In a world surrounded by myths, controversies and falsities one can never be sure of something unless it is double-checked. Weight lifting in a woman’s life has always been a hot topic of discussion until now. A pair of dumbbells of different weights is a common sight in a guy’s house whereas we’ve never come across the same in a girl’s exercise room which is mostly stacked with a hoopla ring, a big exercise ball and a yoga mat. There is no shortage of talks and discussions on equality and women’s liberation but why do people still go behind age-old myths and ideas surrounding a woman’s lifestyle? Can the dumbbell never replace a hoopla ring or the bicep curls see the limelight?
Be Clear of the Basics
Most women never lift the weights fearing that it will make them ‘get big’ which cannot be further away from the truth. On the other hand, women who do weight lift don’t look beyond the 3 kg dumbbell that they workout with every week continuously but do brood over the fact that they don’t witness a significant change in their physique. The principles given here help any of those with a wavering mind on picking a pair of dumbbells and working out.
Go for Heavy Weights
Women find it easier to rely upon the weights that they are most comfortable with and perform all of their sets with the same pair of dumbbells. Remember that one needs a stimulus on the muscle to stimulate muscle growth and there is this impending need of a greater stimulus to witness an evident change. Get out of your comfort zone and apply greater physiological demands on your muscles to achieve target. Trick the mind into this, tune it for such a workout and you would be amazed to witness greater improvements in muscle gain and strength as well. Women interested in bodybuilding can get tips from the website www.firsteatright.com.
Don’t Underestimate Yourself
Our thoughts and actions are a reflection of the world around us. When the surrounding people discourage or advise women against lifting weights all that she does is either refrain from it or underestimate her potential and choose lighter weights. This is a grave mistake which needs to be corrected. Choose a weight that you would be able to do it 80% times with the remaining 20% being challenging to your body. Start exercising and when you feel that you cannot do anymore of it either reduce the weight further down or take rest in between. The ultimate goal is to life weights and reap health benefits, not to lift weights and get hurt.
Sets and Reps
Ideologies differ and it always better to stick with those that make you comfortable. Experts recommend doing 3-4 sets of 10-12 reps of any exercise to build muscles. Remember that you gain muscle strength by lifting heavier weights and doing fewer repetitions (3-6 times) and muscle endurance by lifting lighter weights and doing higher repetitions. Taking rest between sets helps you gain strength but if muscle size is your ultimate aim it is advisable to reduce the amount of rest that you take between sets.
Regularity and consistency are two important aspects for gaining muscles. Weight train 4-5 times a week for muscle strength and gain. It is advisable to maintain a journal jotting down the sets, reps and weights used during each workout. Also keep note of whether you are doing total-body workout, upper- or lower-body workout or focusing on two or three body parts per workout during the weight-training sessions.
Go for the Right Exercises
There are a variety of exercises that help one in gaining muscle mass. It is advisable to perform those exercises that require larger muscle groups first (for instance, squats, deadlifts, bench press, lat pull-downs and overhead press). A greater part of your energy is expelled while doing this but you still have the energy to do smaller movements during the latter part of the workout. It is recommended to do between 6 and 8 workouts on any given day.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.