6 Strength-Training Tips for Women

3. Variety is the Spice of Lift

Whether it's the number of reps, the amount of weight used, or the workout order, it helps to add variety to your workout scheme. Your body reacts to the stress of exercise, and when it encounters new stresses (like lifting less for more reps or lifting more for fewer reps), it responds with shock, followed by adaptation.

The trick is to not let your body adapt for too long (weeks or months at a time), or else your muscle gains will often plateau. To avoid that, you'll want to change things up to keep your body guessing.

4. Shorten Rest Periods

To make sure you can still get that cardio burn, try to shorten your rest periods. Don't be the girl texting for five minutes between each set.

To incorporate cardio into your strength training routine, aim for 15 to 30 seconds of rest between sets. If you're combining moves into a superset, aim for little to no rest between exercises. If you're performing a circuit, an ideal rest time between each cycle is 45 to 60 seconds.

More: Things Only Girls Who Sweat a Lot Understand

5. Try Splitting Up Body Parts

Sometimes, especially for beginners, it's beneficial to stay away from full-body workouts. If you work your entire body at a low intensity every workout, you won't build as much fat-fighting muscle. If you work your whole body at a high intensity, you can burn out and get injured.

To switch things up, try splitting your workouts into specific days for specific body parts. For example, try a day for glutes, quads and hamstrings, a day for back and chest, and a day for shoulders and arms. Add core workouts to one or two of those training days.

6. Rest Days

Muscles need a few things to grow after they've been trained: a good balance of vitamins and macronutrients, and rest. Not allowing adequate recovery time for muscles and joints can result in overtraining and injuries.

On the contrary, following a workout regimen that allows for rest days—whether it's resting your entire body or specific muscle groups—often yields the best results. At least one day of rest for each body part is recommended. If you're doing a high-intensity day, you may want to give those body parts two to three days of rest.

More: 7 Reasons Women Should Lift Weights

Active logoStay in shape in a fitness class or read more fitness articles.

PREV
  • 2
  • of
  • 2

About the Author

Cat Perry

Cat Perry is a fitness magazine deputy editor and writer, and a fit-travel blogger, covering breakthroughs in exercise, gear, action sports, wellness, nutrition and travel. Her work has appeared in Men's Fitness, MSN, Muscle & Fitness Hers, Muscleandfitness.com, Dealnews.com, and Pride Life. Visit her blog Over and Outside, where she travels the globe to find the latest trends in fit, healthy and adventurous living. To unwind, she enjoys kayaking, hiking, trail running, and pushing limits while strength training.
Cat Perry is a fitness magazine deputy editor and writer, and a fit-travel blogger, covering breakthroughs in exercise, gear, action sports, wellness, nutrition and travel. Her work has appeared in Men's Fitness, MSN, Muscle & Fitness Hers, Muscleandfitness.com, Dealnews.com, and Pride Life. Visit her blog Over and Outside, where she travels the globe to find the latest trends in fit, healthy and adventurous living. To unwind, she enjoys kayaking, hiking, trail running, and pushing limits while strength training.

Discuss This Article