Women Have it All WrongBy Rachel Cosgrove
Women have it all wrong when it comes to weight loss. The average woman when she joins a gym looks at how many treadmills there are and the aerobics schedule to see if there are classes that fit her schedule. When women want to lose weight they torture themselves with repetitive movement for hours on end, spinning their wheels or running to nowhere like a hamster in a habit rail! If you take a look at all of the women walking on the treadmills, you’ll notice none of them have the body most women want.
The problem is that most personal trainers haven’t’ figured it out yet either. They get a female client who hires them to change their body and they think, "Here we go again, another one of those stupid toning programs in the ladies only section with the pink dumbbells doing lots of reps.” Most trainers don’t realize they need to challenge women in order to get their bodies to change. They need to stop being afraid of pushing their female clients to gain muscle, which is the only way to boost metabolism, helping to change the way her body looks, permanently.
In a Traditional Weight loss Program, the average woman will:
- Spend endless hours in cardio or aerobic classes
- Avoid strength training because she doesn’t want to get "big and bulky,” or maybe she uses those 2 lb. pink dumbbells to "tone” through lots of sets and repetitions.
- Cut back on her diet to practically starve herself
- Focus on scale weight and a number she wants it to say
What works about this plan? Nothing!
What is wrong about this plan? Everything:
She will lose weight but it will be a mixture of muscle, water and maybe some fat, so she’ll end up looking like a smaller version of her same self but, in the process, she will have dropped her metabolism so there will be no way she can keep the weight off and will gain it back, guaranteed. This is the cycle most women have been through many times throughout their lifetime. Yet, when they want to lose weight they do the same thing again. The definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over and expect a different result.
Weight loss program the average woman should:
- Complete a metabolically demanding, full body strength training program lifting challenging weights. This should be their priority workout 2-4 days per week.
- Boost her intensity and drop the duration on cardio sessions, performing interval style workouts for no more than 30 minutes at a time.
- Fuel her body with healthy foods every couple of hours, to get her metabolism revving.
- Focus on how her clothes fit and how she looks and feels rather than on a number on the scale.
- Focus on Fat loss, not weight loss.
What works about this plan? It will boost her metabolism, it will change her body, it will make her feel confident about herself, she can eat and still be able to maintain her new body!
What’s wrong with this plan? Nothing!
To really change their bodies permanently women need to start checking out the strength training floor. They need to get out of their comfort zone and push their bodies beyond what it is used to--no more walking to nowhere on the treadmill! I am not talking about bodybuilding routines where you split up each body part and bomb and blitz the Pecs or pump up the bicep. It is not necessary for women to isolate any muscle group to get the defined look she wants.
Instead woman should complete a full body, metabolically demanding program in which she alternates between an upper body compound movement, such as a push up or a chin up, with a lower body compound movement, such as a squat or lunge. Rest periods should be short, and weight poundage used must be challenging. Use 3-4 pair of exercises working out for no more that an hour at a time.
The woman with toned arms and defined legs looks that way because she has the very thing most woman are terrified of, muscle. They are so afraid to lift weights in fear of building up that they never get their bodies to look the way they want them to. They have it deeply seeded in the subconscious that as soon as they touch anything over 10 pounds, the will sprout themselves humungous muscles! Even if they do use weights, they probably still aren’t lifting heavy enough and pushing themselves hard enough to get the look they want. Most women don’t know what their bodies are capable of and tend to not push themselves hard enough. There was actually a research study done on this which showed that women, when left on their own, lifted loads below what they were capable of.
Maybe it is because women have been conditioned our whole lives to exercise from the point of view of what we "can’t do”, rather than what we can do. Women grew up doing "girl” push ups, because we were told we "can’t” do actual push ups. We hung from the chin up bar, instead of practicing until we could actually complete chin-ups because girls "can’t” do chin ups. The first woman to run the marathon had to sneak in dressed as a man because women "can’t” run marathons, and that was only in the 70s, not that long ago. Women "can’t” lift too heavy, they hurt themselves. We still subconsciously hold ourselves back when it comes to training, whether we realize it or not. We need to start training from the stand point of ‘what CAN we do’? How much CAN we lift? How strong CAN we get? We need to stop letting "can’t” enter our vocabulary. As women start to push themselves in the gym, lifting weights and building lean muscle tissue, their metabolism will be revving and they will develop the toned, defined body they have always wanted.
So how do you get your body to change? You have to lift enough weight to build muscle to increase your metabolism, fuel your body with healthy food, and turn your body into a fat burning machine. Stop pounding your body with hours of cardio and stop starving yourself!