Well since on average 50% of my clients are female, lets go over some of the most common mistakes I see the opposite sex making....
Ok let's get the most important one out of the way first, women talk more than men in general, at the gym this can be a disaster, I see you chit chatting away the work out instead of breaking a sweat and hitting the weights. Solution: when I train a client and we get into an interesting conversation I always remind them that we can walk and talk. If your training partner has been speaking for longer than a minute someone should have been doing something in that time. Motion to her to lift a weight or if she is really getting into it lift something yourself and give her a "keep talking I'm listening". Unfortunately the majority of women I know in great shape tend to train solo. So working out with your partner is going to take some communication on not communicating as much ;-)
NOT ENOUGH WEIGHT
Women are always going too light, I understand you don't want to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger, unless you have a genetic pre-dispostiton to that type of body or are consuming insane amounts of protein going heavy will not make you have huge muscles, it will get you more tone and give you the cuts in the right places you are looking for.
I'm going to save the long article on how overrated the treadmill is for my friend and training partner Captain Power, but short version, most people do not go intense enough for the treadmill to count all that much, and it's boring! Even worse....
THE SEATED BIKE
Ladies, today I walked passed a row of you while thinking about this article, 10 people in a row, zero looked like they were training! Everyone was watching the stock market or ESPN, whatever the gym TV's had on (I didn't see what was on because I was working out). The seated bike is almost completely useless unless you are at the top levels of intensity, it's good to warm up, that's all.
Unless you have an emergency, there is nothing worse than having the cell phone on board to deter you from working out. Plus now creepy guys can more easily offer you their number!
You need to hit it hard, and fast, you do not need to be in the gym for 2 hours doing nothing, if you have not already please check out my article on How You Should Feel After A Workout. Learn to super set, drop sets, etc. Don't just stick with the basics you read in a magazine, I've read the same women's magazine in training fitness models and fashion models, they are a good guide line, but too often they will not emphasize the importance of breaking a sweat.
If any of you men snuck in to read this article, this applies to a lot of you as well. Last week I was at the gym watching a young woman fairly overweight at the seated chest machine while I was doing cable cross overs super set with push ups. In the time it took me to do 6 working sets, she had only done one and was resting the whole time. I felt like helping her but I know from past clients how hard it is just to get into the gym when you are overweight through insecurity etc. I decided not to say anything against my better judgment. So I am making up for it now if she ever reads this. Move, move, and keep moving. Most women don't want to be power lifters, long rests are for power lifting, not for figure or bikini season. You can utilize simple items in the gym to keep moving, for example that young woman could have done chest presses and grabbed 5 pound plates and super set with some delt raises before hitting the floor for crunches.
Stay educated, and don't be afraid to learn more, your road to being in the best shape you want to be in is not a short one, and when you get there you will realize it's a lifetime road not just a few years. You may not enjoy it some days, but every step of the way that you reach a new high or a new personal record it makes it all worth it and all the more enjoyable. Keep training!!!
Consult a doctor or medical professional before beginning any diet or fitness program.
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