Women often have to deal with a whole lot of misconceptions and an outright lack of information about working out than men. Women who are just starting a gym program, especially, might be at a loss about what to do. Here are some tips to help newbies tackle embarking on a workout program:
What you wear matters
Yes, ladies gym wear is not simply yet another fashion trend. Having the proper fitness clothes can and will affect the outcome of your workout session. Ill-fitting clothes will make you uncomfortable, distract you from your session, and could even potentially cause unwanted accidents. Loose fitting t-shirts, for example, can get caught up in treadmills and throw you off balance. Clothes that are too tight can compress your blood vessels when they should be pumping liquid real fast. You should first and foremost consider the practicality and reliability of the workout clothes you are buying. Don’t buy cotton outfits, as they absorb sweat. Buy synthetic fabrics that are good at keeping sweat off your body instead. You have to be cautious about chafing and choose clothes without hems that could scrape against your skin. All in all, you should carefully choose the best fitting fitness outfits that will not get in the way of your workout.
Cardio is not the solution to everything
Women are more prone to end up on the treadmill, often doing several 30-minute sessions at low-intensity. Cardio burns fat, and also, lean muscle. The amazing slimming effects some women achieve from two weeks’ worth of cardio is mostly likely from burnt muscle than lost fat, which is extremely unhealthy when it comes down to it. The best way to lose fat on the long term is to build muscle, so you should start incorporating strength training exercises to your regular workout plan. Squats, lunges and planks are all excellent easy-to-do strength training exercises you can start with.
Women can lift too
Lifting weights is perfect for building muscles and gaining overall strength. Unfortunately, lifting is considered “men’s exercises” at most gyms. Do not be misled by misogynistic misconceptions such as these. Everyone, including women, should be lifting if a proper workout plan is being followed. Well, you are not expected to lift 100 kilos like Xena from the get go (even Arnold Schwarzenegger had to start with the smaller weights you know). Train yourself gently and then start increasing the load gradually as you get stronger. Ask an instructor to teach you how to do the bench press right. Learn how to use the lifting machines and don’t be intimidated by the muscly guys who dominate that area of the gym. Your determination to be strong should be greater than your fear of humiliation.
Don’t be afraid to get off the treadmill
You shouldn’t limit yourself to the treadmill at the gym just because that is the only thing all the other women are also doing. Don’t listen to gym instructors who only encourage you on the treadmill (find a new one who can design you a comprehensive workout plan instead). Use the row machines, the cycling equipment and the automated stair-climber machine to exercise different sets of muscles.
Protein is not only for men
Your workout should be complemented with a protein-rich diet to build muscle and promote recovery after rigorous sessions. Women are afraid that protein supplements and foods will make their muscles bulge out. Don’t worry, that only happens with the right balance of testosterone and growth hormone only men have on average. Rather than make you bulky like a bodybuilder, protein-rich meals before and after workout sessions will make you burn energy faster and lose those extra layers of fat.
Generally speaking, don’t let the advertising hyperbole keep your spirits down. Do your research and ace those workout sessions to reach your goals.