Strength Training for Women
I recommend exercises that simulate what you do in real life, exercises
standing up using your body weight, for example. These exercises not only use
the muscles you're targeting, for instance when doing a lunge you're working
your legs, they also challenge your core muscles, which are the muscles of your
abdominals and lower back. And they challenge your coordination, which you need
in real life.
MODERATOR: The exercises are beautifully illustrated with great
photos in Wini's book. They make it very clear what you should be doing and how
you should be doing it.
MEMBER QUESTION: Should you do cardio workouts on the same day as
weights or alter the days?
LINGUVIC: The best scenario is you do it on an alternate day. But in
our busy lives sometimes we need to do our workout on the same day. You want to
have energy to do your strength training workout, so try to do your cardio
workouts on your off days, at least in the beginning.
Aerobics are really important. No one dies of a weak bicep. So make sure you
do your aerobics. But it is strength training, hands down, that changes bodies
MEMBER QUESTION Are resistance bands as effective as weights for
LINGUVIC: No. A resistance band is better than no band, and for some
exercises it can be very effective, such as adductor and abductor work (your
inner thighs), when you need to move your legs laterally. If you were on the
road and all you had was a resistance band, that would be fine, but ideally you
want to be able to increase the amount of weight you're using as you get
stronger and there's no way to do that with one single band. If that's all you
have, though, that's better than not using anything at all.
There are a lot of exercises in Lean, Long & Strong that don't
require any weights at all. You don't need dumbbells or resistance bands. These
exercises rely on body weight, such as lunges, plies and pushups. As you get
better at certain exercises you add weight to increase the challenge. With a
band it's hard to quantify how much weight you're at.
MEMBER QUESTION: What type of weights do you recommend?
LINGUVIC: I recommend a set of dumbbells to start off, perhaps a 5
pound, an 8 pound and a 10 pound, depending on your fitness level.
I highly prefer dumbbells to exercise machines, for the reasons I've said
before. In other words, if you sit down on a machine and press something up,
you're really getting good at sitting on a machine and pressing something up.
If you sit on a ball or stand in a squat position and press up a set of
dumbbells, not only are you working your shoulders, you're working your core
muscles, which are your abdominals and lower back, and you're challenging your
balance and coordination. In real life, we need all of those things.