Most women, upon entering a gym or weight room, typically gravitate to machines and exercises that appeal to them the most.
Chest Press machine.
Inner and Outer Thigh machine
Sometimes branching out and doing new things is the hardest. After all, our own comfort bubble is a pretty comfortable place to be.
So, what’s a girl to do when she wants to make sure that her weight training program is effective and she’s actually making progress?
There are some fabulous programs out there that will give you the workouts and progression for you. But I truly believe that once you start to understand the factors that go into a progressive program, it makes so much more sense.
1. Change the weight (intensity). If you’ve been doing dumbbell presses with 25 pound dumbells, one way to vary and make progress is to up the weight. If you’ve been doing 25’s for 3×10, then up it to 30’s.
2. Change the sets and reps (volume). Three sets of ten is probably what 95% of women do. The other 4% are doing two sets of twenty. And the other 1% is lifting one rep maxes HEAVY! (Those percentages are totally made up.) 🙂 Progressing from more reps to less reps (and subsequently upping the intensity) will help you break through some barriers and make progress.
3. Change the tempo. The lifting of the weight is the concentric portion of the movement. The lowering of the weight against gravity is the eccentric portion of the movement. By changing the tempo of either the concentric or eccentric (or both), you’ll change the way to muscle adapts, grows and strengthens.
4. Change the exercise. While it seems like the most simple of the options, people don’t change enough. They do the same tricep exercise 3 days a week. Either because they don’t know any other exercises, or because it “burns” and they think the burn means it’s working. Try changing up the exercises every 3 weeks (like I do on my momWOD.com site 60 day challenge.)
There are several other things you can change, but this is a great start. Look at your training program and see where you might need to make some changes.