Women and strength training, your experience and advice please
I don't want to hijak another thread. Sorry this is is too long.
I'm doing something close to Starting Strength. I am interested in any advice from other women, and information you can share about your own journey and what worked.
Here are some things sort of rattling in my head.
1) So hungry! Yet still too fat.
Advice I have seen is to eat more protein. I easily eat over 100g of protein a day. Other advice around here is to eat more carbs so I also have a potato for breakfast and sometimes another one for lunch.
Other advice on the Starting Strength site says that if you are already fairly fat, eat a low carb paleo diet. Expect to see your waist shrink (this is what they say will happen to fat guys.) So far, none of my fat has budged. If anything, I'm fatter.
Okay, so have I been blowing it royally with the potatoes? Should I eat to my appetite (I'm so hungry the day I lift)? Should I white-knuckle through the hunger and try for a calorie deficit? Go back to a low carb diet? Am I mistaking muscle bulk under my fat or even inflamed muscles for weight gain? Any advice for the almost 50 women out there?
2) The whole big = strong thing
So how the heck does any of this work for women who get strong without getting big? Is there a really good resource out there about getting strong without mixing in all the nonsense about getting big? The whole Starting Strength thing is all "get big, drink a gallon of milk a day, big = strong, if you haven't gained 20lbs in 3 weeks you aren't doing the program" yadda yadda. Yeah, thanks, but I don't think it's like that for us.
3) High impact stuff
Someone over on the SS forum suggested I add a finishing session after lifting. 3 or 4 sets of three exercises done to exhaustion, such as pushups, planks, snatches, situps, 100yd sprints. Anybody see any change in your fatness by adding this? How about regular sprints like Mark recommends, done all by themselves and not attached to the end of lifting, like on an off day? Will that be effective (remove this excess fat) or cause more harm than good (overtraining)?
4) Doing other exercise?
I go straight from the gym to my desk. I'll get up to use the rest room and then see suddenly how sore my workout made me. Sometimes going running at lunch helps loosen the stiffness but someone told me that will only make me fat and stressed. Okay, so what do I do not to end up permanently frozen and curled up with stiffness? What other exercise is safe to do on same or off days?
I do my best to progress but sometimes I don't make it. So I repeat the same weight until I get it, then move up. I've ordered some washers for microloading, but so far slow like this is working okay. It took me 3 workouts of squats at 90lbs before I could do all my sets and reps without fucking them up somehow. Does anyone else do it that way? Is it okay for a woman to take progress slower, push forward a little less aggressively, or is that just wimping out?
The weekend is my longest consecutive days of not lifting. By Sunday night I almost feel worse than I did on Saturday, almost like the lifting got me jacked up with endorphins and anti-inflammatories and now they're wearing off and dang who kicked me in the stomach because I feel exhausted? Any advice there?