Fitness Training for Girls: A Teen Girl's Guide to Resistance Training, Cardiovascular Conditioning and Nutrition

Fitness Training for Girls: A Teen Girl's Guide to Resistance Training, Cardiovascular Conditioning and Nutrition


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Fitness Training for Girls: A Teen Girl's Guide to Resistance Training, Cardiovascular Conditioning and Nutrition by Katrina Gaede, Alan Lachica, Doug Werner, Doug Werner

Sorting through the mental, physical, and emotional aspects of a girl's life during her teen years, this guide presents positive reasons and practical advice for making fitness a permanent part of her life. As society becomes more accepting of truly athletic women, teen girls are encouraged to overcome a “quitter's mentality” and develop physical confidence and mental toughness. A variety of nutrition tips and fitness facts allow girls to design individual workouts. Also included is information geared toward teens on weight lifting, cardiovascular conditioning, joining a gym, and working out at home.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781884654152
Publisher: Tracks Publishing
Publication date: 10/28/2001
Pages: 192
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.46(d)
Age Range: 13 - 17 Years

About the Author

Kristina Gaede is a five-time California State Champion gymnast and works as a certified personal trainer. Alan Lachica is a certified USA boxing coach and a certified personal trainer. Doug Werner is the author of all 12 titles in the Start-Up Sports series. They all live in La Jolla, California.

Read an Excerpt

Fitness Training for Girls

A Teen Girl's Guide to Resistance Training, Cardiovascular Conditioning and Nutrition

By Katrina Gaede, Alan Lachica, Doug Werner, Christina Martinez

Tracks Publishing

Copyright © 2001 Doug Werner
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-884654-15-2



Fitness is key

Physical, emotional and mental well-being — the undeniable connection to fitness

I don't like what I see!

Is this a secret? Teen girls are self-critical. Physical changes within yourself and among friends naturally fosters an interest in what you may see in the mirror. Yet if you seriously compare yourself to models or celebrities in the magazines and movies (or anyone for the matter) that interest turns into an unhealthy concern. As a result you may, for example, seek to be ever thinner. Good eating habits go out the window and exercise is just a way to lose calories.

What's wrong with that picture?

Nobody's perfect

As mentioned earlier, the celebrity look is not real — it's the result of cosmetics, staging, lighting, even surgery. Photos and video are usually touched up. Perfection does not exist!

Making unhealthy choices

An obsession with thinness will induce you to make unhealthy choices. It is irrational to believe that success is largely determined by standards of weight, body shape and facial characteristics.

It's about you

It's important to understand at an early age that wellbeing is born and nourished from within. It begins by learning to accept who you are and by taking good care of yourself.

I'm a nobody!

Studies have shown that girls feel pretty good about themselves until they reach high school. Then doubt sets in as well as struggles with self-esteem. What causes the downshift?

Making comparisons

Girls become externally focused. They begin to wonder what others think of them, especially peers and, of course, boys.

You may ask yourself Am I attractive to those around me? Do I rate with them? Instead of How do I feel inside? Am I feeling strong and vibrant?

Expectations from above

About the time girls develop individuality, they still feel pressure to conform to behavioral standards set by parents, teachers and other adults. As a result they may feel torn, confused and anxious.

Self-esteem is a choice you can make right now!

Raising self-esteem can begin by making healthy choices — eating right and exercising. A healthy body paves the way toward forming a strong self-image. Developing and managing a fitness program for yourself is an excellent way to learn how to set goals and reach them. Feeling better enables you to grow comfortable with yourself and the world around you. It becomes easier to work and play and relax. You'll smile and laugh more! (Image 2)

Seven reasons to eat right and get fit

All that stuff you have heard about eating right and exercising — how it's so good for you, how it makes you feel better, how it can improve so many things in your life now and in the future — it's all true.

1. Enhance physical development

Eating right and exercising will strengthen your immune system — you'll get sick less. You'll build stronger bones and muscles and develop healthier heart and lungs. (Image 3)

2. Gain mental acuity

You'll experience better focus and memory.

