Unfortunately, quite a few misconceptions about proper methods for working out for females have been perpetrated into mainstream acceptance. One of the groups that suffers the most with these fraudulent assumptions is teen girls. Due to these widely believed exercise myths for females, many women are being steered away from correct training methods, drastically stifling their potential for improvement. What follows is a myth-busting workout schedule for teen girls, so read on and redefine your perceptions.
Myth 1: Women Should Avoid Lifting Weights
A number of individuals stress quite heavily that women should avoid lifting weights. They argue that women who lift weights and exercise with intensity will end up looking like men. Sadly, thanks to the appearances of female bodybuilders in magazines and in the media, many women believe this wholeheartedly. However, this info could not be more wrong. The truth is, thanks to differences in hormonal balance and endocrine systems, it is nearly impossible for a woman to add massive amounts of muscle to her frame. The musclebound women one sees through the media are either (1) taking copious amounts of illegal drugs to build extra muscle or (2) are complete genetic abnormalities.
With that said, and now that you understand that women have nothing to fear from lifting weights, resistance training provides some of the best possible benefits for females in their teen years. Weightlifting boosts one's metabolism far more than comparable cardiovascular training and is very effective at reducing levels of body fat. Every teen girl should include at least some weight training in her exercise program.
Myth 2: Women Should Train Differently than Men in the Weight Room
So now that we have overcome the general abhorrence against women in the weight room, let's move on to another common misconception--that women need to train differently than men. This is patently untrue. Women can benefit from the exact same types of weight training as men. In fact, women have comparable strength to bodyweight potential as men in both lower body exercises and even pullups.
Generally speaking, teen girls in the weight room should be training as heavy as proper form allows. All too often, the rare female lifting weights will relegate herself to the lightest possible dumbbells for thousands of repetitions. While women will usually not be as strong as men on a number of upper body exercises, they should still train as heavy as their own strength levels allow to see maximum benefit.
With those two issues firmly out of the way, what follows is a sample workout schedule for teen girls. Although weight training can be used exclusively, we have also included two separate days of cardiovascular exercise for additional benefits. Any unfamiliar exercises can be researched by using the "Exercise Information" link under "Resources."
Barbell Back Squat--3 sets of 6 to 8 repetitions per set
Dumbbell Lunges--4 sets of 8 repetitions with each leg per set
Crunches on a Swiss Ball--3 sets of 20 repetitions
30--45 minutes of cardio training, whether on a machine or jogging outside
Pullups (substitute pulldowns on a machine if pullups are too difficult at first)--3 sets of 6 to 8 repetitions
One-arm dumbbell row--3 sets of 8 to10 repetitions (per arm)
Dumbbell Curls--2 sets of 8 to10 repetitions (per arm)
Dumbbell bench press--3 sets of 8 to10 repetitions
Dumbbell overhead press--3 sets of 6 to 8 repetitions
Barbell tricep extensions (aka skull crushers)--3 sets of 8 to10 repetitions
Saturday: 30 to 45 minutes of cardio training, whether on a machine or jogging outside
With this workout program, teen girls can expect to lose weight quickly and maintain a healthy and feminine image. After a few months in the weight room, you will wonder how you ever thought of exercising any other way.