"Muscle definition is the absence of fat around a well-developed muscle." -unknown
Did You Know?
By Stephen Steigler, CPT
Topic: Girls Should Train like Guys; Guys Should Train Like Girls
This title might confuse you but as I explain further, I think the clouds will clear and you will look at your training program in a whole new light. Girls need to train more like guys; and Guys.. You need to train more like the girls!
You are probably still confused and that’s okay! You could be offended right now but please don’t take it the wrong way. I am not calling any of the guys a “girl” or vise versa. Something I have noticed in the commercial gym setting (where you are right now) is that some people need to step it up (Girls!) and some people need to take a step back (Guys!).
Girls.. let’s start with you. I believe that you will see more noticeable and appreciable changes in your body if you change up your training regimen a bit. Most females stick to hours and hours a week on the treadmill, stepmill or elliptical. On top of that many girls stick to lifting light weights for 8-20 repetitions or more and doing hip adductor and abductor machines and endless triceps extensions! I am not opposed to these machines or exercises as I think everything has it’s place and application but I believe that time can be spent doing something better and more efficient.
I have a few brief, general recommendations for you ladies… lift heavier weights, do fewer hours on the treadmill and sprint more!
Some of the common reasons that girls don’t like to do these types of exercise are that they think they will get “bulky” from doing them, which couldn’t be further from the truth! Keep in mind that the females on the cover of bodybuilding magazines are chock full of chemicals and extra juice. Ample testosterone is required for major muscle growth, which is why guys can build muscle much easier (Did you know that men have upwards of 15-20x more testosterone than women!). Also, muscle growth comes primarily from volume.. doing sets of 3-6 reps will provide much better strength gains without the bulk. So try some heavy sets and if you ever need any assistance, please find me and I’m glad to help! If you get bulky overnight then call me because I want to do what you’re doing!
Moving on to the guys.. this is a bit easier but JUST as much as important! If you take notice around a typical commercial gym, most guys will come in, do some arm swings by the bench press or squat bar and proceed to jump in and try way too much weight. If you don’t remember anything from this snip-it of information, remember that in order to create a strong house, you must first build a solid foundation.
My recommendations start with doing less weight. Make sure that your form is on point and never ever compromise form while progressively lifting more and more weight. Then if you can’t perform the exercise properly (once again, please come get me or ask me if your form is good any time) then take a step back and consider doing some strengthening of the muscles that help keep posture tight and tall.
Incorporate some more mid-trapezius/lower-trapezius strengthening by getting an exercise tube/band and pulling it apart with straight arms. At the very least, do a ton of pulling exercises like seated rows, high-rows and pull-ups or lat pull-downs. As a rule of thumb, throughout the week try and do 3 pulling exercises for every pressing or pushing exercise you do so that your body stays balanced.
Another part of the body often neglected by guys is the glute medius and exercises that strengthen the glutes overall. The glute medius, which is like the earlobe for the butt, is a muscle that helps pull your legs away from the body. During a movement like the squat, if your knees cave inward, you may want to strengthen these by simple walking to the side in a squatted position or use an exercise band once again to add in some resistance!
Another thing that will help guys lift more weight and more often is by diggin’ into the foam rollers! The health of the soft tissue is very important. There is a sheath of fascia that surrounds our entire body. Not only will you recover quicker but you will also feel a heck of a lot better after a great workout and you will be able to do it more often.. the right way!
I could go on for days about what would be good to incorporate into many exercises regimens but I will stop here. Please feel free to ask me any questions at any time. Girls, in the words of Lou Schuler, “Life Like a Man, Look Like a Goddess” and guys, let’s leave the egos at the door and build that foundation first!