The fear of gaining too much muscle mass and creating a "fat arm" effect often prevents women from starting weight training. However, loads of celebrities use weight training to fine tune their figures. Are you ready to give weight training a try with Domyos?
Contrary to many beliefs, weight training does not necessarily make you a "bodybuilder". It's all a matter of dose! If combined with a balanced diet and regular cardio workouts, weight training is a good fat burner. Its benefits?
Weight training is perfect for losing weight
If you have a weight loss goal, remember that the higher your muscle density, the more calories you'll burn! Since it is primarily your muscles that take a lot of energy, it is essential to supplement your cardio sessions with strength training.
Weight training tones your figure
If done over the entire body and with correct postures, weight training can tone your body in a general way, to create a better posture that prevents certain types of pain, particularly in the lower back.
Weight training preserves your bone capital
Muscle contraction with weights has the effect of stimulating bone growth and strengthening your skeleton. Weight training is therefore a good way to prevent osteoporosis by preserving your bone capital.
Toning your body, refining your figure, losing weight, gaining muscle mass... plenty of good reasons to try weight training!
What exercises should you start with in the weight room?
To start out in the weight room, you can choose strength training exercises on a guided machine. Choose machines that only work on one muscle group at a time (quads, hamstrings, triceps, biceps, back, etc. That way, you will target your training and ensure that you work your muscles in the right position and in a totally safe way.
Please note: for all the exercises that you'll do on these machines, don't forget to strengthen your core muscles by tightening your abs and pulling in the stomach, so that you don't arch your back. This way, you avoid putting too much tension on your lumbar spine. Also keep the following in mind: don't neglect a muscle group under the pretext that it's too weak! Just the opposite: the goal is to equalize your figure. So do the same number of repetitions on the right as you do on the left (even if one side is stronger than the other, this is how you get a balanced body). To avoid overtraining a muscle group, give yourself 48 hours of recovery before working on it again.
Circuit training: a good compromise
There is nothing like weight training to have a harmonious, toned body. So long as you work on all your muscles in a balanced way and in the right positions. By choosing circuit training workouts, you do sequences of several strengthening, cardio, and balance exercises, all done at high intensity over short periods of time. This way, you benefit from a complete workout that is fun and varied, allowing you to quickly strengthen your body while improving your endurance.
What muscle groups to work out? How many repetitions/sets?
Here are the primary muscle groups to work on: quads, hamstrings, glutes, abs, low back, biceps/triceps, shoulders, pecs/upper back.
If you want to lose weight and not gain too much volume, choose light weights that allow you to do 3 to 4 sets of 20 to 25 repetitions. Of course, the last two or three repetitions should be difficult to complete.
If, on the other hand, you want to gain volume, choose heavier weights that allow you to complete no more than 3 to 4 sets of 8 to 10 repetitions, according to your level.
Note: for abs and lower back, choose body weight exercises. First of all, there are enough exercises that allow you to work these muscle groups thoroughly without adding weight. Secondly, when you work this part of your body, it often causes lower or upper back pain due to poor posture, so it isn't necessary to add weight to these exercises.
Body weight training: perfect for women?
Many women associate weight training with the idea of going into a gym full of bodybuilders... but there is an alternative: weight training at home, with very little equipment (hand weights, elastic bands) and your body! However, a minimum level of experience will be necessary (be careful of injury if your placement is wrong!). Body weight training, such as the Lafay Method, requires a lot of motivation and rigour, but allows you to work on strengthening your entire body. It involves polyarticular resistance movements that use your body weight. The advantages? Improved flexibility, physical harmony, posture, strength, and endurance. This strength training method is good for women because it allows you to develop a number of muscles.
It is therefore entirely possible to do strength training in a harmonious way as a woman, with no fear of gaining too much volume. With two to three sessions per week, with work on all of the muscles in 3 or 4 sets of 20 to 25 repetitions to lose weight and 8 to 10 repetitions to gain volume (be sure to adhere to your 48 hours of rest) you will achieve your mid- and long-term goals for a perfect figure!