups.
Remember that the whole body needs to be toned if you want to look balanced and reap the full benefits of strength training.
Cardio is important to improve oxygen delivery to muscles and shed fat for a slimmer, toned look. For any form of cardio, make sure you begin at a slower speed, and increase your speed every 2 minutes until you reach the desired effort level.
This is your warm up. To make it easier note the effort level required on specific days of the workout routine:
• At a 6/10 effort level, you should be breathing steadily, but deeply, and be able to speak a full sentence with little difficulty.
• At an 8/10 effort level, you should be breathing heavily, and only able to say a few short words with some difficulty.
Remember to cool down afterwards, decreasing the speed every 2 minutes until you are sufficiently cooled down. Your warm up and cool down count towards the total cardio time.
This female workout plan is composed of 5 days
• 5 days of weight training.
• 3 of those 5 days of 10 – 20 minute cardio.
• 2 days of rest, you will deserve it.
Train with Moderate and Heavy Weights
People often use the word toning to say “I want to get muscle, but not too much”, and they think that doing long repetitions will provide them with this toned body.
However, having a toned body actually means that you have strong muscles with a low percentage of body fat, which provides this toning effect. Therefore, toning is largely caused by your nutrition, in addition to your workouts.
Lifting moderate/heavy weights with a short rest period allows you to burn more fat. During this women’s workout routine the main focus is on lifting moderate/heavy weights
in order to get into shape.
Now you know that if you want to get fit, you will have to work these muscles effectively. In order to do so, you will have to aim for a recommended rep range of: 10-12 reps. This is the best rep range to achieve a good definition to your muscles.
When looking at body weight exercises that do not require weights, the rep range can be increased. Since you are not limited by a set amount of weight, you are simply going through the motions of the exercise (flexing and relaxing the muscles) which requires less effort but can be very effective in strengthening and toning the target muscles.
The rep range can also be increased in warm ups. When warming up, less weight should be used.
The point of a warm up is to get the muscles and joints active and accustomed to the motion you’ll be doing at a higher weight to reduce the risk of injury.
Rest Time between Each Set and Exercise
If you want to get toned your body will need to recover between each set and exercise.
So rest 30 seconds – 1 minute between sets and 2 – 3 minutes between exercises.
Leave at least one day between each of your full-body machine weightlifting sessions. If you’re just starting out and know that you have a slower recovery system, rest for two days.
More rest is better than not enough rest, so make sure you’re fully recovered and feeling great each time you step into the gym.
As long as you get in at least two workouts per week, you will start seeing fitness improvements and more lean muscle mass.
If you can do three sessions, then perfect, but don’t force yourself if you feel like you could use another day off.