Q: What are the top three mistakes women make when trying to get a lean body?
A: This is a great question because it affirms an important point: To get the best results, investigating what you’re not doing is just as important as what you are doing at the gym. Here are the three most common mistakes that hold women back:
1. Too Much Emphasis on Aerobic Activities and Not Enough on Strength Training
Most women fail to realize the value of strength training. And when I say strength training, I don’t mean 20-30 repetitions using 3-lb dumbbells. I’m talking about lifting challenging loads like 8-12 repetitions maximum (RM). What does that mean? Repetition maximum refers to the maximum number of repetitions that you can perform with a given load while still maintaining excellent form. In the above example of 8-12 RM, the last perfect repetition should fall within the 8-12 rep range. If you are not able to perform 8 reps with a given resistance, use a slightly lighter weight that allows you to do so. On the other hand, if you can perform more than 12 reps with the resistance, then I suggest increasing the load a little.
Strength training, especially at higher intensities, promotes something called excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). Sometimes referred to as “afterburn,” EPOC is basically an increased rate of oxygen intake following strenuous activity. During the post-workout recovery process, excess oxygen is used to facilitate all of the processes that restore your body back to its resting state and to help it adapt to the exercise (stress) just performed. The “afterburn” also fuels your metabolism to return your body temperature and heart rate back to its pre-exercise state. Some research shows that this increase in resting metabolic rate can last up to 72 hours after your workout is over, with 24-48 hours being more the norm. Higher metabolic rate means more calories burned…
Read more: Joe Dowdell, Shape