In our busy world, women have completely different needs than men with regards to exercise. For one thing, many women these days are busier than men. Raising kids, doing household chores, and pursuing a full time career is a lot of work.
So, staying fit is at least 10 times harder for females than it is for men. But it does not have to be so difficult. The biggest flaw I see in the training programs of most females is too much cardio. Where most females might do as much as 5 hours of cardio per week, most men spend about the same time performing resistance training.
You can see the difference: men who do more resistance training than cardio are often stronger and have higher energy levels throughout the day. On the other hand, individuals in general who perform a lot of cardio, are much more slugish and have difficulty maintaining their weight.
Hence, the first principle women should follow is: Cut down on your cardio.
How to Lose Weight without Cardio
I’ve done it in the past, so there’s no reason why you can’t do the same. Weight loss is based off of two things:
- Increased metabolic rate
- Decreased caloric intake
Most people focus on reducing their caloric intake and burning off more calories through cardio. The worst thing that’s happened in the fitness world is the publication of these calorie charts that tell people how much they’re burning for each minute of cardio they perform.
I remember back in college I overhead this conversation between two friends. Lets call them Tom and Joe. Tom is a chubby guy who’s just started losing a little weight through exercise and diet. Joe is a skinny guy. I don’t know much about Joe, but I’m assuming he has a faster metabolic rate than Tom.
Joe goes to eat a pastry and Tom says, “You know it’s going to take you a long time to burn that off.” Joe looks up at Tom, confused. “Yeah, that pastry is like 300 calories. I can burn that off by jogging 30 minutes on a treadmill, but you’ll probably have to jog like 3 hours because you’re skinnier than me.”
Joe will probably finish off the pastry, get up and walk to the door and feel hungry again. Why? Because he has a fast metabolic rate and can eat more calories overall than Tom because of his fast metabolic rate.
Fat loss with High Intensity Resistance Training
When you perform high intensity resistance training you cause damage to the connective tissue and muscle fibers. You also drain energy reserves. All this activity gives the body a reason to change. It starts the recovery process, which includes strengthening your muscles and replenishing energy stores.
In this process, your body improves. It gets stronger, leaner, faster, and more athletic.
I mentioned earlier that your body must burn more calories than it consumes in order to lose weight. But the biggest issue here is that your body does not discriminate between muscle and fat when performing long duration cardiovascular activities.
Short, high intensity resistance training prevents the loss of muscle mass. Instead of burning calories from both fat and muscle, why not burn calories from your fat stores, and use it to rebuild damaged muscle tissue?
The Role of Estrogen in Female Fat Loss
Estrogen plays a huge role in female body composition. The hormone is produced in large quantities by the ovaries of females and some by the adrenal glands. Estrogen causes increased deposits of fats in certain sibcutaneous (under the skin) tissue.
Estrogen also causes fat to be stored in the buttocks and thighs, which gives women their characteristic figure. This is hormone is the primary reason why women carry more fat than men. However, because women have more estrogen and less testosterone than men, it is next to impossible for them get as big and muscular as men without the use of specific supplements.
In short, women shouldn’t be afraid of resistance training.
Specific Diet Recommendations for Females
The same rules of eating apply to females as men. It is often assumed that women need less calories then men. This is only partly true. Most women need less calories only because they weigh less. However, assuming a man and woman weighed the same and followed very similar training programs, their caloric needs would not be much different.
But most athletic women do not weigh the same as athletic men. Again, it has to do with hormones than anything else. Here is my simple approach to nutrition: eat more if you need to. Eat less if you need to. Eat the same if you need to.
Well, how do you figure out how much you need to eat? Simple answer:
- If your goal is fat loss, and your not losing weight at your current caloric intake, then drop the calories per day just slightly and see what happens.
- If your caloric intake is less than 1000 per day and you’re still not losing weight, then you’re not eating enough. Eat more for about a week and see what happens.
A lot of dieting is experimentation. I refuse to follow specific formulas. These formulas often don’t take into account individual metabolic rates and level of activity. They’re often based on assumptions, and you know what happens when you assume.
Here’s my primary message to women: don’t be afraid to eat more if you need to eat more.
Top Three Training Principles for Women
Lets recap what we learned in this article:
- Do less cardio and more resistance training.
- Don’t be afraid of resistance training.
- Don’t be afraid of more food.
Top Three Training Prorgrams for Women
The following are the best training programs Women can use to Develop a Better Body
Gladiator Body Workout - Combination Dumbbell and Bodyweight Workouts. Click Here for More Information
Superior Dumbbell Workout – Dumbbell Exercises and Workouts. Click Here for More Information
Workout Without Weights - Bodyweight Only Exercises, Workouts, and Training Techniques. Click Here for More Information.