3. Reduce stress

Exercise helps eliminate anxiety.

4. Build self-esteem and self-confidence

No doubt about it — exercise and a proper diet will make you feel good and look good!

5. Enjoy deeper sleep

Sleep will come easier after a day with exercise. (Image 4)

6. Live a longer and healthier life

Healthy habits you develop today will reduce the risk of heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, some forms of cancer and other health problems.

7. Meet new and healthier friends

You'll find like-minded girls working out in the gym, running the trails or playing between the white lines. (Image 5)



Being positive

Adolescence is often blue. Or it can seem that way. Discover that a healthy body feeds a vibrant spirit (and vise versa).

Staying positive and puberty, too

Of course it's hard to stay positive all the time!

Your body is developing on a fast track — hormones are flowing and emotions are intense. Add peer pressure, parental expectations, school and work and you have a mess of stress. Feeling confused, uncertain and inadequate at times is normal during the transition from girl to woman.


A girl's first period often happens around age 12 or 13. But it's not uncommon for individuals to have it as early as 10 or much later in her teens.

Physical changes are radical but normal. They include growing taller, increased body fat, larger breasts and weight gain around the hips and stomach. A week before a period you may get premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and suffer irritability, fatigue, cramping and melancholy (the blues).

It can be a difficult time but it's important (and comforting) to remember that you are not alone and talking about it with friends and parents may help. All girls go through puberty. You are simply becoming a women. (Image 7)

Exercising and eating right really help!

Working out releases anxiety and actually produces a chemical that positively influences mood and energy. A healthy diet provides energy and helps level emotional ups and downs.

Positive thinking

There's a lot of peppy advice for those singing the blues these days and that's a good thing. Much of it revolves around the concept of enjoying the moment, which of course, is exactly what we should be able to do all the time!

The problem is taking it to heart when you feel down! So if you can't make yourself feel better by thinking positive (not a lot of people can) at least you can fake it until you make it. That is, just keep on keeping on ...

Accept that bad things happen and move on

Probably the most important part of a healthy attitude is how you react after a setback. The answer is simple, but the battle you wage within your mind and heart after a disappointment may not be. Losing can get personal. It can make you feel like nothing. It can hurt.

The answer is to try again and keep at it despite the emotional pain. You must believe that things will improve — and you must always believe in yourself.




About making plans, setting a course for yourself and keeping track of your progress

Develop a plan

It helps enormously to have a master plan that encompasses your dreams with steps to make them come true. Give yourself plenty of time and break it down by month and week.

Make long-term goals and short-term goals. A plan should include a structure you believe in and can live with. Then it will imbed itself in your mind and become an important part of your life. Without a plan your workouts will become pointless and whimsical, like any other careless endeavor, and you will not stick with it.

For example, a simple, yet effective master plan might include a promise to yourself to develop the 10 core body parts and muscles discussed in this book. For 6 — 8 weeks straight you will exercise each of those 10 muscles twice a week using the exercises shown. This is your long-term goal.

Keep a chart to document progress

Decide what exercises you want to do each day of the week and write them down on a chart. Each day record how many reps and sets you completed and how much weight you were using. Keep the chart in a prominent place so you can't hide it from yourself.

The idea is to make the chart and daily exercise a dynamic part of your life — something you just gotta do! Completing the exercises you set for yourself each day and week are your short -term goals (and checking them off as you complete them is a sweet part of the day!)

Keep a journal

Writing daily about your new life of fitness forces you to take your efforts seriously and to think clearly about what you are doing. You simply cannot write about anything without really thinking about it first. Writing will crystallize your thoughts and help make vital what you are doing. (Image 9 and 10)

This is not just "Dear Diary" stuff. Keeping journals about important passages in one's life is a powerful and proven way to understand oneself better. Write about your fitness and progress, of course, but tackle all the outside stuff that affects you, too. Bad things are brought to light when you write about them and it can help a great deal to vent.


