Weight Training for Women
This article was written by MT moderator kitty & was originally published in The MuscleTalker November 2005 edition
This is possibly the most frequently asked question in the Female Bodybuilding forum of MuscleTalk. Male members want advice for their wives, girlfriends and mothers, and new female members want to know where to start. Following from this the next most popular question concerns women weight training and their assumption that they will look like a professional bodybuilder in a year (wishful thinking for most of the bodybuilding population).
Let's dispel the myths!
First there is absolutely no need for a female to train any differently to a male. Obviously the type of programme will depend on her end goals. Most women who turn to weights want to show some level of muscularity ('toned') without adding on a lot of mass. The easiest and quickest way to do this is as a male/female bodybuilder would do and that is to lift reasonably heavy weights for relatively low to moderate reps. Once she is happy with the level of muscularity then she can drop the weight and increase the reps to maintain what she has achieved.
It is relatively hard for a female to gain a great deal of mass. As with anyone, more gains will be noticeable at the beginning of the training but the gains will gradually reduce. Many women have visions of the 'assisted bodybuilders' and unfortunately think that this is what can happen when they start to lift weights. Dispel those thoughts and explain the benefits. Show them the photos featured on MuscleTalk of the various female members and how feminine it is still possible to be with muscle. In fact I personally think some women look more feminine than they would without having trained (I put myself in this category).
Also do not forget that the diet that is important to nourish the growth of the muscle along with a cardiovascular workout to reduce the level of body fat to allow the muscle to display.
This is not to discourage people from asking for advice on female training but simply the opposite. I and the many other female members are delighted when we get new female members joining and love to help others achieve what we have. So any questions you have about training, dieting or other bodybuilding related matter for you or a female relative, pop into the Female Bodybuilding Forum and we'll do our best to help.