The Essential Guide To Female Training For A Sexy Feminine Physique - FitMole
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The Essential Guide To Female Training For A Sexy Feminine Physique

53 Comments | Training

Feminine

9/11/15 update: Okay…so looks like reddit somehow found one of my oldest articles. Yes it was worded incredibly poorly, my training approach has slightly changed, and I will release a new article in the future to address this. My overall goal with this post when I wrote it was to help woman who wanted a more slender type physique like Jennifer Aniston or Jessica Alba but my big fuck up was me telling woman how they should look. Noted.

Want to send hate mail? Email me – keith@fitmole.org

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[Brace yourself, this article is going to be a bit controversial. I present some concepts that might upset some women, so please keep an open mind.]

Why hello ladies, today’s post is for you.

While there are a lot of articles online on female training and workouts, they don’t really cater to what women want.

Most fitness professionals approach female training with a man’s mindset. Men want to become as muscular and ripped as possible, women don’t.

Women don’t even want to be associated with the word muscular, they want to look and feel sexy and feminine. Am I rightt?

This is why women need to take a special approach to training in order to achieve this look.

Who women do no want to look like

It’s pretty obvious that the majority of women don’t want to look like professional bodybuilders.

But what a lot of people don’t realize is that women also don’t want look like natural bodybuilders or even fitness models which is the supposed “ideal” look these days.

Let’s look at one of world’s most famous female fitness models, Jamie Eason.

Jamie Eason

I think most women would find this look excessive.

There’s no doubt that Jamie Eason is in absolutely phenomenal shape. She has plenty of muscle and very low body fat… but it’s a bit excessive.

I’m not disrespecting Jamie because what she has accomplished with her physique is very impressive and difficult to do but I’m guessing most women simply have no desire to look like this.

And my problem is that so many fitness professionals are deeming this sort of look as ideal.

Jamie’s approach to fitness is more suited for a man than a woman (i.e. gaining as much muscle as possible).

Who women want to look like

Women don’t care about having veiny forearms. They don’t care if their deltoids “pop” out. They don’t care if they have “tear drop” legs.

These are things that guys care about, not women.

So let’s take a look at another famous woman, this time Jennifer Aniston:

Jennifer Aniston

I’m guessing more women would prefer to have a physique like Jennifer Aniston’s  as opposed to Jamie Eason’s.

Take a look at Jamie Eason’s picture above. Now look at Jennifer Aniston.

I’m guessing that 99% of women would prefer to have Jennifer Aniston’s physique as opposed to Jamie Eason’s.

Once again, no disrespect to Jamie but her body is simply too much and overdone.

On the other hand look at Jennifer Aniston.

Her arms aren’t veiny. She doesn’t have buldging biceps. Her shoulders aren’t massive.

Instead she’s lean, has great muscle tone, and you can just tell she is in great shape. The words “fitness model” and “bodybuilding” don’t even come to mind when you think of her.

She’s one of the gold standards of the sexy feminine body and the fact that’s she’s over 40 makes it even more impressive.

Women don’t want to look like fitness and bodybuilding cover models, they want to look like the girls in the Maxim Hot 100 List.

If you don’t agree with me then stop reading this article right now. 

Other examples of the this look include Megan Fox, Jessica Biel, Kate Bekinsale, Jessica Alba, Blake Lively, you get my drift…

The problem with “women have less testosterone”

It’s completely true that women have less testosterone than men.

I’m not sure on the exact number (about 10-20% less) but telling women to train as hard and heavy as possible because they won’t be able to put on the same amount of muscle as men is really the wrong way to approach female training.

I mean sure, if your goal is to become a fitness model or bodybuilder then you would want to put on as much muscle as possible.

But remember we want to look sexy and feminine.

Even with the lowered levels of testosterone, women have the ability to put on a more than desirable amount of muscle.

Of course a woman’s muscular potential is no where near a man’s but it’s still great enough to the point that if you’re not careful, you can easily lose your femininity.

Approaching female training with a hardcore mindset will only lead to women looking like smaller less muscular versions of men.

Rules for a sexy feminine physique

1) Focus on strength training 

Weight lifting for women needs to be handled delicately.

