Here is an “original” thought. There is more than one opinion about virtually anything – and that includes workouts for women.
In Weight Training for Women, I have already reflected on this subject, but here is a different take on it.
Women need their own workouts
If men and women are so different, why do so many women approach fitness exactly like men?
This is a question posed by many fitness instructors, who feel that women need to focus on different areas, take different approaches – physically and emotionally – and follow alternative routines to achieve their ideal.
“The most obvious difference is the way men and women store fat,” says Joni Hyde, author of Workouts for Women. “Women have a predisposition to store fat in the lower body.”
Note: While I may disagree with Ms. Hyde on some points, here books – Workouts for Women: Weight Training and Workouts for Women: Circuit Shaping – are pretty good and straightforward.
If you are new to weight training or looking for some fresh workout routines, you may want to check them out – – just do not expect to spot reduce your trouble areas with a specific exercise (as she seems to imply).
If you are looking for all-inclusive package, i.e. information about proper nutrition and exercise, you simply cannot go wrong with this program or Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle program.
“Women know that their trouble area lies in their waist, hips, thighs and buttocks,” agrees Sherry Gideons, a personal trainer and bodybuilder in Southern California. “Also, because women have less muscle mass, their resting metabolism tends to be lower.”
The focus for most men, says Hyde, is to work on their upper body, but a similar focus can create problems for women. “As a woman, you don’t want to ignore your upper body,” she explains, “but women need to focus on the waist down.
A circuit-training program that incorporates weight training and aerobics is ideal for a woman. One of the typical programs that I would design, to help drop body fat, are workouts that really fatigue the lower body.
Not so much heavy weight, but integrating a burst of aerobic activity with squats or lunges, something that really fatigues the lower body and gets the heart rate up.”
“Absolutely, positively do some form of strength training each week,” advises Sherry Gideons.
Because women are more susceptible to osteoporosis, for example, “regardless of your age, background or goals, you should incorporate at least two strength-training sessions into your weekly programs,” she continues.
“This will help you prevent osteoporosis, boost your metabolism, increase your in endurance and strengthen your body.”
Hyde, who began her instructing career designing one-on-one sessions for her clients, says the emotional approach to fitness and working out is different for women as well.
“Women want more than just a class. They want to set personal goals and [they] have personal issues.
It takes a lot of discussion about lifestyle, eating habits, triggers.” Hyde advises to set small goals. “Every couple weeks, have a goal. Then celebrate meeting that goal. If you look at the big picture, it can be really daunting.”
In addition, she says, women need to avoid doing the same routine over and over. “Not only do you get stuck in a rut mentally, but physically you body begins to adapt to the workout and the results decline,” she says. [source: C Connection]