Something different from Molly Galbraith of Girls Gone Strong: The Female Fitness Formula For Looking And Feeling Amazing
Yes, it’s true. There’s actually a fitness formula to help women look and feel their absolute best. Can you believe it?
So I know what you’re thinking. If I have this formula, why am I writing this article instead of sitting on a beach in Tahiti?
Well to be honest, it’s because the formula isn’t all that sexy. It doesn’t involve “insanity” or “muscle confusion” or the “principles of dynamic resistance” that only this infomercial trainer is privy to.
In fact, it’s pretty simple, and involves training hard and smart, and eating well.
Check it out below:
Sound Nutrition Plan
To be fair, there is no one-size-fits-all nutrition plan for women. A sound nutrition program for a woman is definitely going to have to be customized to her unique needs, dieting history, preferences, and activity level, among other things. But there are some principles to follow:
– Eat protein with every meal or snack, aiming for approximately .8 – 1 gram per lb. of body weight.
– Eat vegetables as often as possible (2-3x as much as you eat fruit).
– Drink plenty of water.
– Eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re 80-90% full.
– Get enough fat. Sources like butter, coconut oil, olive oil, nuts, and avocadoes are perfect.
– Find an eating plan that you enjoy that doesn’t feel like a “diet.” It should feel like you could eat this way forever.
Pure Strength Training (3 days/week)
This part of the formula is designed specifically to gain strength and to slightly gain, or at the very minimum to maintain, muscle mass. This is critical because the more muscle mass you have, the higher your metabolism will be, as muscle is very metabolically expensive to maintain.
For most women training 3 days a week, I like full body splits, upper/lower splits, push/pull/lower splits, or some combination of those. No body part splits allowed.
In this pure strength training routine, you should be doing variations of the following exercises: squats, deadlifts, presses, rows, carries, lunges, and other single leg and split stance movements. What this set/rep scheme looks like will depend on your training age and ability level, but in general, more advanced trainees can get away with doing much heavier, lower-rep work, while intermediate trainees should stick to moderately heavy loads, and beginners needs to master movements first and foremost, and then they can begin adding weight.
HIIT (2 days/week)
High intensity interval training (HIIT) is periods of intense work, followed by periods of rest, and is performed for a relatively short period of time (generally 4-15 minutes). This type of training is an absolute game-changers when it comes to fat loss, if programmed and performed correctly.
However, you do need to be careful when performing HIIT workouts, so make sure you follow these smart tips:
– Use smart exercise selection- An example of terrible exercise selection would be doing Overhead Squats after you’ve done Overhead Presses to failure. Your shoulders are completely exhausted and then you want hold weight over your head and squat? Bad call.
– Respect your ability level – If you’re brand new to learning barbell deadlifts, do you think it’s a good idea to choose a workout that calls for doing several sets of them while under fatigue? If you answered no, you win.
MIC (2 days/week)
Although traditional, moderate-intensity, “aerobic” cardio (heart rate in the 120-150 bpm range) has been demonized a lot in the fitness industry in the last 10 years, it’s still very valuable and has its place.
MIC is fantastic for building and maintaining a solid aerobic base, which does several things:
– It allows you to recover more quickly in between exercises during strength training or high intensity interval training. This allows you to use more weight or shorter rest periods.
– It’s also great for improving your overall recovery throughout the week so you can feel more fresh and rested for every workout.
– Finally, it can help decrease stress and anxiety. If you’re like most women, you walk around in a very sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) dominant state where we constantly feel stressed out, anxious, or hyped up. This moderate intensity cardio can help us switch over to a more parasympathetic nervous system dominant state, allowing us to relax more, feel less anxious, and even sleep better.
The best part? You don’t have to do anything specific for this type of cardio. In this instance, the heart is kind of a “dumb muscle” and as long as your heart rate is in the 120-150 bpm range, you’ll be reaping the benefits. You can hike, bike, walk hills, do mobility circuits, do lighter strength training circuits, whatever you’d like.
So what would this program look like overall?
(This is written for an intermediate lifter, adjust as necessary for your ability level)
Monday – Full Body + HIIT
Tuesday – Moderate Intensity Cardio
Wednesday – Full Body
Thursday – OFF
Friday – Full Body + HIIT
Saturday – Moderate Intensity Cardio
Sunday – OFF
Oh, and pssst… Make sure you include a dynamic warm-up before every workout.
So there you have it. A program to help you look and feel your absolute best with minimal time and effort. And if you want to see more details on exactly what each workout should look like, how to do the exercises, and much more, you’ll need to check out this incredible resource I put together for Girls Gone Strong. It’s called The Modern Woman’s Guide To Strength Training.
Check out everything it includes:
– The Modern Woman’s Guide To Strength Training Manual.
– The Modern Woman’s Guide To Strength Training Programs
– The Modern Woman’s Guide To Strength Training Video Library
– The Modern Woman’s Guide To Strength Training Exercise Glossary
– The Modern Woman’s Guide To Strength Training Progress Tracker
We also offer The Modern Woman’s Guide To Good Nutrition Package as well written by Dr. Cassandra Forsythe, PhD, RD, CSCS, gym owner, and co-author of The New Rules Of Lifting For Women, and The Women’s Health Perfect Body Diet.
Included in this package is:
– The Modern Woman’s Guide To Good Nutrition Manual
– The Modern Woman’s Guide To Good Nutrition Meal Plan
Plus some other amazing bonuses you’ll see soon! So if you or anyone you know is interested in looking and feeling absolutely amazing with the least amount of time and effort, you NEED this program.