You can’t just hammer out endless sets and reps and reach failure every time. That’s how bodybuilders train and bodybuilders train primarily to get bigger.

Women need to take a specialized approach. My most important piece of advice: stop 1-2 reps shy of failure.

But don’t misjudge this as an easy way out. You’re still doing heavy lifting, you’re simply not pushing to the brink of failure each time.

By stopping just short of failure, you’re increasing strength without actually adding muscle mass.

More strength without size = greater muscle tone.

2) Avoid weighted ab exercises

When it comes to ab exercises, I would avoid all weighted ab exercises like cable crunches or any of those crazy looking ab machines in the gym with adjustable weights.

The reason being that your abs are like any other muscle in your body – they can either get bigger or smaller. If you do weighted ab exercises, you have the potential of making your stomach appear bigger and more muscular.

And I’m not really talking “bigger” in the sense that you’ll look fat, but I mean “bigger” in the sense that your entire midsection will look more meaty and thick.

This really takes away from the whole feminine look that we’re trying to achieve.

Women want a firm flat stomach but they don’t want any bulgy ab muscles showing.

3) Stick with isometric exercises for your abs

Stick with isometric exercises for your abs. These are exercises like plank variations and renegade rows.

By sticking with these exercises, you’ll avoid developing excessively large ab muscles but still have a strong and tight core.

4) Don’t overdo lower body exercises

Women don’t want overly muscular legs. Period.

It’s incredibly easy to tell if a woman consistently squats and deadlifts. It creates a very thick and muscular lower body (see picture below).

And while women outright say that they don’t want muscular legs, there continues to be a growing movement in the fitness industry that is pushing women to squat and deadlift.

Squat

Women don’t want this…

The above is a picture of a woman who supposedly squats and deadlifts a lot.

And believe it or not, this is what personal trainers are pushing onto women. Women are being told that they need to heavy squats and deads to build a good-looking body and that any workout program that doesn’t include these exercises is crap.

Legs

They want this.

Once again, compare both photos.

I will find it very hard to believe if the majority of woman say they prefer the first photo of the woman squatting as opposed to the second. Women want slim and lean legs…not massively muscular legs.

I’m not saying squats and deadlifts are bad exercises. Not at all. And if you’re very skinny, then you should be doing squats and deadlifts.

I’m just saying, for the look we’re trying to achieve, they’re not necessary for the majority of people.

So my two cents – limit the amount of direct lower body exercises you do. Most women they can build a very good looking lower body with HIIT alone (see next point).

5) Use High Intensity Interval Training(HIIT) To Build Your Legs 

Building on point #4, women should try to limit the amount of lower body exercises they do and instead base the majority of their lower body exercises around HIIT.

Since HIIT is such a lower body dependent activity, it will really help firm up your butt and legs and give it a lean athletic look.

The Workout Routine

Note: For the following workout, all exercises are done for 5 reps.

But remember rule #1 from above: stop 1-2 reps shy of failure

So do the exercises below with a weight that you can only lift 7 times. 

This workout is to be done 3x per week so make sure you have at least one day of rest in between each session.

Day 1 

  • Bench press (with barbell or dumbbells) – 3 sets x 5 reps
  • Seated cable row – 3 sets x 5 reps
  • Seated dumbbell shoulder press – 3 sets x 5 reps
  • Dumbbell bicep curl – 3 sets x 5 reps
  • Tricep push down –  3 sets x 5 reps
  • Front plank – hold 2 minutes total
  • Side plank – 1 minute per side
  • HIIT on treadmill – Warm up by walking at fast pace for 2 min. 30 sec sprints with 60 sec walks on slight incline. Do this 10-12 times.

Day 2

  • Bench press (with barbell or dumbbells) – 3 sets x 5 reps
  • Lat Pulldown – 3 sets x 5 reps
  • Side lateral raise – 3 sets x 5 reps
  • Barbell curl – 3 sets x 5 reps
  • Close grip bench press-  3 sets x 5 reps
  • Front plank – hold 2 minutes total
  • Side plank – hold 1 minute per side
  • HIIT on treadmill – Warm up by walking at fast pace for 2 min. 30 sec sprints with 60 sec walks on slight incline. Do this 10-12 times.

