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How to Get a Body Like Jessica Biel

Written by Jason Ferruggia Topics: Uncategorized

how to get a body like jessica bielWorking in the fitness industry has to be the worst occupation in the world when you’re at a party full of people you don’t know.

At least 75% of them will ask you about how they can lose “this” or tighten up “right here.”

My favorite is when a 187 pound woman with a plate full of doughy, greasy food asks me how to get a body like Jessica Biel.

By about the fourth such inquiry I usually start looking at the drapes and wonder how long it will take me to fashion a noose out of them and attach it to the ceiling fan while praying that it will hold my weight.

Recently I was fortunate enough to have the extreme pleasure of being in this exact situation.

I couldn’t have been more excited (please note the strong sarcasm).

While browsing the food selection I felt a tap on my shoulder and turned around to see my friend Heather.

“Hey Jay, I want you to meet Kristin. Jay’s a personal trainer.”

“She always says that, it’s an inside joke we have. I actually work for Rawkus Records. I discovered and signed Mos Def several years ago.”

“Oh stop it Jay. He’s just joking. He’s a personal trainer.”

“Well, not really.”

“What do you mean, not really? You’ve been doing that for like 20 years I thought.”

“Yeah, but I’m a strength & conditioning coach, I mainly work with athletes and guys who want to get bigger, stronger and faster. Not so much the pussy stuff.”

“The ‘pussy stuff?’ What does that mean?”

“Umm… I don’t know… forgive me. Sorry. Nice to meet you, Kristin.”

“Ok, well Kristin is really into working out so I’ll leave you two to talk. Kristin, be sure to grill Jay, he knows a lot about training. He writes for a bunch of magazines.”

Note to self: plan a significant payback for Heather as soon as possible.

jessica biel butt“So Jay, I have been trying to lose these last ten pounds and tighten up my lower abs and butt.

I do weights three days per week, take a bootcamp class, an aerobics step class and walk three miles every other day.

What else do you think I should do? I want a body like Jessica Biel’s.”

“Me too…me…too. Have you seen her ass lately? It’s like J Lo with muscles.

Good lord, what I would do…I mean… Wait, what was the question?”

“What should I do?”

“Umm… Maybe eat less?”

“No seriously.”

“I kinda was serious. I see you need a refill on your drink, can I get you one?”


“Ok, I’ll be right back.”

En route to the bar I notice my friend Ray standing directly in front of me.

“Is that girl Kristin behind me?” I asked him.


“Good. Now here’s what I want you to do. Stage an argument with me and knock me out cold.”

“What?! Are you drunk? Why?”

“We’re beyond the point of questioning. Please just do this for me as a friend and carry me outta here. I can’t take it anymore.”

He handed me a very large glass of straight vodka and told me to drink up cuz he wasn’t about to throw a haymaker in my direction.

I did and a minute later Kristin reappeared.

“So Jay, how about it? Can you give me a training program that will help me get ripped and get a bangin booty like Jessica Biel’s? I promise I won’t waste your time and will do anything you say.”

I looked for an escape but came up with nothing.

Since I had no other option, I slugged my vodka and said, “Let’s grab a seat and I’ll break it down for you.”

Almost everything you have read in women’s fitness magazines is all wrong.

I want you to stop reading them immediately. As much as you may think you want and need the information in there, you really don’t. It’s like asking your boyfriend how many girls he’s slept with.

You may think you want and need that information but you really don’t. And what happens when he flips the question on you?”

“Huh? What’s this have to do with training?”


jessica biel workout

Squatting does a booty good.

Anyway, the first thing you have to understand is that there are only a few things you can do to change the way you look.

The word “tone” does not exist.

It is not a reality and there is no definition for it.

You can only make a muscle bigger or make it smaller.

The same can be said for fat cells; you can make them bigger or you can make them smaller. That’s it.

You can’t shape or elongate or tone a muscle or anything like that.

So basically what every female should be aiming to do is build muscle and lose fat.

While the phrase “build muscle” scares some females, it shouldn’t.

When you build muscle you will end up looking better and burning more calories at rest, meaning it will help you lose fat and get leaner.

