The main goal in women's training is usually to lose body fat in combination with building a little muscle in the right places. In addition to nutrition and lifestyle, training plays a major role in achieving these two goals. The training for both goals of our customers in the YPSI consists primarily of strength training and interval training. This article is primarily about strength training for women. So that women with strength training can also achieve their training goals.
How does fat loss work in women?
There are different mechanisms of fat loss. One of the most crucial mechanisms is the increase in metabolism directly through training. In order to directly increase the metabolism through training, two factors are particularly important. On the one hand, we want to activate and use a lot of muscles during training. Because the more muscles we activate and use, the greater the energy consumption during and after training and thus the training effect from the point of view of increasing the metabolism. How do we activate and train a lot of muscles? Quite simply, we use a lot of compound movements in our workouts, like pull-ups, dips, and squats. The reason for this is that these compound exercises use and train a lot of muscles. Of course, these exercises are also more strenuous than exercises for smaller muscle groups like curls, rows, and lateral raises. That's why we train them. And we combine both compound exercises and smaller muscle groups to get the benefits of both. Aside from choosing compound exercises, the second factor in increasing metabolism through strength training is that we use weights that are demanding in our workouts. That means heavy weights. Difficult is relative and therefore different for everyone. Difficult means difficult for the individual. Anyone who can squat with 60kg, but only uses 40kg in training, will not achieve an optimal training effect, will increase their metabolism and thus make the fastest progress. Training must be demanding. Only then can rapid and great progress be made.
How does muscle building work in women?
There are different mechanisms of muscle building. One of the most important is to activate the protein synthesis of the muscles by training with weights and thus to trigger a storage of protein in the muscle and thus a thickening (hypertrophy) of the muscle fiber.
One of the biggest fears women have when it comes to strength training is gaining too much muscle mass quickly. However: don't worry. From a hormonal point of view alone, it is more of a challenge for women to build muscle than it is for men, since women have less testosterone. And testosterone is the key hormone that regulates muscle protein synthesis. The second factor in building muscle in women is overall protein and calorie consumption. In order to build muscle mass, you have to eat a relatively large amount of food, especially protein. Conversely, if you want to build less muscle mass, you should eat regularly, but in smaller portions. In combination with strength training, it is very easy to control how much and where you build more muscle mass. For the "where" it is targeted strength training that regulates local muscle growth. If you want to build less muscle in the front thigh and more in the posterior chain, it makes sense to combine squats with leg curls and back extensions, as in the program below, in order to train the posterior chain including the buttocks more specifically.
The workout plan for women to build muscle and lose fat
There are a variety of training systems that lead to muscle building. In the workout below, we combine the classic "5 by 5" popularized by Arnold Schwarzenegger's hero, South African Reg Park, with a higher-volume, metabolism-boosting training approach that targets the primary muscle groups of interest to women like the glutes, abs, and shoulders .
Training plan for women - legs
A LH squat, heels up, 5 sets of 5 reps, 4010 tempo, 180s rest
B1 Leg curl, lying down, toes tuck and neutral, 4 sets of 6 to 8 reps, 4010 tempo, 10s rest
B2 45° back extension, CH in front of the chest, 4 sets of 8 to 12 reps, 2012 tempo, 180s rest
C LH Ab Rollouts, 3 sets of up to 25 reps, 2010 tempo, 120s rest
Training plan for women - upper body
A1 dips, 5 sets of 5 reps, 4010 tempo, 120s rest
A2 supine, shoulder-width grip pull-ups, 5 sets of 5, 4010 tempo, 120s rest
B1 Row, seated, with rope, to the neck, pronated grip, 3 sets of 8-12 reps, 3011 tempo, 90s rest
B2 45° Kh incline press, neutral grip, 3 sets of 8-12 reps, 3011 tempo, 90s rest
C1 Reverse EZ Curls, standing, shoulder-width grip, 2 sets of 12-15 reps, 2010 tempo, 60s rest
C2 Upright low cable row, with rope, pronated grip, 2 sets of 12-15 reps, 2010 tempo, 60s rest
Notes on the training plans:
• Use the same weight on all sets of an exercise in each workout
• Record the weight used for each set in each workout
• Once all sets of an exercise are done with the same weight, increase the weight in the next workout
• If you can't do all sets of an exercise with the same weight, use the same weight in the next workout and do all sets of an exercise with it.
• Exercise three to four times a week.
• Switch the training plan for the legs with the training plan for the upper body. This can look like this: Day 1 - Legs, Day 2 - Upper body, Day 3 - Rest, Day 4 - Legs, Day 5 - Upper body, Day 6 - Rest, etc.
• Train a maximum of 2 days in a row before taking a day or two off.
• An explanation of A1 A2 dual station training here
• An explanation of Tempo here
• Here is a detailed description of what the ideal warm-up for strength training looks like
• You can't do a pull-up yet and want to learn how to pull-up? Then click here
• You can do a pull-up or a few, but not yet 5 sets of 5, then do as many reps as you can, whether 1, 2, or 3, increasing the reps in each workout by a total of at least 1 per workout up to You can do 5 times 5, and then use extra weight.
• You want to learn dips? Then click here
Good luck to all women with this training plan!
If you want to go through a structured and progress-oriented training program including interval training as well as nutrition and supplement protocols over several months, then complete the YPSI Online Coaching Program
If you want to learn more about structured and successful strength training for women, then complete the YPSI Trainer B license
Image: Iva Jirsikova has halved her body fat percentage in 4 months and is able to do rep pull-ups and bodyweight LH squats on the bar for the first time.