I caught myself thinking the other day, “Holy shit..I train a lot of girls.” I mean, I know I train mostly women, but there have been some critical things I’ve had to adjust in my coaching style, beliefs, and programming so that I was consistently cultivating success and results for these hardworking ladies. They deserve it. They show up and trust me 100 percent to deliver workouts that will challenge them, but also give them confidence. With some of these key elements to consider when working with women, you can unlock their potential and set them free on a journey that will surely shatter their pre-conceived notions about working out, and give them the tools to love the hell out their new and improved body.
So this post is actually for both trainers and coaches who train women, and females who desire results without feeling the common pressures of personal training, as well as girls who are simply frustrated with their results.
One of the biggest things I’ve come to realize while working with numerous women is that they consider working out a highly personal, highly prioritized endeavor. No, this doesn’t mean they necessarily do the right things in the gym that optimize their chances of reaching goals, but if put in the right, and most comfortable situation, with the right guidance women will work their tail off for you, more so than most men.
Here are 5 ways that you can start achieving major results for your for your female clients, or yourself if you ladies prefer to work alone.
1) Realize that women have more stamina than men almost always – Every single one of my female clients I’ve had to slow down at some point from moving from exercise to exercise too fast. Now don’t get me wrong, this can be awesome for fat loss, but if strength improvement is your biggest problem to assess, you may need to back her down. It never ceases to amaze me when I see my girls bounce from a heavy squat to a heavy row and then back to squat like its no big deal. I think to myself, wow, I need 2-3 min sitting in between heavy sets, she’s putting me to shame! Well, always have her goal remain your goal. If fat loss is her biggest priority, by all means hop into the sets when you are ready, but never compromise reps or form because you or your client is out of breath. That is a mistake. Also, make it a point to slow down the girls who need to gain strength and muscle. Prioritize recovery periods in those cases.
2) Get their butt sore – Their is not a woman on the planet who doesn’t look at her butt everyday to critique or analyze. I’ll leave the science part up to Show Me Strength’s evolutionary biologist, Andrew Ferreira, but I don’t know any guy who likes a flat butt on their girl. This is always something I both work on, and maintain with every one of my female clients. I know that it’s a concern, and more importantly, I know the glutes, and firing them properly can propel a person into a radical acceleration of body transformation. I have to admit, undoubtedly, I have stolen some awesome exercises from the glute guy himself, Bret Contreras. This guy has been a humungous inspiration for me, and even in my clients for continuing to prove the fact that the most attractive and appealing women on the planet can lift heavy, and still look incredible. Ill just leave these here, but just remember if they can do it, you can too.
Bret’s Booty Blasting Protocol <– Hip thrust like crazy. The glutes are the largest muscle group, therefore you need to take full advantage of crushing them. They can take it. Here is a great little glute finisher to try out if you or your client are up for it.
Operation Get Strong & Sexy <– I love my girls lifting heavy with great form and confidence. This video by Bret is a great reference point for all women who are starting to love lifting. See? These girls aren’t big and bulky from moving heavy weights!
Fit Ladies Using Hip Thruster <– I’m very jealous of this contraption. I need it, and I needed it yesterday. You want a better butt? Well, start here. I’m convinced that glute bridging and different loading schemes with hip thrusts are among the top few ass exercises, arguably the best.
3) Don’t overwhelm them with information. They don’t care about how much you know until they know how much you care – I hate to break it to you, but if you are going to spend time talking about how much you can bench or your fancy shamncy training certifications or how in shape your other clients are, you aren’t going to do much selling. Become their biggest fan and dedicate yourself to doing whatever it takes to get them the results they need. It really shouldn’t matter if you like coaching certain exercises or not. Every single thing you program for your clients should be getting them a step closer to where they want to be. If it’s not, check yo self.
4) Slowly turn pavement pounders into metal movers – I truly believe that there is a time and place for long distance, steady state cardio. In fact one of the best coaches in our industry, Mike Robertson, wrote about it extensively here <–. However, true, and long term physique improvement must include a significant amount of weight training. So how are you going to convince a girl that she needs to squat, deadlift, push and pull, and load it heavy? TRUST and PATIENCE. Above every other point you takeaway, the most crucial element is building confidence. Make them super successful at goblet squatting or dumbbell deadlifting. It’s a big mistake to jump under the bar with an untrained female client. Slowly hammer away at mastering basic movement patterns, and get them incrementally stronger and stronger until theres is absolutely no doubt they will be successful with the barbell. Once you have them making clear and obvious progress, you’ll be on your way to having a client forever. Be patient.
5) Everyday is different. Be ready to adjust – Girls are completely different creatures than us men, I think we can all agree with that. This absolutely means that you need to take a different approach to coaching them successfully. We don’t have to deal with certain hormonal fluctuations that women do, and if you don’t think it affects their training, you are mistaken. Some days a girl’s body just doesn’t want to train super hard. You need to develop open communication and convey understanding so you can still get a productive training effect from them. On paper, it might be a crazy heavy lower body day, and she might have awful cramps or just feel fatigued from it being that time of the month. Don’t just tell her to suck it up. Adjust your programs accordingly. Maybe do some extra movement based stuff, but always have them leaving feeling better than when they got there. If you can do that, then you’ll be successful.