Create and keep visual ideas of your successes in your mind. Start each exercise with thoughts of successful execution. And store visions for what you seek over the long term, too.

Visualization is the first step you take in any journey. Imagining yourself conquering goals — victorious and vibrant — feeds a winning and healthy attitude about what you are doing. It also blocks out distractions and everyday negativity coming from others or the dank crevices of your brain.

Your mind is more powerful than you probably know. Your success, your fitness, your well-being is between the ears. Once you truly know that and learn to train your thoughts — absolutely nothing will stop you.




What to look for and what to expect when shopping for a gym or club

Start looking for a gym by asking parents, a mentor or friends for suggestions of clubs in the area. Visit the facility and see if it meets your needs. Considerations include cost, equipment, classes, other friends that are members, atmosphere (is the place fun and vibrant?), service and attitude (are people smiling?).

In particular, look for a gym with upbeat, friendly, courteous, and informative employees who are willing to offer advice and help young people. Look for a variety of services for teens including group and personal instruction, and a wide array of classes to attend.

Usually clubs will offer a student discount, or you can be added to a family plan if parents are current members. Expect to pay from $12 to $50 per month with a possible enrollment fee. Most clubs will offer a special three-month summer plan. Personal trainers (other than this book) usually cost from $35 to $75 an hour.

Sign up at the front desk where you'll get instruction and information about the club, sign a contract and provide information as a new member.

What to wear

Wear gym attire that feels comfortable and that you can move around in easily. There is a wide range of fun, cute workout gear available. A good pair of tennis shoes is a must. They can be cross trainers or running shoes. Don't forget to keep long hair tied up and bring lots of deodorant! (Just kidding!) (Image 12)

Diving into the gym experience

A gym can be overwhelming and a bit intimidating at first — but everyone starts somewhere and you'll get into the mix soon enough. Working out with a partner or friend might be a good idea at first.

There will be people of all types and ages working out. Take classes right away to meet people and instructors and to get a feel for gym camaraderie. Use people around you to gather ideas about the gym experience.

In the gym you will develop a sense of awareness of your body physically, mentally and emotionally. It can be a great experience in an individual's life. So go for it, have fun, and remember you are doing it for yourself. And don't be afraid to make mistakes. The rewards are endless!

Finding a gym

Gyms should be easy to find. There are a number of family -oriented chain fitness centers to choose from, the YMCA and perhaps your high school. (Image 13)




How to stretch your muscles before and after workouts and why you should

Stretching is an unsung cornerstone of fitness.

Although it doesn't have the appeal of other training programs, stretching reduces the chance of injury and helps keep joints and muscles flexible. When muscles are flexible you are able to reach, stretch and bend more easily.

Your flexibility is impacted by genetics, gender, age and level of physical activity. The more active you are, the more flexible you are likely to be. The good news is you can improve flexibility with regular training.

When to stretch

Serious flexibility training involves 30 minutes of stretching 3 times each week. If that's not feasible, it is important to stretch at least a few minutes before and after each workout (some is better than nothing).

Basic points of good stretching

1. The best time to stretch is when muscles are warmed up. Exercise large muscle groups to raise core temperature (body temperature) and get blood circulating. Warm up with a simple, low-intensity activity such as walking, light jogging, spinning or use of treadmill.

2. Stretch slowly.

3. Do not bounce.

4. Stretch the muscle to the point where you feel tension, not pain (stretching should not be painful!).

5. Breathe deeply throughout the stretch.

6. Hold for at least 10 seconds and then relax for 10 seconds. Repeat.

7. For maximum results stretch daily.

Stretching illustrated

Always stretch the muscle(s) you are going to work that day! Presented here are several stretches to get you going.

