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Women’s Weight Loss – From my experience

The more I speak to women the more upset I get when they tell me their strategies for losing weight. Most believe in “site reduction” which says that if you want to lose weight in a particular area, you need to use some sort of resistance exercises or weights to strip off the fat in that area. I wish I had a dollar for every person that believed in that theory. That is just not the case, and that’s why women find it very hard to lose weight off problem areas.
They’ve been told, for instance, that to lose weight around the butt you need to squat or leg press with weights. In order to tone and tighten that area. So the unexpecting female starts squatting and pressing like there’s no tomorrow. And before long she notices that her butt has gotten even bigger. Now it might be slightly tighter but who cares, now in jeans or pants it looks fat. You can’t walk up to someone and say feel my butt it’s not really fat it’s actually firm. First impressions last, and we go by what we see. This is a generalization, and not all women will experience this.

And there are steps towards doing it the correct way. If making the butt smaller is a priority. If not, by all means squat heavy like a demon. And if you keep going heavier, your butt will grow. But this is an all too common scenario that I hear too often. Some women’s butts and legs even grow after a few hard cycle/spin classes. The reason being that women generally have pretty strong legs and glutes. Everybody, male and female have bodyparts which firm up or grow better than others. And for women, in a lot of cases it’s their lower bodies.

Please don’t mistake my intent, I’m in no way against weights and resistance training. I’m from a bodybuilding background so I’m in love with weight training. And resistance training is a must in order to lift your metabolic rate. So every female must do some sort of weights routine. Whether it be free weights, machine weights, pump classes etc. But with working with many clients over the years, I have found that you need to be very careful and specific about what exercises to prescribe if weight loss or more specifically fat loss is your goal. And it’s not enough to just lose fat all over, most want to change their overall body shape. So that’s why I specialize in not only women’s fat loss but in women’t body sculpting. Because the finish result should be a different look. Not just a smaller look of what was. Symmetry, proportion, balance, definition, separation all play critical roles in a pleasing female form.
Now please listen to me, it’s not all that black and white. Every body is different, but there are certain body types and certain dispositions towards gaining weight in certain areas. And it’s not just genetic, it’s also what other combinations of exercise you do. Let me try and articulate the scenarios to the best of my ability.

Women have differing body shapes: spoon (straight up and down - skinny), pear (bigger lower body than top), hour glass (pretty proportional top and bottom), apple (pretty round all over).

Women also have differing body types: ectomorph (skinny - hard to gain weight), mesomorph (good genetics to gain lean muscle), endomorph (disposition to gaining excess bodyfat)

Women also can have different skeletal structure: big, medium or small boned.
Then there are hormonal differences, lifestyle differences etc. But I won’t get into these now.
Most women are a combination of the above. They may not be a total spoon, but have spoon tendencies or they may not be a complete ectomorph, but have moved from ectomorph to endomorph as they have aged. Again I cannot say that someone is exactly one type. It’s normally a combination and/or and evolving towards certain types.

It is therefore critical to assess each individuals body differently and prescribe the correct exercise regime accordingly. I train none of my women exactly the same.

Let me give you some examples. I can’t write all the possible scenarios, or this would go on forever but here we go:

Betty and Mary are 30 year old twins there bodies were both spoon types when they were young, they have small bone structure. But Betty has a disposition to gaining excess weight on her thighs and butt as she has aged. So as she has aged her spoon type has amalgamated more into a evolving pear. Betty has very weak upper body strength but good lower body strength. Mary does not gain weight anywhere. So she has remained a spoon shape. Has strong biceps and back muscles but relatively weak everywhere else.
Both their goals is to have a tight hourglass look.
Here’s is what I would do to get them on track. Obviously a full and thorough assessment would have to be conducted to find out the above tendencies. Then it’s time to go to work.

For Betty: I need to strink her lower body (but keep it tight) and strengthen her upper body. Mainly her shoulders and Back for example. So the obvious solution is to go for lighter weights with more repetitions for the lower body, so it doesn’t grow but stays tight and for moderate weights on the upper body. So to lift her metabolic rate while doing cardio. See how the weights are the slave to the cardio. Not the other way around.
Now please note that when you have weak bodyparts, it is very hard for them to actually gain a lot of size. It’s is almost to opposite to strong bodyparts, which can grow at a drop of a hat. You need to understand this. So you can hit the weak bodyparts moderately heavy in order to maintain lean muscle mass.

Now here’s the catch…while working with Betty. I ask her to do her cardio homework. Which is 2 days of 45mins treadmill at 2 incline and 5.5km speed and 1 day of mixed cardio where she does 20 min interval stepper at 80 – 90 steps per min and 2000km on the rower at 32skm. This is her moderate intensity cardio. She is to do this on her days she is not seeing me. I still do the high to medium intensity intervals on the cardio equipment with her coupled with her weight and functional training. After 2 months she admits that she is not doing her homework. Now I have a situation where the weight training I have been doing is making her feel a little bulky on the upper body. The root cause is that she has not been burning enough calories in order to lean out her upper body. So now she feels that the weights are evil and that they bulk her up. And when you put this in your mind it’s sometimes hard to change. Cardio and Weights always go together when trying to lose weight. One without the other does not give optimal results. That’s why you see some people doing thousands of aerobic classes every year and never change their appearance. Or you see people that do countless hours of weights with little results. It’s like a lock…once you’ve found the right combinations you unearth the treasure.
What changes peoples body is a specific, systematic and evolving program which is done very consistently. As well consistently great eating habits.

That’s All Folks…
Robbie Out




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