Your time in the gym is precious and as a female weight lifter, you want to maximize your efforts to get the results you want. It’s especially important not to compare your progress to anyone else’s, as your genes, body type, and health all affect your results. However, there are a few top weight training tips you can use to boost your performance and help you reach your fitness goals:
1. Know Your Digits
Aim to perform 3 to 6 sets of 1 to 12 repetitions to increase muscle growth. If you’re deciding which weight load to use, the American College of Sports Medicine(ACSM) recommends using one that is between 70 and 100 percent of your 1RM. It’s also important to remember to rest for approximately 2 to 3 minutes between sets to encourage muscle recovery and help ensure that you are able to complete your final set with as much strength as your first. During your rest period, you can walk, cycle, climb stairs, or march in place to burn extra calories.
2. Embrace Variety
Variety is the spice of life—and this also applies to your weight-training routine! Include in your workout a mix of free weight, weight machine, and bodyweight exercises to challenge your body past its limits and to develop well-rounded muscles. With bodyweight exercises, you have the additional benefit of targeting an increased number of muscle groups. For instance, when you perform push-ups instead of a bench press machine, you also engage your core. One thing you don’t want to forget, however, are a pair of top weight training gloves, no matter what exercise you’re doing.
3. Push Through Plateaus
As you progress in your bodybuilding career, you may find at some point that you have hit a plateau. Instead of accepting this, push through your plateaus with these weight training tips:
Change the order of your exercises to target the muscle that needs the most help. For example, perform biceps curls before completing pull-ups to make those upper arms pop.
Slow down and take 10 seconds to lift and lower your weights.Mayo Clinic suggests this super-slow training as a way to strengthen muscles through their full range of motion, which can result in well-defined arms, legs, chest, and back.
Add a new “angle” to your exercises. Instead of performing the same exercises in the same way, change the angle. For example, to strengthen your shoulders, the American Council on Exercise (ACE) suggests using a 45-degree angle incline row.
4. Healthy Eating
Enhance your bodybuilding efforts by eating in a way that supports your weight training. Yes, you need carbs to fuel your workouts. Ensure that 50 to 60 percent of your daily calorie intake consists of healthy carbs such as whole grains and rice, 30 to 40 percent protein, and the remaining percent fat.