Edition #29 | The Science Behind Women's Fitness

Plus: the key to putting on muscle, why teen steroid use is on the rise, and more.

Good morning and welcome to The Weekly Rep, the official newsletter of fitness. Shoutout to the 361 new readers this week! We now have 12,945 readers.

In today’s edition:

  • The reason teen steroid use is on the rise

  • One key to putting on muscle

  • The science behind women’s fitness

  • Critical training advice you need to know

  • Sex differences in training — what are they?

Let’s dive in 💥 


Struggling to do Pull-ups?

Struggle no more! This quick video from expert Jeremy Ethier lays out the 4 best exercises to help you go from 0 to 10+ pull-ups in no time. Each one will indirectly improve your pull-up strength in a different way.

And if you’re wondering why you should even do pull-ups, you’re not alone. Pull-ups are widely recognized as one of the most effective exercises for strengthening your back. Not only that, they’ll also build muscle in your arms and shoulders. Still not convinced? Pull-ups happen to be one of the best exercises for improving grip strength too.

So if you’re struggling to do pull-ups, incorporate these 4 exercises into your routine starting today for a stronger back tomorrow!

50-Minute Fat-Burning HIIT Workout

This invigorating, equipment-free workout by Oliver Sjostrom guarantees to leave you drenched in sweat. With a dynamic range of exercises, this 50-minute fat-burning HIIT workout is perfect for both beginners and seasoned exercisers looking to spice up their fitness regimen. Incorporating this workout into your routine or a similar one will only elevate your training to new heights. Plus, it’s always refreshing to mix things up. Here are a few of our favorite exercises from the workout:

  • Hammer slams

  • Jump lunges

  • Ab stairs

  • Seal jacks

This is the Key to Putting on Muscle

Ty Thomas from MuscleWiki often gets asked, “what’s the one gym tip you would give to a gym beginner? What’s the one thing they should know?” 

Building muscle is a biologically demanding process. The recovery process is very taxing on the body. Not to mention the amount of calories an individual burns as a result of lifting weights is much higher than those who don’t lift.

The human body wants one thing, to keep you alive. To increase the amount of calories one needs is counterintuitive. Needing more calories means needing more food of course. And our hunter-gatherer brains don’t want to need more food just in case a famine happens. 

He says this to say, you have to give your body a very good reason to build muscle. And you have to continue to give your body reason to grow if you hope to make long term muscle gains. This is where progressive overload becomes important.

Interested in learning more? Click here! 


The Science Behind Women’s Fitness: Hormones and Exercise

In the world of fitness, one often overlooked but critical factor that influences health and physical performance is the intricate interplay between hormones and exercise. For women especially, hormonal fluctuations are a natural part of life and impact energy levels, mood, and even body composition. 

Understanding how these hormonal changes can affect women’s fitness goals and exercise routines is essential for tailoring workouts that maximize results while being mindful of overall health and well-being. To give you a few ideas of how you can harness the power of your own physiology to optimize your fitness journey, we asked trainer and coach Emily Robinson to break it down.

The Science Behind Women’s Fitness

It’s no secret that women and men are built differently physically, but those differences might mean less than you think when it comes to training, says Robinson. 

“There honestly is no reason why men and women can’t train mostly the same,” the coach says, explaining that “my training style is probably very similar to most men – heavy weight and longer rest periods.”

Robinson says that she thinks it’s a “common misconception that women cannot lift heavy, or that they shouldn’t because that is how you bulk up,” she says, explaining that “in reality, lifting heavy weight alone won’t do anything to you except make you stronger if your nutrition does not align with muscle gain.” 

While Robinson says that men and women can realistically train exactly the same, she says that she often sees that “women specifically tend to over exercise by doing too much cardio, or too many HIIT workouts, and undereat for their activity level. This can lead to increased cortisol levels (high stress on the body), and increased estrogen levels, which can cause hormonal imbalances,” she warns. 

That doesn’t mean that as a woman, you need to avoid cardio or HIIT workouts, but instead find a schedule that provides the optimal balance to satisfy your fitness goals and keep your hormones happy, as well. Robinson outlines the following schedule as an example of what might work for you: 

  • Moderate-to-intense traditional strength training for 3-5 days a week

  • 15-30 minutes of light to moderate cardio after lifts or on rest days (optional) 

  • Mobility, yoga, or some sort of light/recovery-based exercise on rest days 

  • Movement every day (like having some sort of step goal) 

…DO  🙌

Listen to This Critical Training Advice

Should you do cardio before or after strength training? And what is the best form of cardio to burn fat? Trainer Lisa Lanceford has the answers for you to these questions and more you may be asking yourself, just hit the link below!

…TRY 🧎‍♀️

The Key to Better Hip Mobility

Most people sit a lot. From your desk to your car to your couch – even if you hit the gym daily – most of your time is likely still spent sitting down. This can lead to a lot of discomfort in your hips, lower back, and legs, which can in turn make it harder for you to work these muscle groups without experiencing tightness and even pain.

So what are you to do about it? Apart from standing at your desk or finding a more active job (which, let’s be honest, isn’t a viable option for most of us), the answer lies in focusing on your hip mobility. To get the most effective hip mobility exercises, we asked Muay Thai trainer Mia Shelton how she keeps her lower body loose and mobile as a professional fighter. 

…EAT 🧑‍🍳

These Life-Changing Meals

Last year, Ethan Chlebowski set out on a mission to cut 10lbs. But instead of turning to chicken and rice on repeat like so many of us do, he found a better solution: making healthy (and tasty) meals that won’t break the bank or take hours to make. Check out his video and try one of the recipes tonight!

…FIX 💪

Your Pull-Up

Pull-ups, without a doubt, are one of the best you can incorporate into your workouts. However, we see a ton of people not performing them properly and, as a result, not getting the full benefits. Whether you can do 10 pull-ups or struggle to do just one, Jeremy Ethier is back again to help.


Men vs Women: Sex Differences in Training

There are some key differences between sexes when it comes to training. For starters, there’s been a common misconception for decades that if women strength train, they’ll get bulky and too muscular. In this scientific study-backed video, Jeff Nippard looks to set the record straight.


According to the CDC, what is the average life expectancy in the US?

a. 72.4 years

b. 76.4 years

c. 80.4 years

d. 84.4 years

Every week, we’ll pick people at random who reply to this email with the correct answer to receive a 1-month Lift Box subscription!

Last week’s answer — 140.6 😎


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