I want to make a point today to remind the ladies reading this that the best thing you can be doing more of in the gym is lifting weights. Yes, weights. Not just jumping on the treadmill for an hour and then doing 50 crunches before calling it a day. I mean pick up the dumbbells, get in front of a weight stack, squat more than just the bar, and lift some weight! Far too often I see women that come into my gym and want to just blast cardio day in and day out, and you know what? These are the people that don't make much of a change from the first day they walked in!
But lifting is for the boys, you say. I don't want to be bulky like a guy, you say. I want to assure you that this is not the future for you. Guys produce way WAY more testosterone than you do, and you quite honestly don't take in enough calories to throw all kinds of muscle on you. Hell, a lot of guys that ARE trying to bulk up don't eat enough food to add much size! So here's a couple of tips that you girls should highly consider stealing from the workout books of men:
Use compound lifts: The big movements that should be the staples of anyone's workouts use multiple muscle groups, and move more than one joint in the process. We're talking squats, rows, and presses. Don't be scared to squat a weight that you can only more for 10 reps and not 30. It will help you out!
Keep track of your progress: Going to Group Ex classes 4 times a week seems like a hell of a workout, and you get to see some friends, sweat a bit, and take off. But take a look around you at your next get-together there and ask yourself this; How many of them haven't made a change, and have been in the class for months? Doesn't that seem wrong? There's no way to really track your progress in there, so hit the weights and keep a log of what you are doing so you can see results in numbers. As these numbers go up, you might be surprised to see the numbers in your closet going down.
Push harder than normal: If you are reading your Kindle on the recumbent bike or walking on the treadmill with a People magazine in front of you, do me a favor - just hand me your monthly gym dues instead of your gym, because clearly you don't mind throwing money out the window! Crack it up a notch and really push it! Sweat more than yesterday, and see some results! Long story short, if you have time to read or talk during your cardio, chances are good you aren't really working hard enough.