As a woman your muscles keep you strong, able and independent, but around the age of 30 women start to lose muscle density. Lean muscle decreases at around 3 per cent per decade and strength decline 30 per cent between the ages of 50 and 70.
Women start out with less muscle then men and lose more with age as our hormones are not conductive to muscle growth. Estrogen can inhibit anabolic growth and progesterone increases catabolism, so as a woman it is harder to gain muscle but not impossible.
All the above means we have to train harder and lift heavier, cardio will simply not cut it! As women pass 40 all the cardio in the world will not translate into changes in lean body mass. We have to strength train and I do not mean lifting those tiny dumb bells you see in the glossy magazine ads. Proper programmed progressive strength training for both power and endurance stimulating your neuromuscular system and activating your muscle fibres.
So to optimise your strength training this is what we recommend:
Lift heavy – most women still simply do not lift the weight that is heavy enough to stimulate muscle growth. You need to stimulate and challenge your muscles to break down and repair themselves so that they become bigger and stronger. If you pick up a weight and lift it 10 times and find the last two reps challenging, with the last rep just about able to do it whilst maintaining form, then you are about right but if you could carry on and do another 2 or 3 reps easily you need to go up in weight. Too heavy is also counter productive but too little is a waste of time, so it is important to get your weights right and progress when you improve.
Lift often – Try to fit strength training into your schedule 2-3 days a week, you will, still get benefits from twice a week, but a single session will not be enough.
Vary your lifts – Your body adapts to the challenges you present it with. If you keep doing the same exercises again and again, your body gets bored and you stop making gains or worse you regress. no one wants to put hard work into training and get no result. you should be mixing up your routine every 4 weeks.
At Body planners we help you select the rights weights to challenge your muscles and track your lifting so that we can progress your weights as you improve. We mix up your strength sessions with strength and endurance sessions changing reps and rests to keep your body guessing. Even our more cardio sessions (BP 45 HIIT sessions) include lifting, so we maximise your results.
Strength training can seem daunting at first and you might think it is not for women but more suited to the muscle bound guys in the commercial gym. We specialise in introducing women to strength training, in a supportive and welcoming private fitness studio environment. We promise that you will not get bulky, or muscle bound but become lean, toned and stave off the muscle loss that ca occur as you age.
If you would lie to learn more about our services or book a free consultation please follow the links on our website.