As I read fitness advice on the internet and in magazines, I noticed that a lot of workouts for women are made by men. As we all know, women are physiologically and physically different from men not to mention mentally but that’s a totally different article…lol. So, I decided to write a post about how women should workout and how the workouts can be designed to benefit a woman’s physiology based on my experience on myself and training other women.
First, I’d like to address the fact that you can not target train a specific body part to make it smaller. I know that if you’re an avid reader of my blog, you would know this already but it’s a fact worth mentioning many times. A lot of the women I meet ask me what they can do to lose their belly fat. My answer is to lose weight throughout your whole body. Unfortunately, we can’t choose where the fat comes off. Where you lose weight first will depend on your genetics and body type. If you’re pear-shaped which means you carry your weight mostly on your hips, thighs, and buttocks these areas will be the last to go. The same thing goes for women with an apple-shaped body who carry their weight mostly on their upper body. In other words, your body type will dictate how you will end up looking. This is also the reason a lot of women have different problem areas. Luckily, you can train specific parts to be bigger so you get a more-proportioned, pleasing look.
Training to Get a More Proportioned Look
Instead of giving a workout prescription for each body type, I want to give you some ideas on how to get your body more proportioned so you can create your own workout. The key to getting the more proportioned look is to figure out where you carry your weight the most. For instance, when I was heavier, I carried my weight on my thighs, hips, and buttocks which makes me pear-shaped. When I gained even more weight, the next area it shows up is on my abdominal area. Once I lost the weight, my lower body still looked bigger than my upper body.
There’s a way to look more proportioned. In my case, I fixed my unproportioned look by lifting heavier weights for my upper body. I did chin ups, pull ups, chest presses, deltoid raises, back rows, etc. to gain a bit more mass in those areas. Most of my training for my legs nowadays will only be done with high intensity intervals training on the treadmill or the upright bike or kettlebell swings. Even though I used to lift heavier weights for squats and lunges, I try not to do them anymore as my hips and thighs already look naturally bigger than my upper body.
Women beginners who still have a good amount of weight to lose will do well on a workout program that involves basic, compound lifts like squats, lunges, deadlifts, pushups, planks, rows, military press, etc. The repetition range should be around 8-12 repetitions of 2-3 sets. These type of lifts and repetition scheme will give you a big boost in metabolism without spending too much time in the gym. In terms of cardio, 2-3 times of high intensity interval training a week would be enough. In a nutshell, women in this category should work on losing weight overall first by doing full body workouts.
Women who have less than 15 pounds to lose can be a little bit more specific in their training. This is the point where you can now try to target specific body parts so you can make your “look” more proportioned. For example, an apple-shaped woman who carries her weight on her upper arms, chest, and shoulders, can lift more heavily when it comes to doing her lower body strength training exercises. The key to keep in mind is this: making other areas of your body bigger, will make the bigger areas look smaller. when it comes to cardio, 2-3 times a week of high intensity intervals combined with 30 minutes of very light activity such as walking twice a week will work well for this group.
When I say “bigger,” it means that you will see a bit more mass in those specific areas but it does not mean that you will gain muscle quickly. Gaining muscle is actually difficult for women and most of the time we need to eat a little bit more to gain muscle especially because our hormones do not favor muscle growth as much as men’s hormonal mix does. If you’re still afraid of gaining some sexy muscles, read this article that I wrote about Jessica Biel.
Lastly, while I encourage each and every woman to have a model to look up to for inspiration, I also encourage you to be realistic about your expectations. Because your body shape does dictate your end result, you can not end up looking like Kim Kardashian who most likely has an hour-glass shape if you are pear-shaped. But, you can get really close to a certain look, the closer you get to your ideal weight by applying these tips to get more proportioned.
If you have any questions or comments aboout this post, please feel free to leave them below.