5 Strength Training Mistakes Most Women Make
by Samantha Coogan, MS, RDN, LD
1. Skimping on the Warm-Up
The muscles and tendons will become more elastic with a proper warm-up session, which helps reduce the risk of injury and will jumpstart calorie burn. Be sure to warm-up the whole body, not just the area you’re training for that day.
2. Being Too Scared to Go Heavy
Personally, I love lifting heavy. I love setting new PRs, and I’ll never understand why so many women are afraid to do so. Female body builders look the way they do due to time under tension, meaning more reps at lighter weights. So if you lift heavy, you won’t necessarily look shredded/bulky like the top female competitors. Instead, you’ll rev up your metabolism by building leaner muscle, which burns more calories at rest, promoting fat loss. That’s probably my biggest pet peeve when women come into my gym and ask, “Do you program a lot of weight lifting? Because I don’t want to get bulky”. One of the most ignorant statements I’ve ever heard. But I digress…
3. Relying on Isolated Movements
Now, I’m not just stating this because I’m a Crossfitter and we don’t do isolated movements. My point is that compound movements, such as, squats (my favorite), lunges, shoulder press, bench press, etc. have their benefits as well. Isolated do have their place and benefit, but you can’t just go in trying to target one problem area every workout. Make sure to mix it up because the compound movements will have their benefits.
4. Improper Form
You can leave your Crossfit jokes at the door for this one. I, myself, am a huge advocate of proper form, and dropping down the weight when form goes out the window, unless you are going for a 1 rep max. That’s a little different. Once your form breaks down, you’re missing the point of the workout and you’re not engaging the muscles like you should be, therefore not getting nearly the same benefit from your workout.
5. Taking Long Breaks Between Sets
If you work out with a gym partner, make sure he/she is someone who has similar goals as you and is there to get stuff done. Chatting and taking selfies is not going to get you the results you want. Hard work and shorter rest times will.