While many females ask me about how to get a body like Jessica Biel, the fact of the matter is none of them will ever come close because they have a fear that they will end up looking like Hulk Hogan in a matter of weeks so they shy away from lifting weights that will actually do anything.

This is a fear that is completely unfounded.

Females simply don’t have the hormonal profile to build muscle at the same rate as males; not even close.

And, trust me; it’s not even that easy for most males. If it were there would be a lot more 250 pound muscular dudes walking around.

The principles that make up an effective muscle building program for a male are exactly the same as those that make up an effective training program for a female.

Here are a few things you need to do:

Lift Heavy

No matter what you have been brainwashed to believe from watching Oprah or reading US Magazine, girls should not be lifting soup cans and three pound dumbbells with the thought that it is actually going to do a damned thing.

You need to challenge yourself and give your body a reason to actually change. Kickbacks with a couple water bottles aint gonna cut it.

Lifting heavy weights in the range of 8-15 reps should be the basis of your training.

High reps do not burn fat or help you improve muscle definition. Heavy weight training burns far more calories than high rep nonsense with light weights ever could.

It’s not how much you sweat or even how many calories you burn during the workout that is important but rather how many calories you burn in the 24-48 hours after your workout, during the recovery period.

Lifting heavy elevates your metabolism to a much higher degree and forces you to burn far more calories all day long than light weight, high rep training does.

Click HERE for the complete Bikini Body Workouts Transformation Plan

Use Big Compound Exercises

Females should not be relegated to the butt blaster and the abductor/ adductor machine while avoiding squats and deadlifts at all costs.

If you want to gain muscle and burn body fat you have to focus on the basics.

These include military presses, bench presses, bent over rows, pull ups, dips, squats, deadlifts and all their variations.

Isolation exercises like leg extensions and triceps kickbacks are a waste of time.

Follow the Rule of Progressive Overload

Some people do the exact same workouts with the exact same weights over and over again for months or even years and never get anywhere. It’s no wonder why.

Once you do something new, your body will do all that it can to adapt to the stimulus so that it is prepared for it the next time and does not suffer the same shock and trauma.

So if you bench press 65 pounds for two sets of ten reps today, your body will rebuild itself bigger and stronger to prepare for that challenge again in the future. When you keep doing that same 65 pounds for ten reps you will eventually stagnate as you are no longer giving your body a reason to adapt.

You need to continually challenge your body.

You can do this by adding more sets, decreasing your rest periods, or most importantly and most effectively; increasing the weight.

Females should not be afraid of getting stronger or increasing their training weights. I never understood why more females didn’t have the desire to get stronger.

What could be a better feeling than looking sexy and feminine yet being incredibly strong?

I once wrote an article for a female fitness magazine and when I suggested that the readers increase the weight once the movement became too easy the editor I was working with freaked out.

“Isn’t there something else we can tell them other than to increase the weight?”

Yeah, tell them they should be in the kitchen, bare foot and pregnant like they belong, for Christ’s sake!

Isn’t that the equivalent of telling them that they should remain weak forever? Jeez…

At this point Kristin had her hand on my thigh and over the course of the last half hour as the vodka kicked in, she started to look better and better.

And all this talk of Jessica Biel’s ass was getting me rather excited. Because of that and since she seemed way more interested in what I had to say than any girl ever should be I decided to continue…

While many of the principles of effective weight training are exactly the same for males as they are for females, there are a few differences that need to be pointed out.

These differences are not of major concern and the fact is that many females could get great results doing the exact same workouts as their male counterparts. But since I brought it up, here they are:


Females Get Better Results with a Slightly Higher Rep Range Than Males

While most males build muscle most effectively in the range of 6-10 reps, females often tend to do better while working in the range of 8-15 reps.

Notice I didn’t say 20-50 reps.

Remember, that stuff is useless nonsense. Heavy sets of 8-15 reps are the way to go for most females looking to get that lean, athletic look.

Females Can Tolerate a Slightly Higher Training Volume

Because they are usually weaker and have less overall muscle mass than males; females recover faster.

This why they can tolerate a greater number of sets and reps in their training.

Females Require Less Rest Between Sets Than Males

Because they are weaker, less muscular and recover faster, females don’t need to rest as long between sets.

