This article will reveal how to minimize the possible negative consequences of weight training for women.
I think it will be useful for women who powerlift, weightlift, bodybuild, do the fitness workouts and for all women who train with weights.
Female body type to a large extent is determined by reproductive performance, which is naturally reflected in woman’s anatomical organization. Of course, it’s the extremely powerful break on progress of weight and speed-power results. However, many women don’t consider these factors and try to copy men’s principles of physical training not exactly realizing the possible consequences.
For example, pressure increase while doing the serious exercises adversely impacts on the female genital sphere, on the ability of childbearing and on the delivery of child. Intense blood flow to the uterus, which is penetrated by dense blood-vessel bed, is necessary for ultimate nutrition of embryo during the pregnancy.
Pressure increase, which is caused by weight lifting, can break the structure of vessels and lead to the general adverse change of such complex organ and to the impossibility of childbearing.
Clearly, the elite sports demand the high load with sportswomen’ full energy output. There are no options if a girl must lift the bar of 120 kg. Even the most experienced coach hardly can preserve her health while he trains her in order to reach the maximum result.
And yet many years of experience of athletic training show that sometimes it’s possible to cheat on the nature not only using the special methodology, but also using the lifehacks, which are tried and tested during the workouts.
Calculation formula of load for weight training for women
If it’s necessary to use a lift while squatting or crouching to improve the weightlifting and speed-power qualities of leg muscles, then you can use several little tricks. They certainly aren’t cross-functional, nevertheless they will help to avoid many troubles with minimal causalities and sometimes even without them at all.
Thus, some coaches used next methods in track-and-field. For example, you can do squats on one leg calculating the load on the muscle for it to correspond the squat on two legs. If your bodyweight is 60 kg and you can squat with bar of 50 kg, then you can calculate the load for one leg using the formula.
М3= (М1+М2):2 — М1
М1 – bodyweight in (kg);
М2 – weight, which the exercise needs to be performed with on two legs (kg);
М3 – weight, which the exercise needs to be performed with on one leg (kg);
When we calculated the weight to squat on one leg according to this formula, we get:
(60kg+50kg):2 –50kg = 5kg
You need to do squats on one leg with 5 kg of weight, affecting the quadriceps by the load, which is equal to squats on two legs with 50 kg of weight.
Attention! This formula naturally won’t do for those who hardly can squat on one leg without a weight. They can use exercises that are described below.
Of course, there is no perfect analogy with exercise (squat on 2 legs), but the main working muscles work every bit as good. You can stand on one leg not on the floor, but on the platform for the free leg to be down, because this might be more comfortable for you. You can slightly rest upon something with your hand to maintain balance and hold the weight with another hand. There is a big number of benefits in this asymmetrical exercise. Well, for example, there is a softer impact on your spinal column along with the slight increase of arterial pressure.
The difference is tremendous, as you understand: pressure of 50 kg compared to the pressure of 5 kg. You can change the technique during the last reps (against the background of tiredness) without being afraid of picking up an injury. So women have quite real workarounds that preserve their health and improve the result.
If such exercise for some reason isn’t suitable for you, it’s not a problem, you can try leg pressing, where there isn’t a big load on your back and the load on your stomach muscle is being partially removed. But keep a wary eye on your breathing and try not to make straining efforts and avoid the «to the bitter end» principle. Leg pressing is close to the real back squats.
One more important aspect: bone density of women decreases in due course. Calcium, which is added to the food, doesn’t always work. If you do exercises, you can normalize the metabolic processes and fixation of matters that are necessary for the bones. Training has to contain weight-lifting exercises to strengthen the bone tissue, because they qualitatively change its structure.
How for women to exercise correctly
There was an investigation in 1987 of 300 women, who intensively do the competitive bodybuilding, which showed that the risk of ovulatory changes increases for nonporous women and women, who train more than 1 hour every day.
The most frequently disorder of menstrual function occurs due to the hormonal changes that happen as a result of organism’s fat loss. Intensive training stimulates the testosterone production, which is a male hormone. That’s how the dietology specialist Chris Sear explains that: male hormones launch the special beta-receptors, which provide the fat’s release and burn up as a source of energy.
Mechanism of depression of female sexual function during the fat loss is related to survival processes, which occur in the woman’s organism. There is no possibility of impregnation if there isn’t enough energy store, which can be there as a subcutaneous layer of fat. If this store is lower than the optimal one, then the ability to conceive and give birth to a child significantly decreases. In case of repeat of such condition, the breakdown of sexual function can settle as a chronic one and cause the other negative consequences.
You need to consider this while putting together a routine of trainings for women and especially for girls. Training methods as far as possible have to exclude the task, which is related to too intensive fat loss and not to concede the maximum cutting. Probably, the professional bodybuilders won’t understand us but the ones who will take our advice, will be gifted with solid health by the organism.
Women need to remember that their functional aspects lead to hyper heart acceleration during the physical activity and to the longer duration of recovery. Heart acceleration, arterial pressure increase and increase of nervous system excitability of women can occur especially during the menstrual phase. Women overall have relatively lower functional capabilities of cardiovascular and respiratory systems. Unfortunately, this influences on their physical efficiency, which is lower compared to men’s one.
