Excuse us while we take this irresistible opportunity to say that men can learn a thing or two from women. When it comes to workouts, XYs may find that XX techniques help them bust through fitness roadblocks: the spare tire that won’t deflate, the toes that refuse to be touched, the nagging injury. But this one goes both ways—spying on the guys’ locker room can be useful for the girls.
LADIES, PAY ATTENTION!
Sports are the ultimate multitasking workout. Men absorb this fact in boyhood. More women should expand their horizons and play sports, says Ellen Barrett, a fitness instructor at Crunch in New York. Join a league—dodgeball and kickball are old-school faves that are popular now—and you’ll get buff while you have fun.
Repeat after us: “Weight training is good for me. Weight training will not make me look like an Olympic athlete who failed a drug test.” As Todd Durkin, the American Council on Exercise’s 2005 Personal Trainer of the Year and owner of San Diego’s Fitness Quest 10, reminds us, “Lifting weights does not lead to big bulky muscles.”
In fact, weight training can speed up metabolism, helping you burn more calories no matter what you’re doing.
Train at higher intensity. Women often get into a routine with their workouts, where 30 minutes on the treadmill becomes just another thing to check off the to-do list. “Don’t be afraid to work hard,” Durkin says. “Challenging yourself will lead to greater results.”
Eat. “Starving is not how you get leaner,” says Barrett, who notes that guys never go on a “hunger strike.” When trying to lose weight, they eat better and up their activity level, but swearing off food rarely enters their minds.