Day 3

  • Repeat Day 1

Also I wanted to share with you guys this video that Rusty Moore did for his Visual Impact for Women workout program. It has some more great insights on what it takes to build a feminine physique.

And be sure to leave any thoughts or comments you have on this workout below.

[EDIT: A lot of people have been messaging me saying that I’m bashing women who lift weights. I’m not, I completely stand behind heavy lifting. The approach I lay out in this article is to simply have women stop a few reps shy of failure. You’re still lifting heavy, you’re just not lifting to failure. And if you prefer the “muscular” look as opposed to the slim and lean look, then this article isn’t for you. There are many training programs out there, the one I laid out here is exclusively for women who want to slim, lean, and defined.]

Johnny A - August 20, 2012

Great article. I definitely prefer the feminine look (and I mean slender feminine, not the cow version that thinks herself feminine and curvy) too the masculine female look that is pervading today’s society. Now Mr. Fitmole, if you could just guide me as to where these lovely women congregate, I would gladly be indebted to you.

    Keith - August 20, 2012

    Pinterest?

      Johnny A - August 20, 2012

      No, I meant in real life lol.

Vivian - August 20, 2012

Wow, this is incredibly demeaning and offensive. I love being strong and don’t subscribe to what you assume this “99%” of women want. Plus, sounds like you just gave workout info for someone who has never works out. I’m strong, fit, and capable. This is just sad.

    Keith - August 20, 2012

    Never ever said it was bad to be strong, in fact that’s why I focus on the strength training I talk about. All I’m saying is that having that hardcore mentality of always pushing to failure and training like a bodybuilder isn’t ideal.

Jo - August 20, 2012

Thanks for speaking on behalf of all women *rolls eyes* I’d rather look like Jamie any day. Way to go comparing two totally different pics – Jamie relaxed as Jennifer Anniston is wouldn’t look too different. Way to offend a huge chunk of ladies that love to lift though *applauds*

    Keith - August 20, 2012

    I never said to stop lifting, all I’m saying is stop 1-2 reps shy of failure. That’s all.

Ashai - August 20, 2012

Wow you read my mind 🙂 I honestly never understood why everyone thinks Jamie Eason is so attractive, she’s definitely too musculer for my taste. I would much prefer to look like Jennifer or Megan Fox. Thanks for your dedication to help us.

    Keith - August 20, 2012

    No problem Ashai, glad to help.

Elle - August 20, 2012

Those fit women’s bodies are “too much and overdone” in your opinion, because they are FLEXING.

I commend you for promoting lifting heavy weights, but the medium of the message is all wrong, brah.

    Keith - August 20, 2012

    True, but even when they’re not flexing, it’s still a bit too much.

Julia - August 20, 2012

Gotta agree with the other ladies so far… you missed the mark. Assuming 99% of us want to look like Jennifer Anniston is just not a safe assumption. Your message could be made better – that different programs will result in different aesthetics is certainly important for women to know, but discussing it with such a negative tone towards those who like the muscular look is demeaning.
Also, there are really good reasons trainers suggest squats and deadlifts, and doing them in moderation will not lead to a bulky look in the lower half. What it will do is give you an awesome ass.

    Keith - August 20, 2012

    This is simply a different take on female training. If you like the muscular look, then go for it. And I wasn’t referring to Jennifer Aniston exclusively, I was referring to her overall body type (not too much muscle, lean, defined…).

Rayne Tupelo - August 20, 2012

I agree with you that women don’t need to lift to failure, but only because I think that *no one* needs to lift to failure. Starting Strength and StrongLifts 5×5 both recommend that women and *men* lift only a weight that they can perform at at least 3×5 (completing each set) and say that lifting to failure can actually stall progress. Having said that, I am getting out of this article that a male author believes he knows the idea female form. Putting forward an ideal of what women should look like and then discouraging them from doing the weightlifting exercises that are reputed to be the *best* for building strength (squats and deadlifts) seems like an act of policing women’s bodies and a perpetuation of patriarchal systems of power (i.e. keeping women weaker so they will need the protection of men). Shame on you!

