Weightlifting and fitness training is not only for men, more and more women are now taking part and using weights not only to build muscle and enter competition but also as a way to shed pounds and trim their body. Many women might be put off of taking up bodybuilding for fear that by following a routine they will turn into a muscle bound hulk, while it’s true they can shape and have well defined muscles if this is what they want, they don’t have to.

Weight lifting can be done just to give the body shape and to lose weight and keep the weight down, resulting in a fitter healthier person. So what are the benefits of weight lifting to women?

  • You will lose fat – this is perhaps the biggest reason most women move into weight lifting, by training with weights you are helping your metabolism to speed up by as much as 15%, by training with weights you will increase muscle mass which decreases fat mass.
  • You gain a better posture which in turn helps with your figure.
  • You gain strength which helps in day to day living and can prevent some diseases such as osteoporosis.
  • You reduce the risk of heart disease.
  • Your self confidence will be given a huge boost.

Workout for women

When considering a workout it is much better to choose around 15 lifts that will let you work with a variety of different muscle groups, muscles you should be taking into account are the legs, arms, shoulders, chest, calves, back, buttocks and abdomen.

If you particularly want to tone say flabby thighs or arms then select lifts that will work on these areas, but when planning your workout remember to work on the major muscle groups first, exercises for these will normally be done with free weights such as squats and bench presses.

The second decision you will have to make is how much you want to lift and how many times; this will depend of course on what you are aiming for in the long run. You should also decide on what your one max rep will be this means the heaviest amount of weight you can lift at one time.

It is extremely important that when you are determining your one max weight you have a spotter with you, a spotter is someone who can take the weight should you not be able to manage it comfortably, without a spotter you risk severe injury should you get into difficulty.

Any bodybuilder or weight lifter should have a spotter regardless of who they are or how long they have trained if they are trying out a higher weight. There are three basic types when working out with weights, these are:

  • Strength training – a lower amount of reps at higher weight levels are used for advancing in strength levels.
  • Power training – moderate weights are used to gain intermediate strength and endurance.
  • Endurance training – low levels of weights are used for a large number of reps for moderate strength training, this is more suitable for the beginner.

It is extremely important that when beginning with weights you start off with lighter weights and build up to heavier ones while making sure you can complete reps and sets in there proper form. This means that you should be able to complete the particular exercise you are doing properly from start to finish without experiencing problems due to the weight being too heavy. The two biggest mistakes people make when beginning a routine are:

  • Moving on to a higher weight too quickly.
  • Not increasing the amount of weight at all.

You should aim to increase weight by around no more than 8% of your max weight, any more than this and you could injure yourself. A beginner’s exercise routine should last for around 40 minutes and gradually as you add more lifts this time can be increased. Always remember to lift at a speed to suit you and to breathe properly while doing so, you should inhale when the muscles are elongated and exhale when your muscle is contracted.