Weight Lifting Tips for Women
7 Fitness Moves You Can Steal from Your Gym’s Meatheads
Pump Iron Like a Pro
Skip Machines to Prevent Injury While You Strengthen
Lift Heavier Weights (and Keep Making Them Heavier) to Fight Osteoporosis
Perform Deadlifts for the Ultimate All-Over Benefit
Work Different Body Parts on Different Days to Maximize Shape and Tone
Take Longer Rests for Maximum Strength and Muscle Gains
Eat the Right Fruits at the Right Time to Stay Lean
Grunt to Get Stronger
Pump Iron Like a Pro
You belong to the same gym. But that’s really all you have in common with the big, grunting, meatheads on the other side of the workout floor, right? Think again. You’re both there to work on your body, and the free weight area they inhabit holds powerful tools to help you reach your weight loss and fitness goals without adding on bulk.
"Bodybuilders and physique athletes have mastered changing the shape of their body—and muscle is the shape of your body," says Nick Tumminello, a strength and conditioning coach in Florida and the creator of DVDs including Strength Training for Fat Loss & Conditioning. "They know how to stay lean and build up their muscular system."
Training with heavier weights, restructuring your workout, and including more rest (yes, rest!) will build lean muscle that burns more calories, protects against heart disease, and makes lifting everyday objects seem effortless. And because you don't have the testosterone levels of a man, you won't get big, says Shawn Arent, PhD, associate professor of exercise science at Rutgers University.
The most important thing you borrow from the big guys is also the one that will help get you started on enjoying these benefits: bold confidence.
"Don't feel intimidated. It's not their 'territory.' You have every right to be in the weight room with these guys," says Bret Contreras, C.S.C.S., a PhD candidate at the Auckland University of Technology in Auckland, New Zealand. Most women have more flexibility and mobility than guys, so their form is often better on ‘male’ exercises like barbell squats; you may just impress the huge lifters, Contreras says.
Bring on the confidence and get ready to improve your results with these other strategies to steal.