Mailvox: women working out

Wendy is working out:

Hi Vox and Spacebunny,

I hope the eye is feeling better and the recovery is a quick one. This probably isn’t the best time, but I had a few questions about lifting. I’d appreciate any input from you or Spacebunny. I’ve started doing some lifting workouts. I bought a pretty good book (Strength Training for Women) and some weights (3,5,and 10lbs and leg weights), bands and ball. (I know myself well enough that I won’t go to a gym to workout and don’t want the extra expense in the family budget.)

I’ve been doing the workouts for a while now. My questions are regarding frequency of working out. For light weight exercises, do I need a full day of rest between workouts? Ideally, how many times a week should each major muscle group be worked (upper, lower, core)? Should I alternate days working one group one day and another the next? How does aerobic/anaerobic exercises (hockey and tennis) affect the workout? Should there be planned rest/recovery for those? If I do a ball exercise video on a whim (they are pretty easy) will it matter what workout I do the next day?

For light exercises, no rest is necessary, but in general it’s best to give a muscle group a full day off before hitting it again. Heavy big-muscle groups, such as chest and legs, should only be done twice a week, although come to think of it that might not be true for women since they don’t lift as much. Back when I was only benching 135, I used to do chest three times a week, by the time I hit 325 I was going heavy once and light once per week… and half the time I was skipping the light workout.

You know what? I really have no clue. I have trained a number of women HOW to lift, but I’ve never paid much attention to what their programs are. And if it’s not free weights or a few particular machines, I just don’t use it. Spacebunny can give you much, much better information for what is likely to work out, so check back and I’m sure she’ll share her thoughts on the matter.