Issues For Women's Physique Training
There are many misconceptions about the way women should train for bodybuilding and figure competitions. Women can find it difficult to gain muscle and lose fat, but with the right training programme there's no reason why a woman can't achieve her goals. A significant difference exists between a figure and a physique competitor, however there are some commonalities. Both strive to become lean and seek symmetrical development. A bodybuilder would seek an eventual body fat level of four percent, whilst figure competitors seek a physique that is still more curvy by comparison.
Considerations For Physique Competition
- Weight training programme
- Dietary planning
- Detoxification planning
- Blood analysis
- Potential dietary restrictions
- Supplement recommendations and modifications
- Competition posing routine
- Peaking in time for the comp.
Training Techniques For Women
Weight Training. You can achieve your desirable female physique by moving some serious iron in the weight room. There is a common misconception that weight training makes women big and bulky, but this is imposible because a woman's hormonal make-up will not allow you to do so. No matter how hard you train or how much protein you intake, you're not going to be able to achieve the big, bulky physique of a male or female bodybuilder. Female bodybuilders achieve their look by using steroids to change their bodies natural hormone production. In fact if the right training method is chosen, the hypertrophic (growth) response to resistence training can be further reduced.
Train Heavy. There are two types of muscle tone; Myogenic, which refers to your muscle tone at rest and is affected by the density of your muscles. The greater the density of your muscle, the harder and firmer you will appear, and Neurogenic, which refers to the tone that is expressed when movements or contractions occur. Heavy training will increase your myogenic tone through the hypertrophy (growth) of the contractile proteins myosin and actin. Training in higher reps promotes more sarcoplsmic (fluid) hypertrophy which in turn yields a 'softer' pumped look. If you want to be hard, firm, tight etc than the latter is not the way to go. If you're going for a harder look, the best thing to do is to train with heavy loads and low volume (sets x reps).
Compound & Multi-Joint Movements in Women's Training
If you want to sport a hard body, big compound movements such as the deadlift and the squat are superior to machines. Isolation-type movements for hardening up your muscles thighs and butt allow you to use maximal weight while training a number of muscle groups. Another benefit obtained by performing multi-joint and compound movements is confidence as these training methods increase your strength. It's not important that you move big weights, what is important is that you are selecting and lifting loads that are heavy for you. Overtime your strength will increase allowing you to increase the poundage you use. When training for strenght, women benefit from doing 3-6 reps and preform 1-2 more sets of an exercise to achieve the same degree of stimulation as the men.