What women want!
We are women. We want to look like women, and therefore we should train like women and yet many of our exercise programmes are designed by men.
Men and women have entirely different goals when it comes to the shape of their bodies. When last did you hear a man asking "Does my bum look big in this?" Most men want big arms and chest, while women would rather have smaller, toned arms with firm breasts. Men strive for a six-pack and most women want to be able to zip up their jeans with ease. Men want to look more masculine and women prefer feminine curves.
As women, we do have a genetic predisposition towards storing fat on our hips, thighs, and buttocks, and our bodies are designed to store fat far more efficiently than a man's. This is to prepare a women's body for pregnancy. In simple terms, a woman's body will accumulate enough fat so that there's always a "reserve tank"of fuel in case of a famine.
These physical differences alone should make it clear that men and women need to train differently.
So what's a girl to do? It's time to see your training in a different light. If you seem to be bulking up in all the wrong places, stop lifting heavy weights, and work out with a women-only approach to your training.
If we look at the training done by gymnasts, much of it is based on working with their own body weight. The strength, balance, and co-ordination skills required by gymnasts do not come from working on gym machines. Their upper-body strength comes from working on the bars and rings using their own body strength.Their lower body strength and balance comes from standing leg routines which recruit more than one muscle group at a time, creating lean, toned and lengthened muscles through the lower body. This functional exercise, simply gets the task done in half the time. Not only are you recruiting many more muscles through the lower body, but you're also having to use the abdominal muscles (your core) as a constant source of support.
As women, we should focus on the 'mummy bits' and try to place more emphasis on working the triceps, posture muscles (which immediately improves your shape), and the entire lower body, with light to medium weight and high repetitions.
The lower body should be trained with more frequency - with the focus on standing leg work, squats and lunges. However, remember the number one factor in any fitness programme should always be technique! Correct form is absolute key to changing your body shape.
Watch this space for some great new time efficient ways to work out with a women-only approach with my new "Body By Rivett'' workout.