Tone, defintition, abs , booty, gains, weightloss - these are all things that pop in many conversations I have everyday with women joining the gym, not to mentionthey are hashtagged all over social media. With new fitspo pages and accounts popping up everyday of lean muscular women its no wonder this is an aspiration. However there is a difference between wanting it and training for it. Lifting weights is the key to it all.
Ladies you don't need to be afraid of the weights area or worry about getting bulky because you won't - not enough testosterone.You have as much right to be there as the massive bodybuilder thowing weights around or the guys posing with their abs ;). i do understand however it can be daunting. Which is why you start light to get correct form and technique as well as easing in to it. If you feel unsure about something - ASK that is what fitness instructors and personal trainers are there fore. We give advice and help its our job and why we do it - I love getting women into lifting and off the treadmill :)
Where to start
The main power compound moves you want to master are Squats, Deadlifts, Press up, Shoulder Press, Bench/Chest press and Pull ups, closely followed by lunges, lateral pull down and row. Once these have been mastered you can start adding in extras but these will always form any programme.
Go back to basics and learn the technique - it doesn't matter how heavy you can lift if you are doing it incorrectly as you will injure and develop the muscle in the wrong way.
Bodyweight exercises are a goodplace to start and believe me you can feel the burn with just a bodyweight workout.
Here are some pointers for the technique
*Keep a slight bend in the joints - Dont lock them out on the extension
*Back nice and straight
*Brace the core - you can create that sculpted ab look without endless sit ups and crunches
*Muscle mind connection - think about the muscle you are about to contract before you do so in order for the exercise to have the correct effect
Once you have got these down you can add the weights. Start light - you want to pick a weight that uses about 50-60% of your maximum. By the end of 12-15 reps your muscles should be tired but not completely dead.
3-4 sets of 12-15 reps of each one
Using dumbells or barbells
There are also resistance machines I would recommend such as
Laying Leg curl
Lat pul down
Assited Pull up
Never train the same muscles 2 days in a row as the they need time to recover and repair. This is where training splilts come in. Here are a few ways you could go about it:
Push, Pull and Lower body:
Push- all upper body movements that use a pushing motion these will target the Chest, Tricpes and some Shoulders
Pull- Back, biceps and Shouders
Lower body - Targeting all areas of the lower body quads, hamstrings and glutes, ab and adductors
You could also add a cardio (HIIT) and core session to your plan if you wanted
Full body push, Full body pull repeated (4 training days)
Push - Chest, triceps, Shoulders, Quads and calves
Pull- Back, Biceps, Shoulders, Glutes and Hamstrings
Upper body, Lower body, Core
I would recommend as a beginner you take 2-3 days rest to let those muscles properly repair themselves. As you become stronger you can take less rest days and split the training days up even more for example: Back and Biceps, Chest and Tris, Legs, Glutes, Shoulder and abs etc.
I hope this has helped
Sample workouts - have a go let me know how you found them
Chest Press (Barbell) 4 x 12
Shoulder Press 4 x 12
Dumbell incline chest press Superset lateral raise 4 x12
Press ups 4 x AMRAP (as many as you can do)
Tricep dips 3x12
Lateral pull down 4 x 12
Seated Row 4 x 12
Rear delt fly (Dumbell or machine) 4 x 12
One arm Row 4 x12 (each arm)
Assited pull ups 4 x 8
Squats 4 x 12
Deadlift 4 x12
Alternate lunges 4 x 12
Laying leg curl 3 x12
Donkey kicks 4 x 12 (each leg)