You have to consider the aspects of female organism concerning the self-control during the training. You need to track your menstrual cycle: register the beginning, soreness, duration, periodicity etc. The menstrual cycle’s duration is practically always the same, but the nature of its behavior might change in case of physical overloads. There can be the decrease of muscle strength and physical efficiency, decline of cardiovascular system’s reaction to the load during the periods and certain time after that. That is important to consider even in case that woman’s menstrual cycle goes like clockwork. You can do sports in this period, but the load need to be reduced.
You can control it by dint of pulse. During the training, it should be to 10-20 beats less than normally. Try to avoid the maximum strains when you do weight-lifting exercises and don’t concede the holding until the maximum time under static condition. Work on the abs sparingly, reduce the number of reps in sets and choose the lightweight.
Main advice about weight training for women
If you strive not only for good sport result, but also for preserving your health, then try to follow one very important rule. Recovery always should be full and mitigate fatigue of the last training. People often forget about it due to the incredible adaptability of organism (especially the nervous system) to the load. You need to feel vivacity before every training and there mustn’t be any discomfort in muscles.
Extra resting day won’t worsen your sports shape, on the contrary, it will protect you from traumas and overload of your organism, the recovery of which can last for a longer term. Don’t make a goal of training every day, it doesn’t matter that it’s possible in case of correct alternations of load on the muscles and functional systems of your body.
Training routine and training plan for women
The routine, which contains the split to trainings of various body parts in different days, won’t do for majority of women. This method is appropriate for the training to the bitter end, which is oriented on the myofibrillar hypertrophy that girls don’t practice. Women are recommended to train their whole body at once without splitting, however, there are exceptions. You can’t please everyone.
Effective training routine for women:
- 1 – Do crunches lying on the floor, 6 x max. (rest between the sets for a minute or less if possible);
- 2 – Do the back squats 5 x 10-15 (rest for a minute between the sets);
- 3 – Lat pull down 6 x 10-15;
- 4 – Press with close grip (lying down) 6 x 10-15;
- 5 – Upright barbell rowing 6 x 10-15.
This training routine for women implies that one training will take about 60 minutes (this is averagely). If you reduce the resting time between the sets, then you can decrease the training duration and thereafter increase its effectiveness in terms of energy input.
It’s worthy of note that coaches frequently recommend the newcomers to reduce the load when they tell what the training plan for women should be like. That’s reasonable if you need the high intensity and the goal is a muscle growth. It’s not so important for the majority of women, so we recommend to train as much as it was said. Nevertheless, if you feel that you can’t do it, then you can prolong the rest between the sets and temporarily lower the weight on the apparatus.
Pay attention that weight-lifting training routine for women that is described by us uses the big number of sets and reps of the exercises. What is it for? To stimulate the glycogen accumulation in your muscles, which is improved due to that. One more thing: there is only one exercise for lower body in this routine. Why is it so? Because the women’s «bottom» (hips, legs) yield to the pumping/weight loss well enough and the «top» often requires the detailed working out. There can be the exception again though.
At the same time the training routine for weight loss for women and for general improvement of fit doesn’t include the special exercises for breast not to lead to the mammary gland reduction (breast reduction). Press with close grip will provide the muscles with tonus, it is notable by its integral action (provides the improvement of chest muscles, triceps, delt etc.) and at large provides the great results.
Important: training plan for women has to be completed with the other exercises in proportion to the development of fit. In addition, you need to do it correctly, for example:
- 1 – Add the leg raises without a pause to the crunches lying on the floor;
- 2 – Add the stiff-legged deadlift to the back squats;
- 3 – Add the bent-over barbell rowing to the lat pull down;
- 4 – Add the dumbbell curl to press with close grip (lying down);
- 5 – Add the dumbbell lateral raises to the upright barbell rowing.
This plan of weight-lifting training for women implies rest between every two exercises for about 30-60 seconds. In case of squats, this is almost impossible, so you can rest to the fullest. In the other twos, you can get away with 30-45 seconds if your current physical fit is appropriate.
Training routines for women in bodybuilding and otherwise first and foremost are optimized for trainings during 1-2 weeks after the periods (your working efficiency is higher in this period of time). Throughout 3-4 weeks, you need to use another plan, light training, which in its turn also fructifies:
- 1 – Lat pull down (3-4 sets per 10-20 reps);
- 2 – Press with close grip (3-4 sets per 10-20 reps);
- 3 – Upright barbell rowing (3-4 sets per 10-20 reps);
- 4 – Cardio at a leisurely pace (during 30-60 minutes).
This weight-lifting routine for women (and not only weight lifting) considers the lower working capacity. So the number of sets was almost two times reduced and the exercises for abs and lower body were removed. These aren’t all significant changes: you also need to reduce the weight on the apparatus and increase the number of reps up to 20 (as it were a balanced resolution).
Important: if you feel that even this light training routine for women, which is meant for fitness center during 3-4 weeks after the periods, is too tough for you, then try to rest more between the sets (you can avoid the training during your periods).
In addition, we will say that all above said events and exercises aren’t cross functional. They can help a lot of women and turn out to be less effective or even useless for you. Obviously, we all are the different people. Girls and women can have different body constitution, age, fitness level etc. Besides, pathologies, which in a varying degree influence on the training’s result, can become evident. There are other factors, which we simply didn’t have time to tell about.