compliment to the bigger exercises; but make sure that once you’ve done all you feel you can on the primary work, fill in the gaps with smaller exercises that give more focused attention to muscles that may be lagging. Female lifters can generally do much more volume at relatively heavier weights than male lifters. It wouldn’t be uncommon for a female lifter to be able to perform 90%x5 reps in the bench press or multiple sets of 85%x5, while a male lifter may set a five rep max at 85%. Because of this, females need to push the amount of work they’re doing during a strength phase, both the volume will be higher as well as the relative intensity. Since most females will only need a very short peaking block for the bench press; spending 30-50% of your training energy in Strength Training is a good strategy.If you’re preparing for a Powerlifting meet or just looking to test your strength and
33TRAINING THE BENCHpush your biggest weights, Peaking Training is the next phase you’ll go through. Peaking Training is the heaviest and most specific aspect of training for max strength. During Peaking you’ll train in these ranges: 92.5%+ of your 1rm1-3 reps per set6-10 sets per weekBench 2-3x per week in the above volume/intensity ranges would be good for most during peaking, along with the potential addition of a day that resembles a lighter Strength Training day to ensure that weekly volume stays high and you retain muscle through peaking into the meet. One great piece of advice I can give to any female lifters looking to improve their bench press is to invest in a set of fractional plates. If the smallest weights you have are 2.5 pounds or 1.25kg, you’ll be extremely limiting yourself in the increments of improvement you can make. Being able to make incremental jumps in weight will help bench press strength improve while keeping frustration at bay. If you are a woman looking for a better bench, put your attention towards building muscle, along with mastering your technique. Know that progress may be slow but with your diligence and perseverance, improvements will come.
34FUERZA: A FEMALE’S GUIDE TO STRENGTH & PHYSIQUETRAININGTHE DEADLIFTEQUIPMENTBELT:Just like in the squat, a good belt is a worthwhile investment. I wear the same belt for the deadlift as I do for the squat.SHOES:Thin soled, flat shoes are optimal for the deadlift. I wear wrestling shoes since they grip the floor really well and provide a bit of ankle support as well.SOCKS:Knee high socks are mandatory for competition but I usually wear them during training to help protect my shins, plus they look cute. TECHNIQUE1.Your deadlift stance should be the same width that you would do a vertical jump from, right under your hips with your toes straight ahead or slightly turned out. The bar should be aligned over your midfoot, where the knot in your shoelaces is, is a good rule of thumb.