We are lucky enough to be living through something of a renaissance in the lifting community. Gone are the days when weight rooms were taken up solely by just bodybuilders : nowadays, we have a more mixed community of powerlifters, Olympic lifters, Pilates enthusiasts… all of these people coming together to train. If you’re a woman just getting into resistance training and you want a workout routine, what should you do, and what benefits can you really get?
Best of all? There are now more women into lifting heavy and taking part in resistance training than ever before. Ladies gyms, workouts for women and gym exercise culture in general have become a lot more sensible in their focus.
But if you’re a woman just getting into resistance training and you want a workout routine, what should you do, and what benefits can you really get?
Top tips for resistance training and gym exercise
You won’t become a swollen, hulk-like figure if you pick up more than a five-pound weight. There is no difference between the kind of gym exercise that men take part in compared to women: lift heavy and enjoy the impressive results. You will have more muscle definition (without the size), better bone density and soft tissue health, and you will be able to test yourself and see what you’re made of.
Don’t ever starve yourself because you’re training and want the perfect, beach-ready body. If you’re working hard, eat hard. Maintain a mixed diet with sufficient calories and plenty of protein to really make the most out of your training.
Avoid the machines
Ladies gyms and workouts for women, as above, are the same as gyms and workouts for men. Machines are OK for starting out, but they don’t elicit anything like the kind of change that hard gym exercise using free weight (barbells, dumbbells, kettle bells and so on) can bring. Skip the machines and head for the weight room.
There are different types and tools for resistance training
‘Resistance training’ is a catch-all term for any exercise that places resistance into your muscles. Styles, tools and types can include:
Free weights: these include classic strength training tools such as dumbbells, barbells and kettlebells
Suspension equipment: these use the body’s weight to add resistance. They are perfect for strength and stability training.
Medicine balls or sandbags: these are weighted balls or bags that are great for explosive training
Resistance band work: these are like giant rubber bands that provide accommodating resistance (they get harder towards the peak of the exercise) when stretched. These are great for gym workouts and home training.
Bodyweight training: your bodyweight is a perfect form of resistance. It can be used for gym exercise or at home- anywhere, really- with common examples including squats, push-ups and chin-ups. Yoga and Pilates also make fantastic use of human bodyweight in training.
If you’re unsure, try a personal trainer
Gym exercise can be intimidating, and it can be hard to know what to include in workout plans, for women or men. When in doubt, chat to a couple of personal trainers at your local gym in Dubai. They will be able to take you on for a couple of sessions to show you how to lift weights, or for a longer period as they take you through an entire training program.