Lower back and hip stretch

Lie flat on back and flex one knee 90 degrees. With opposite hand pull bent leg up and over other leg. Opposite the pull, straighten other arm and turn head. Gently push knee to floor to achieve stretch. Repeat on other side. (Image 15)

Groin stretch

Sit erect on floor, flex knees and place soles of feet together. Gently pull feet toward you. (Image 16)

Groin and hip stretch

Sit with legs apart, arms extended and hands on floor. Slowly lean forward from hips to achieve stretch. (Image 17)

Hip stretch

Move one leg forward until knee is over ankle. Other knee rests on floor. Lower hip to achieve stretch. Switch leg positions and repeat. (Image 18)

Glute and hip stretch

Lie flat on back. Cross leg above knee at 90 degrees. Pull lower leg toward chest with hands clasped behind knee. Switch leg positions and repeat. (Image 19)

Lower back stretch

From a prone position push upper body from floor. Upper and lower legs in contact with floor throughout. (Image 20)

Calf stretch

Push against a wall with one leg extended behind. Extended foot is flat on floor. Repeat with other leg. (Image 21)

Achilles stretch

Follow instructions above for calf stretch and lift heel of extended foot. Repeat with other foot. (Image 22)

Hamstring stretch

Flex one leg and place hands just above knee. Extend other leg, resting weight on hands. Keeping knee locked, push down on heel of extended leg to stretch calf and hamstrings. Repeat with other leg. (Image 23)

Quadriceps stretch

Flex one leg at knee and grasp foot with either hand. Gently pull foot to achieve stretch. You may need to steady yourself by leaning against a wall with free hand. Repeat with other leg. (Image 24)

Chest and shoulder stretch

Form a 90 degree angle at elbow joint with one arm. Place arm and hand flat against a perpendicular surface and push. Repeat with other arm. (Image 25)

Triceps stretch

Try to touch the small of your back with one hand. Gently pull the elbow with the other hand. Repeat with other arm. (Image 26)

Biceps stretch

Extend a straight arm and place hand flat against a perpendicular surface and push. Repeat with other arm. (Image 27)




About improving your cardiovascular fitness by exercising within your target zone

Cardiovascular conditioning

Your muscles need oxygen to perform properly after several minutes of continuous exercise. Cardiovascular fitness, or endurance, refers to how well your heart and lungs pump oxygen -rich blood to your exercising muscles.

Cardiovascular activities are those that work the body's largest muscle groups (larger muscles need larger amounts of oxygen to perform) in continuous action. It follows that regular cardiovascular exercise develops endurance — specifically the capacity of your heart and lungs to deliver oxygen to muscle tissue.

Cardiovascular activities (also known as aerobic activities — aerobic means "with oxygen") use leg and torso muscle groups and include brisk walking, jogging, swimming, cycling, rope jumping, rowing and certain continuous action games like soccer.

Exercise within your target zone

The key to cardiovascular training is exercising within your cardiovascular target zone. Each person has a cardiovascular target zone within which physical activity must be maintained in order to build cardiovascular fitness. The target zone is measured by heart rate. Your target zone is 60–80% of your maximal heart rate.


Excerpted from Fitness Training for Girls by Katrina Gaede, Alan Lachica, Doug Werner, Christina Martinez. Copyright © 2001 Doug Werner. Excerpted by permission of Tracks Publishing.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1: Fitness is key,
Chapter 2: Being positive,
Chapter 3: Goals,
Chapter 4: Gym,
Chapter 5: Stretching,
Chapter 6: Cardio,
Chapter 7: Resistance training,
Chapter 7.1: Core muscle strength training,
Chapter 7.2: Core muscle exercise options,
Chapter 7.3: Recommended core conditioning programs,
Chapter 8: Sport-specific strength training,
Chapter 9: Body weight index,
Chapter 9.1: Free weight index,
Chapter 9.1.1: Additional free weight exercises for sport-specific development,
Chapter 9.2: Machine index,
Chapter 9.3: Medicine ball index,
Chapter 10: Eating,
Chapter 11: Summary: Let's go!,
Authors and Illustrator,

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