Hello! So with the flurry of media attention my blog has been getting out of late, I’m also getting a ton of questions from fellow ladies about what my exercise & diet plan looks like. I’m a huge advocate for lifting heavy, but it’s true I’ve also never gotten very specific about which lifts you should be doing. Hence…
Sophie’s Guide to Becoming a Lady-Beast
First and foremost: I PERSONALLY PROMISE YOU ARE NOT GOING TO GET BULKY. DO NOT LISTEN TO IDIOTS WHO TELL YOU YOU ARE GOING TO GET BULKY. THEY DO NOT KNOW WHAT THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT.
I’ve been deadlifting, back squatting, bench pressing, and so-on for about 1.5 years now. I’ve gained 20 pounds of muscle and increased my back squat from 45 pounds up to 105 pounds. This is how I look when I’m working out:
Lady-beasts DO NOT get bulky unless they are actively trying to get a bodybuilder body. Women do not have the testosterone levels needed to create huge, bulky muscles. It takes years of specific training, diet, and supplements (often testosterone) to look like a bodybuilder.
Bulkiness is not something that happens by “accident”, it takes real effort. That’s like doing schoolwork at a B-average level, and expecting to receive a 110% A++ from your teachers. It’s completely effing delusional. Stop being delusional.
The other thing you should know…
so stop trying. You can’t just get rid of your “stomach pooch” or “armpit pooch” or any other specific pooches on your body. But you can reduce your overall level body fat throughout your whole body, which will contribute to reducing the tiny poochie-poohs you hate so much.
This is why, for the most part, all of the exercises below are compound exercises– meaning they target multiple muscle groups, and engage the entire body.
Ok, that being said, here we go…
My Favorite Heavy Lifts:
*Note: All of the links below lead to fitness guides I’ve written for work. Also, here is that fabulous Fitness Guide to the Weightlifting Room for the ladies who don’t know what squat racks look like.
Use a barbell in the squat or power rack. OR, use a fixed-weight barbell.
Rack it at your shoulders, descend into a front squat, then rise up to standing & press the bar overhead.
Most of you will have to start in the 35-45 pound range. Do 3 sets of five. If that feels ok, then increase the weight by 5lbs and go again.
Many of you have probably tried air squats or jump squats. While those are nice, to become a lady-beast you’re going to need to add some weight to your squats.
First and foremost, make sure your squat form is en pointe (check out my Ultimate Guide to Squats). Then go to the squat rack.
Start with just the barbell & get comfortable doing 3 sets of 5-10. If 10 with the barbell feels ok, then start adding weight, 5lbs at a time.
And remember: Half-squats = half booty.
Full squats = full booty.
Ass to grass, ladies.
Seriously nothing is more empowering that deadlifting a ton of weight. I personally want to get to the point where I could walk up to most dudes and say “I could deadlift you”. My deadlift is kind of weak- about 110 lbs, but I’m working on it!
With the deadlift, you can probably start a bit heavier than just the barbell (which is 45lbs). Depending on your bodyweight, try starting at 65lbs and moving up from there. As with the squats, make sure your form is impeccable before going heavy (Here’s my Ultimate Guide to Deadlifts).
BOOTYBOOTYBOOTYBOOTY ROCKING EVERYWHERE
Once again, regular, un-weighted lunges just aren’t going to cut it anymore (especially if you’re trying to get a booty).
Grab a weight plate (10-25 lbs is good for beginners), hold it overhead, and do walking lunges.
I like doing 4 sets of 10-15 steps, but you can modify this number based on how much your butt is burning.
These require a bit more skill, and I would only recommend them once you’re comfortable front squatting & deadlifting. However, if you are ready to clean, I’d recommend starting with just the bar again.
This article breaks down the clean for beginners. Start with hang power cleans. Then move to hang squat cleans. Then, finally, do the full squat clean.
Yes, this is traditionally a “guy” exercise. I know most ladies aren’t interested in big arms. But what about perky boobies?! Bench press is first and foremost a chest exercise. And almost every girl I know would like a little lifting action in the chest area.
Go to a bench, lay down, and position yourself so your face is directly under the racked back. Reach up, and place your hands evenly apart, either shoulder-width or slightly wider. Push up to lift the bar off the rack, and position it right above your chest. Lower it down till it touches your boobs, then press it back up.
Start with just the bar, doing 3 sets of 5. If that feels ok (it probably will) then increase the weight by 5lbs and try again. I can bench press about 75 lbs now, so take it slow. Girls have 40-50% less upper body strength than men – this is just how we’re built- so don’t expect to be bench pressing as much as the boys.
For me, this was by far the hardest lift to start doing, simply because the bench press is so totally and completely engulfed in manliness that approaching the bench made me feel naked in the spotlight. Literally. I felt naked. I don’t know why that is, but my point is, yes, it’s intimidating as hell, but…
Remember, Lady-Beasts are not easily intimidated.
If dudes at the gym are making you uncomfortable, do this:
I’m not kidding. It’s super effective.
I’ve also made that “cut it out” neck-slicing hand gesture in the mirror when I noticed a group of dudes behind me just staring at my ass- and they looked pretty embarrassed & stopped right away. Don’t feel bad. You’re not being rude. They’re being rude.
You will find that there is a learning curve for all of these new lifts. Don’t be afraid to go to the gym during off-peak hours & take your time playing around with the movements until you are comfortable.
Anyway, moving on to…
Here’s a my 5 favorite bodyweight moves, in order of most favorite to least favorite:
- Burpees. Do them. Even if you hate them.
- Jump squats
- Hindu push ups
- Box jumps
These are a few of my favorite, and just some ideas to get you started.
For strength & conditioning
As Many Reps As Possible in 7 minutes:
- 3 thrusters
- 3 burpees
- 6 thrusters
- 6 burpees
- 9 thrusters
- 9 burpees
- continue the pattern until time runs out.
Warm up – 2000m row
3 sets of 5 reps of the following lifts, as heavy as you can manage:
- Back squat
- Power clean
- Bench press
Go to a rectangular field.
- Sprint the diagonal
- Jog the short edge
- Repeat until you collapse
- For added difficulty, do 10 push-ups at every corner.
As you can see, I like keeping things short & simple. Good form is everything, so don’t cheat.
Hope this helps! Happy training!