    Keith - August 20, 2012

    I never said that the body type I’m promoting is definite and absolute. I’m saying that most women would most likely prefer this sort of look. There are women who prefer the skinny look and there are women who prefer the super muscular look. If you’re in those groups, this article isn’t for you. It’s up to you on how you want to look. I’m not trying to control anyone. This entire article was aimed to help achieve a very specific type of physique.

      Julia - August 20, 2012

      So really this article is for women who want to look the way you define a sexy feminine physique. Much better.
      Seriously though, based on what you just said, there are 3 groups: Super skinny, super muscular, and lean and defined. And by your title, the third group is the sexy feminine group, and everyone else is what, chop suey? Sure, this article may be about attaining a particular physique, that’s fine and I don’t think anyone is offended by that, you’re entitled to give your opinion on how to attain the jennifer aniston physique. I think what’s wrong with the article is that it actually is a put down to the other physiques, based on the language you use to describe them. Not to mention the fact that there are many, many in between physiques, grouping them this way is offensive. It’s like me telling you there are skinny dudes, there are buff dudes, and then there’s lean and defined dudes. Come on.

        Keith - August 20, 2012

        If I saw an article saying teaching guys how to attain a massive pro-bodybuilder type physique, I would be fine with that even though I personally don’t like that type of physique. That’s the main goal of that particular article.

        The only mission of this article is to help woman get that lean/defined/feminine look, nothing more. I compare the physiques of Jennifer and Jamie because they are very different looking physiques that require a different approach to training and I wanted to show woman how different approaches to training can affect the body differently.

          Julia - August 20, 2012

          It’s not WHAT the article is doing (I already said that wasn’t the problem, I’m all for helping people get the physiques they want), but HOW the article goes about it. It’s not comparable to whether I write an article to tell guys how to get lean and defined, it’s about whether I write that article and claim it’s the way to get the “sexy masculine” physique, and then claim that 99% of guys would prefer this lean and defined look to say, the big buff look. I’d be excluding a lot of men from the sexy and masculine category, based on my personal preferences. It’s about you projecting what you think is sexy, and turning it into the definition of what is feminine.
          I actually like your advice to not hit max reps, and to be careful about following body building programs. I think everyone should assess their programs and the impact it’s having on their shape and whether that is what they want. I just wish your article didn’t blatantly insult physiques (“too much, too overdone”) just because you don’t like it or you think you know what women want and are trying to appeal to as many women as possible.

          Keith - August 20, 2012

          I understand that people would of preferred if I didn’t name drop Jamie Eason and critique her physique. Sure I could of just said “generic fitness model” but I wanted to use someone that I knew everyone would recognize. I wasn’t disrespecting Jamie, just showing how following a specific training program (like Jamie’s bodybuilding type programs) will result in a specific physique.

Megan - August 20, 2012

First things first. I lift heavy but I do not want a physique like Jamie Eason or Ava Cowan. Nor do I want to look waify like Jennifer Aniston. My goal is somewhere in the middle. Think Jessica Biel, Megan Fox: Slender waist, nice ass, “toned” (CRINGE) arms.

I think the point you’re clearly missing is that the chicks you’re showcasing about being “too muscular” have been training like this for years. Like 10+ years. Most chicks who start from nothing will get huge benefits to their overall shape by lifting heavy for a several months to a few years to build up a good base, not only for shape, but also for an improved metabolism to burn fat more easily. Your workout is more like a maintenance workout for people who already have it, but the average woman starting from inactivity or cardio would not, so she wouldn’t get the same results as if she were to lift heavy from the start.

The gripe I have with your article is that lifting heavy results in X. Well yes, if you’re consistent about nutrition, supplementation and lifting for 10+ years. But a casual heavy lifter such as myself will fall somewhere from thin to athletic looking. Not to mention that diet plays a huge factor in what your shape will be. The funny thing is I see tons of bloggers who powerlift and look more like Jennifer Aniston than Jen Eason. You’re really doing women a disservice with this article by saying otherwise.

    Keith - August 20, 2012

    I think you misinterpreted my article. I actually promoted the Jessica Biel/Megan Fox look in the article. Did you read the whole thing?

    The training i laid out here simply tells women to stop a few reps shy of failure, but I completely condone heavy lifting.

