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When it comes to the type of workout you should be doing at the gym it can be a bit confusing to figure it out. There are a lot of strategies offered by experts and often they conflict with each other. There are pretty standard practices that you will see being used around the gym, but you never know what is right. The first fact that you have to understand is that we all have different bodies. A very simple piece of advice I was given is to do what works. I've experimented over the years with my training and what I did. Some of the things provided results and some didn't. With that said, there are very important aspects of your workout that need to be follow and I'm going to share them with you.
Female bodybuilding workouts need to be a little different than men's. The reason for this is simply testosterone levels. As soon as you start working out your testosterone levels start to decrease. As women, we have a lot less to work with. This means that we need to get the most out of our workout while it counts. Once your testosterone is depleted your workout becomes a waste of time.
Compound exercises are the best ones you can do. There are two specific reasons for this; they work a lot of muscles and they help with testosterone. What do you think is going to give you a better workout bicep curls or deadlifts' It should be obvious that doing deadlifts will help you out so much more. It works your core, back, shoulders, arms, legs, hamstring, etc. Doing this will work more muscle at once, which allows you to get more done with your limited testosterone levels.
These exercises have been shown to help the body produce more testosterone. This won't help us a lot as females, but it will give us a little more. And every little bit counts. Compound exercises put a lot more stress on the body and it forces it to produce testosterone to adapt. It isn't immediate, but something that progressively occurs over time. It will help you over the coming months of training.
What Produces Results?
A lot of people mimic what they see other people doing at the gym and I can admit that I was guilty of that when I first started out. The problem with this is that most people have a very simplistic view of training. Everyone assumes that the only way to get results is to lift heavy weights. I'm not denying that this works, but it is one of many ways to achieve results. What separates a female bodybuilding workout from a regular workout is that the bodybuilder takes advantage of every available means to get results.
Here are a few of these training techniques:
High Volume (Loading)
Low Impact (Unloading)
Changes in Reps per Set
The reason that you get growth is due to placing stress on your body. Your body is forced to adapt to meet that stress and that is where results come from. Doing the same thing week after week is going to result in marginalized results because your body adapts. For example, with strength training your results are really good at first, but plateau after the first month. The reason is that the body adapts to this training and can deal with it. This is why you need to change things up and add in the items I've listed above.
High volume is just doing more work over a period of a week. Work is best defined as repetitions multiplied by weight. I don't want to get into math to explain this, so I'll give you an easy example. During a regular week I'll workout 4 days and my reps per set will be 8. For a high volume week I'll workout 6 days and my reps will be 10. As you can see, I'll doing a lot more work on a high volume week and it is a different type of stress placed on the body.
Strength training is really just regular training. It's probably what you're doing now and what you see other people doing. It is still an important part of your workout and it needs to be focused on.
Low impact is your week of unloading or low impact rest. A bodybuilding workout is essentially beating your body up. You can't sustain doing that month after month. There needs to be a time where your volume is lower and you can rest. This is something that you should be adding in for one week every month or 6 weeks. You still workout. The only difference is your volume will be light.
It is very important to change the amount of reps that you do per set. The reason is that it stimulates your muscles in completely different ways and each is very important. Normally I think you should change between 6-8, 8-10 and 10-15. All you have to do is switch them every few weeks. I also think from time to time you should add in a 1 rep max exercise and also try changing your rest times between sets.
All of the points above need to be made and understood before you ever think about the types of exercises you should be doing. The exercises you choose to do are really just a means to apply the different training techniques listed above.
The Actual Workouts
I have a very simple philosophy when it comes to working out: upper and lower body days. A lot of people like to break things up differently, but I've found the simplicity of just upper and lower body workouts produce much better results. It takes 48 hours for your muscles to repair, so this means you'll never be working the same muscles within that time frame.
Here is what I like to do:
Upper Body 1
Bent Over Rows
Lat Pull Downs
Lower Body 1
Upper Body 2
Incline DB Press
Lower Body 2
Seat Calf Raises
This is a really nice split for a female bodybuilding workout. It may seem like there is much more on the upper body days compared to the lower body. The reason is that squats and deadlifts require a lot more work. Plus they're going to take a lot more out of you. Spend more time resting in between sets when you're doing these two exercises.
This is really a good start for any females out there that are looking to get into bodybuilding. It will be very difficult NOT to get results following this. An important point to remember as I close this article is that your workout is only half the equation. Your diet is just as important, so don't forget to work on that.
About Author: Elle Nash is an amateur female bodybuilding from Nova Scotia. She has participated in many competitions around Canada and has been training for the last 10 years. You can visit her site at the following address:
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