It’s no secret that I primarily train women. At the new Glute Lab, there are around 10 ladies who regularly train with me throughout the week, and only 4 men (I try very hard to resist taking on new clients at the moment so I can focus on my PhD). Since I focus on women, I tend to see a lot of things that other trainers might not see. In fact, you’ll be hard-pressed to find anyone out there who pays closer attention to the nuances between gender differences in strength training. Many of the tips below can apply to either sex, but they’re generally more suited for women than men. Here are ten training tips for the ladies, in no particular order of importance.
I want to alert my readers to an exciting new study that was recently published in the Journal of Neurophysiology. The study deals with mental imagery, also known in the literature as imagined contractions. I briefly mentioned this phenomenon in a T-Nation article I wrote three years ago with my colleague Brad Schoenfeld titled Why Bodybuilders Are More Jacked Than Powerlifters. I actually used mental imagery during my deloading the week prior to my last powerlifting meet, and I truly believe that it helped me achieve my goal of deadlifting 600 lbs. I also used mental imagery when I first pulled 585 lbs two years ago, which I mentioned HERE.
What’s that bro? Speak up. You like the pump? That’s okay, don’t be afraid to admit it. I like the pump too. In fact, I even published a journal article on the topic with my good friend Brad Schoenfeld HERE. I like feeling a glute pump, a quad pump, a ham pump, a pec pump, a delt pump, a back pump, and an arm pump. I’ve written in the past about how to achieve a glute pump HERE. If you want a quad pump, all you need to do is bust out a few sets of medium to high rep leg extensions with short rest periods. Same goes for leg curl variations and the hammies. But what if you don’t train in a commercial gym – what if you train out of your garage or out of a facility that doesn’t have leg extension and leg curl machines?
Was your father Zeus or Odin? Did you ever have a favorable exposure to Gamma radiation? Have you ever been bitten by a radioactive genetically modified spider? No? Well maybe you hit the genetic lottery then when it came to strength. We all know or have seen people who display almost super human strength characteristics. Bret wrote a good article several years back on the subject titled The Truth About Bodybuilding Genetics.
Our genetic makeup determines so much of who we are and what we do. It determines how we look and influences how we act. It also determines how our bodies react to environmental stimuli. For example, if two people perform the exact same exercise routine, they won’t respond in exactly the same way. One person might put on more lean muscle mass and get stronger than the other individual. The differences in responses may be small or in some rare cases extreme. Before continuing, I believe it would be helpful to give a little refresher on some biology terms.