Resistance Training

This is hot topic for women as most of us at some point feel that we have hit the optimal amount of muscle mass we feel comfortable with. I am a prime example of someone who sways between phases of lifting weights and not lifting weights for several months at a time. Why? To be honest, because I fall victim to the cliche thought of “ahhh I don’t want to look bulky” haha. You know you’ve been there.

Unfortunately, if you look around the weight room there is about a 9-1 ratio of guys to girls and an inverse on the Cardio side. My guess is there are several reasons for this:
  1. Many girls don’t know where to start and fear looking “dumb”
  2. We have the notion that men should be muscular and women should be thin
  3. We are more focused on burning calories than gaining muscle (muscle actually burns MORE calories… yay!)
  4. We fear looking “bulky” — it actually takes a long time to gain significant amounts of muscle, so if you are noticeable gaining size quickly it likes means you need to lower your calories. Most research shows that you can only gain 1-2 pounds of muscle per month. Any more is fat. womp womp womp…..

I too have had all of these thoughts from time to time. I get caught up in my daily cardio routine that I sometimes forget to make time for resistance training. While working with the trainer for a few months, I gained quite a bit of knowledge on weight training and figured out what works best for me. Here are a few things that I noticed:
  • Primer Phase: Trainer had me doing super-sets 10-12 rep ranges of 3 different exercises using different muscle groups. For example, here is a full workout I did during this phase:
    • A1: DB Row
    • A2: Lying Leg Curl
    • A3: 45 Degree Hip Extension
          ** Repeat 4 times **
    • B1: Neutral Grip Pulldown
    • B2: Straight Leg Deadlift
    • B3: Glute Bridge
          ** Repeat 4 times **
    • C1: Lying DB Pullover
    • C2: Bent over Lateral Raise
    • C3: Single Arm DB Curl
          ** Repeat 4 times **
    • D1: Standing High Cable Curls
    • D2: Reverse Delt Fly
    • D3: Seated Calf Raise
          ** Repeat 4 times **
This phase was my personal favorite, it sculpted my body in a way that was preferable to my goals. For those looking to start lifting weights but are a bit hesitant, I would certainly recommend starting with this!^
  • Building Phase: After a month of doing the Primer Phase workouts, we moved to focusing on 1 body part a day doing 5 working sets of 5 exercises, decreasing reps and increasing weight with each set. For example, if Wednesday was a Quad and Glute focused day we would do:
    • Leg Press: 110lbs x 12 Reps, 120lbs x 12 Reps, 140lbs x 10 Reps, 160lbs x 8 Reps, 180lbs x 6 Reps
    • BB Squats: 95lbs x 12 Reps, 105lbs x 12 Reps, 125lbs x 10 Reps, 135lbs x 8 Reps, 145lbs x 6 Reps
    • Lunges: 15lb DB’s in each hand 5×20
    • Lying Leg Press: 110lbs x 12, 120lbs x 12, 140lbs x 10, 160lbs x 8, 180lbs x 6
    • Leg Extension: 70lbs x 12, 80 x 12, 90 x 10, 100 x 8, 105 x 6
During this phase I certainly saw the most amount of muscle gain (my trainer tested it before and after). However, now that I have gained a few pounds of muscle, I do not have any desire to keep gaining I just want to maintain. That being said, I am also training for a half marathon so I have to be cognizant of not letting myself skimp on the weight days.
I hope this was helpful to some of you! Comment below if you have questions!
Xo,
Abby
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