Training for Women

The perfect workout: 3 basic conditions to obtain maximum results 

If you ask a woman of any age what her goal is in the gym, 70% of the time she’ll say “lose weight, tone, and get rid of fat legs.”

And then there’s training workouts filled with “complementary exercises” and cardio until exhaustion. Zero complaints, everyone’s happy. But is this really what works?

In my functional training centers, I see unmotivated and tired women come in every day, frustrated by results not obtained, bored, and little consideration, often connected to false myths that are difficult to let go of.

The majority of them have received generic or partial information in the past, and they’ve always worked out with generic plans that aren’t made for their body type:

To lose weight I have to just do cardio!

Don’t make me lift weights because I’ll look fat!

I have to sweat a lot because that’s how fat melts away!

I have cellulite because I’m fat, if I don’t eat it will go away!

Training women gives great satisfaction: women are determined, strong, tolerate fatigue, and are much more efficient than men and can reach incredible results, but only in certain conditions.

You will find these reasons out continuing reading this article.

Training for Women

Know your blemish and your biotype

There are various types of blemishes and knowing how to recognize them is fundamental so that training can be as efficient as possible, here are the 4 most common types:

DISHARMONIES OF THE SILHOUETTE: the weight is ideal but there’s a skeletal or postural disharmony/disproportion. The treatment should be muscle reinforcement.

LOCALIZED ADIPOSITY: weight is normal but there’s an excess of fat in certain areas. Treatment should be aerobic and a functional circuit.

WATER RETENTION: weight is often increased and the excess fat blocks flow in the veins, which causes inflammation. The treatment should be weight loss and targeted physical activity.

CELLULITE: weight is usually increased; the excess weight blocks flow in the veins, which creates inflammation and the skin changes shape becoming hard. Treatment should involve weight loss and targeted physical activity.

To get the whole picture, it’s necessary to understand which Biotype you belong to as well.

There are two main types:

ANDROID (Apple Shape): Long-limbed subject with fat accumulation in the umbilical zone with a scarce amount of muscles in the legs. If you belong to this biotype you should work out with functional circuits that work on the lower part of the body, work with weights performing fundamental exercises on the lower limbs, reinforce the core with abdominal exercises and perform down-top functional workouts.

GINOID (Pear Shape): Short subject with high estrogenic activity, fat is accumulated in the umbilical zone and on the thighs that are predisposed to cellulite. If you belong to this biotype you should do aerobic exercises or functional circuits for your lower half (no workouts that produce lactic acid if you have cellulite), functional circuit workouts to harmonize the upper part of the body, reinforce abdominal muscles, work on proprioceptivity of the foot, and perform down-top functional circuits.

Android people are predisposed to develop the first two blemishes (silhouette and localized adiposity) while those who are ginoid could develop all four.

Perform functional circuits with weights without being afraid of “getting fat”

Only doing complementary exercises or without using weights won’t ever push your hormonal system to produce testosterone, the fundamental hormone to have a muscle response and increase muscle tone, and don’t worry, the feminine hormonal system doesn’t produce the same amount of testosterone as a masculine one, so relax you won’t become the next mister Olympia.

The factors that influence the results of a workout are different: repetitions, weight loads, the series of exercises, recovery times, and especially the exercises themselves.

There are two main categories:

Base Fundamental or Basic Exercises

They activate a large and general organic response in the body and they’re the ones that determine the greater efficiency of a workout. This type accompanies everyday life of a sportive person and allows them to always improve their performance. For example, in this group we’ll find squats, deadlifts, lunges, step-ups, push ups, rower with the barbell, pull ups, etc.

Complementary Exercises

They have this name because they’re particular exercises that isolate single muscle groups, normally referred to as Body Builder exercises, since they allow you to reach goals connected to increasing muscle mass. Remember that these should only be used together with basic exercises and as their completion. In this group we can find lateral raises, the leg press, dumbbell flyes, leg extension, etc.

Fundamental exercises’ characteristics:

– multi-articular, they affect several joints during their execution

– a lot of muscle synergy

– greater recruitment of motor units

– high hormonal disturbance

– more physiological and natural on the joint level

Complementary exercises’ characteristics:

– mono-articular

– localized stimulus

– low muscle synergy

– less hormonal response (small increase of GH)

– many times done using isotonic machines 

The true secret to reaching results and especially to have a have a satisfied sensation of wellbeing after working out is constructing a workout that is composed of 70% of fundamental exercises.

Training for Women

Stimulate the sole of your foot to promote vein blood flow and perform functional down-stop circuits

The foot acts as a blood pump from the bottom to the top, and thanks to its movement of the ankle, of the leg, and two internal anatomic structures: the Lejars venous insole and the triangle of the vault. The increase in blood flow towards the top is fundamental since the vein system is connected with the lymphatic one that’s responsible for removing toxic substances from tissues present in the case of cellulite in the hypodermis.

Remember that our feet are considered a “second heart”, a pump that helps blood return towards the center.

Here are some simple suggestions for a perfect workout:

  1. Before your workout concentrate on activating the sole of the foot with a simple walk in one place or a light run, skip or Pogo hop. This type of exercise will help you notably improve your final result.
  2. Give preference to fundamental workouts that use the entire kinetic chain according to a down-top system (from the bottom towards the top) lower part – center part- high part to favor the flow of veins and the blood flow, at the end of the workout you’ll avoid that feeling of bloated and heavy legs and you’ll feel lighter.
  3. Use weights! The right dose of weights, personalized for every person, will bring a large increase in muscle tone and a small increase in muscle mass. This is very useful to increase also your metabolism, which means you’ll consume many more calories even while resting.
  4. Give the right amount of recovery between series and exercises to avoid accumulating excess lactic acid, an important factor in cellulite.
  5. At the end of your workout dedicate 10-15 minutes to stretching and relax 10 minutes with your legs up and rested on the wall to help circulation.
Training for Women

Bibliography

  • “Progetto Gambe: Effetto Wow” di Emanuele Gollinucci e Valentina Facciani
  • “Pocket training”, Emanuele Gollinucci
  • “Biologia dell’allenamento”, Carmelo Bosco
  • “Donne in palestra. L’allenamento giusto”, Guido Bruscia.
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