      Megan - August 20, 2012

      I did, but in order for women to attain that shapely leg look, they don’t need to do HIIT but rather need to squat and deadlift. They can modify these movements to target the rear end if desired but you’re proposing cutting it out all together. What about Tabata or other interval regimes that still include these leg strengthening exercises that won’t add size but will definitely add shape? HIIT won’t get you shapely legs, but what it will do is burn a ton of calories. I guess it’ll work if you like the chicken leg look…

        Keith - August 20, 2012

        Yes bodyweight and tabata workouts are great. This is just one sample workout. And if you have very skinny legs, do squats and deadlifts.

Steph - August 20, 2012

Hey Keith, I had a question of fat loss. If I’m trying to lose 10-15 pounds but my question is how do you lose the fat in your hips and thighs? Don’t you need to do leg exercises to lose the fat in your legs?

Thanks for yout time.

    Keith - August 20, 2012

    It’s impossible to choose where your body can lose fat. To lose fat you need to maintain a calorie deficit and over time the fat will come off from all over your body.

Courtney - August 20, 2012

I can tell you from experience that that amazing ass (the “They want this” picture) can be easily accomplished with the two plate squat (The “Women don’t want this” picture). I doubt the workout you outlined would be able to create such a beautiful ba-donka-donk.

    Keith - August 20, 2012

    Have you tried it?

TripleFJenn - August 20, 2012

I know 2900 women who disagree with you about Aniston vs. Eason. We lift heavy and maintain our sexy curves with ease. We squat, Deadlifted and press more (lb for lb) than most of the guys at our gyms and none of us looks like a dude. We’d appreciate it if you wouldn’t make such ridiculous assumptions about what women want to look like.

Thanks.

    Keith - August 20, 2012

    I know 2901 women who would agree 🙂 If you want a body similar to Jamie’s, then go for it. I’m not saying she’s unattractive or anything, I’m just saying she has more muscle and less body fat than most women would be conformable with.

      Rayne Tupelo - August 20, 2012

      Did you read your article? “She has plenty of muscle and very low body fat… but this is excessive.” Calling Jamie’s muscles “excessive” seems synonymous with “unwomanly” / “unattractive” to me. The way you pick apart Jamie’s body in this article — calling out her “veiny” arms, etc. is a form of body shaming and this article contributes to the current mainstream war on women’s bodies.

        Keith - August 20, 2012

        Never said unattractive, just saying that most don’t desire super veiny arms. That’s all.

jjeamie - August 20, 2012

Way to compare a picture of Jamie FLEXING with a picture of Jennifer Aniston NOT FLEXING to really reinforce your biased opinion. While I am appreciate that you are promoting strength training for women, condemning squats and dead lifts just pissed me off tbh. I know way too many girls (including myself) who have really nice legs BECAUSE of dead lifts and squats, thanks.

    Keith - August 20, 2012

    I did not condemn squats/deads. I just said to limit the use of them and to do them if you are super skinny, and if you’re not sticking with HIIT is fine.

Jamie - August 20, 2012

Thanks for this Keith, great article. I much prefer the slim feminine look as well 🙂

    Megan - August 20, 2012

    The point people here are trying to make is you can achieve the slim feminine look by lifting heavy. He misrepresented that in this article by saying if you lift heavy, you’ll look like this. And that is completely false.

      Keith - August 20, 2012

      I never said that. I stand behind heavy lifting, I just said to stop a few reps short of failure.

Mike - August 20, 2012

I find it weird that in an article raging against exercises that will allegedly make a girl look manly, you single out someone with the build of a 17 year old boy as the paragon of feminine beauty. Jennifer Aniston is not a great example of someone who is soft and cuddly. Eason looks really strong, but still decisively girly. Aniston just looks like a really weak boy.

Amy - August 20, 2012

Some entertaining comments here. I don’t understand why everyone is so negative, Keith seems to have everyone’s best interest at heart. He’s just promoting a certain type of look and body.

    Keith - August 20, 2012

    Thanks Amy, I guess people see me criticizing Jamie’s physique and saying that squats and deadlifts aren’t the king of exercises and automatically think the worst.

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