Do you pass by the magazine stands in the
store and envy the bodies of the cover models? More and more women today are
coveting this body type; strong and muscular while still being feminine. Gone
are the days where strong women are seen as too masculine and unattractive.
The female fitness body is here to stay.
Now, curves are back so long as they are created with muscle mass and have a softer appearance. Hot celebrities such as Jessica Biel and Jessica Alba are now gracing the covers showing off their new curves. What's more is that these women are garnering a great deal of male attraction - much more than their thinner counterparts such as Lindsay Lohan or Victoria Beckham.
Luckily, if you make some smart changes to your workout program you can get yourself on the road to looking like the next female fitness model, maybe even covermodel!
First things first. Pink Weights.
If you want to add sexy curves to your body, you need not be afraid of heavier weights. Don't worry, you are not going to bulk up and begin bearing resemblance to Vin Diesel, as women simply do not have the testosterone in their bodies to be able to do this. In fact, in a very good situation, assuming sound training and great nutrition, a woman would be lucky to put on about half a pound of muscle mass per month. Not quite as scary as you thought right? And that is assuming everything is done right… many will experience a slower rate yet.
The problem with pink weights is that for most of you, they aren't challenging! You'd be surprised at how strong you already are if you'd just push yourself that little extra bit. So next time you're in the gym, pick up a ten pound dumbbell or if you're really ambitious, go for fifteen. You'll start noticing your body changing more in the next few weeks than in the last few years you've spent slaying away on the stairmaster.
Weights have the power to completely transform your body. They will make you a smaller, yet curvier version of your body now.
Don't be alarmed at your scale weight though as upon weight training your body weight may go up. Relax however, because one pound of muscle takes up much less space on your body than one pound of bodyfat does, therefore you may weigh more, but you will look smaller.
Next comes cardio.
Women have this tendency to just gravitate towards the cardio section of the gym. Whether it is the best place to check out the men lifting or it feels safer to them, whatever the reason, they go there and stay there - for hours at a time.
This is something that has to change. Think about how many hours of your life you've spent on that treadmill, stairmaster or elliptical machine. Do you really look that much different because of it? I'm guessing probably not.
Not only that, but how many of you put in your hour while watching TV or reading your favourite magazine? This is probably a good indicator that you aren't quite working as hard as you could be.
The truth of the matter is that your body will quickly adapt to all that cardio training that you are doing. So while before you might have burned a hundred calories running a mile, now you are only burning 80. Unless you continually add more and more time to get the same calorie burn, it is going to stop being an effective fat loss tool. And when you're already doing six hours a week, who really wants to spend MORE time doing cardio?
The secret is changing the format of your cardio from that of a comfortable steady-state session to one that's composed of high intensity intervals that will really kick you out of your comfort zone - and blast away body fat as well.
This is by far a more productive form of cardio to be doing so rather than wasting another hour of your life not really getting anywhere, next time you're in the gym for cardio, do twenty minutes, alternating thirty seconds going as hard as you possibly can with a minute and a half at a much easier pace to recover. It will be hard - I warn you. Stick with it for one month however and you will be extremely happy you did.
Now. Bring on the carbs.
Have you grown a love-hate relationship with carbohydrates? You love the way they taste but don't like the number they're doing to your waist. Understandable - many women feel this way.
The key thing to remember with carbohydrates is that they are not necessarily 'evil', so long as the portion size you eat remains under control and you are timing them properly. To have carbohydrates working most effectively for you, it is critical that you time them before and after your workouts. This is when your muscles are going to need the energy and will rapidly soak them up!
So if you're craving a bagel, have at it, but enjoy it right after you've finished a hard lifting session, as described above.
Get rid of your fat phobia.
One critical thing that many women do not understand is that in order to lose fat, they must eat fat. Women in particular actually tend to do better on a higher fat diet than males do. This has to do with their hormonal make-up and the way their body functions and responds to various macronutrient levels.
How many times have you reached for the cookies on the shelves, solely because they were 'fat-free' so you thought they'd be a safe dieting food? This was a terrible mistake.
When you remove the fat out of products, often times manufacturers will begin to add in extra sugar to make up for the taste. Newsflash. Extra sugar sends insulin levels skyrocketing and guess what insulin is? The fat storage hormone. So, what you need to do is try and minimize the amount of insulin surges you create throughout the day, while staying within your total calorie budget. Do this and you will have your best defence against warding off both hunger and fat gain.
Now, guess which macronutrient has the least effect on insulin levels? That's right - dietary fat.
So do not be so scared of consuming fat in your diet. It will help you deal with hunger and help your food taste better. Ideally you should be aiming to get no less than 25-30% of your calories coming from a combination of healthy fats (fish oil is particularly important).
Work Those Glutes
Finally, the one body part that most women usually will say they want to improve upon is their glutes. That curvy, sexy backside appearance tops the list of many gymgoers and in order to achieve this you are going to have to be doing the right exercises.
Concentrate on adding heavy-weight lunges, one legged squats, hamstring curls and ass-to-the-ground squats into your program. These are your fast track to a great behind. You can do all the cardio you want to try and get it, but unfortunately, all that might do is make you a smaller version of your exact same self. If you want to change the way you look, then you need to change the way you train.
So next time you pass by one of those covermodels and start dreaming about what it would be like to have that body - make it a reality for you. Many women are capable of making great improvements to their bodies if they would just stop with the training methods they are currently using and get on ones that are much more in tune with their goals.