1. Keep moving! I always see women do one set then stand around by the machine for 10 min then doing the next set.. The quicker you move the more fat and calories you burn and the less time you spend in the gym! Your body shouldn't need more then 30sec - 1min inbetween sets unless your lifting very heavy weights.
2. To tone and burn fats (most womens goal in the gym) you should lift less weight with more reps and sets. I typically do the lowest weight and 2-3 sets of 50 reps.. it should be easy in the start but around 20 reps it gets much more intense. You want to sweat while your lifting weights to burn.
3. Cardio is very important for your entire body and your heart. I try to do hard cardio 2 times a week, doing tread, eliptikal, stair master for a total of 45min to an hour.. and I actually rotate from machine to machine to work different parts of my body.
4. Before lifting any weights, start your work-out with easy cardio to warm up for 5-10min NOT stretching.. you should do your stretching at the end of your work-out.
5. Never get stuck in the same routine, always try new machines, new things, new classes.. this way you are always using all your different muscles at all different angles.
6. For women, I think having core strength is VERY important! It helps with bloating, posture, etc. I do the plank and side plank every day and hold it for 30 sec each way 2 times. Your ENTIRE work-out you should always be sucking in your tummy, your belly button to your spine with good posture.. this will strengthen your core without even doing much.
7. I think it's important before a weight lifting work-out to get carbs and proteins an hour or so before hand for max energy.. drink a protein shake or eat toast, egg whites, etc. If you are going to gym for hard cardio or a class you want to eat very little/light before hand if anything at all - this way you are burning fat the entire time rather then what you ate before hand. Maybe yogurt with juice.. something small and light.
8. Push yourself!! When you get to that point where your beyond ready to give up, comprimise with yourself and try to fit in a couple more. When you are giving up those last few reps of very hard work, your giving up your best part of the work-out! Remember no pain is forever and keep picturing that bikini body you want.
9. Try to build a routine of working different muscle groups different days. I usually do Arms one day, shoulder & back one day, legs & butt one day, abs then fit 2 days of cardio in there or a class. It is important to give each muscle group at least 24 hours rest before doing weights again.
10. Women SHOULD weight lift, it actually burns more fat and calories then cardio! You will see the most results with weight training! Stay away from heavy weights so you don't bulk up.
I hope this helps some of you gym rats! I have been asked a lot of questions recently on my work-out so here ya go! Enjoy & happy work out! XXOO