While most males will need at couple minutes between a heavy set of squats before they will be able to repeat the effort, most females can do so in just a minute or less.

If they are extremely weak, they may actually be able to repeat the effort in as little as 30 seconds.

If you give them a workout that calls for the same rest periods that males use they will be bored to tears.

After our discussion Kristin seemed satisfied, and since I can’t say that for most girls after they spend a half hour on a couch with me, I was pretty happy as well. “I think this chick loves me,” I thought. “How could she not? I mean they all do, right?”

“So Kristin, whattaya say me and you get outta here?”

“That’s my fiancé right behind you. And I really gotta get going. Thanks for the info.”

“Uh…what?!? But I thought we had something there. I…I…I…”

Suddenly I felt another tap on my back and turned around to see Heather.

“Carol, I want you to meet my friend Jason, he’s a personal trainer.”

In an instant my thoughts shifted from Jessica Biel’s curvacious backside to Frank Costanza…



BBW_BnAsBiancaNow you know how to get a body like Jessica Biel.

Of course diet is a large part of it but hopefully this article gets you started on the training.

The skinny look went out years ago and nobody finds it appealing anymore.

There is nothing worse than a pancake ass in a pair of pants you can barely keep from sagging.

To build the banging, firm, round glutes that every girl wants  and for a complete muscle building, fat melting program and diet download Bikini Body Workouts 60 Day Transformation System right now at


And if you enjoyed this article could you please share it with someone who might benefit from it?

Thank you!

69 Responses to How to Get a Body Like Jessica Biel

  1. Alyson July 16, 2009 at 10:10 am #

    ok i know your tired of hearing how every woman wants a body like Jessica Beils..but look at those pix!!!! WHO WOULDNT!!!!! there’s alot of great points in the article..i sit back here at my job with all women and thats all you they did the eliptical for 45 minutes and was soaking wet afterwards..etc..but i cant say i didnt think the same until i started training at renegade..i never touched the heavier waits either because i didnt want to “bulk” up..i was a text book workout chic…i have also stopped reading women’s health and all those other magazines because im learning the total’ve showed me a completely other ball game. not only with training but eating better too..i say it over and over..but i feel so lucky to be a part of renegade and to be able to train with you jay..THANK YOU!!!!

    • vanessa August 22, 2012 at 7:51 pm #

      how long did it take you to gett a butt like that im allways trying and nothing wont work for me tell me what should i do all my friends have a nice butt i fell left out…..=(

  2. Daniel Munday July 16, 2009 at 5:41 pm #

    great tips Jay and yes you’re right about people always wanting free advice. The problem with free is they don’t take action. Girls if you read this are you going to take action or go back to pump class?

  3. Dave July 16, 2009 at 7:55 pm #

    Oh my God! I wasn’t even going to read this article because, well, I don’t want a body like Jessica Biel….unless it’s laying next to me. Nonetheless, I am now a better human being for doing so. I tried copy/pasting some of your hilarity, but there was just too much of it.

    I’ve had your same conversations with women. I LOVE the looks on their faces when they say, “what’s a s-s-sumo deadlift?” And, “is box squatting, like, when you hold a box and do a squat?”

    Good times, good times.

  4. jasonferruggia July 17, 2009 at 6:18 am #

    Thanks for the comments. You’re more than welcome. It’s been my pleasure.

  5. jasonferruggia July 17, 2009 at 6:19 am #

    Glad you liked it.

  6. On a limb with Claudia July 17, 2009 at 7:00 am #

    I have to say this…. I always laugh when you post these ‘women won’t get to muscular’ blogs. I’m that rare bird that bulks up big. And yes, women can be too muscular. I can look at a weight stack and pack on pounds of muscle – easy. I have to watch my protein intake so I don’t bulk too much.

    BTW, you forgot RDLs, weighted lunges, walking lunges, step ups, and seated rows to pack muscle at the top of the butt/lower back junction. Gives that ‘shelf’ look.



  7. jasonferruggia July 17, 2009 at 7:19 am #

    That is rare, Claudia. I have only known one female in my entire life that built muscle easily. And personally, I don’t think a woman can get too muscular without drugs. It’s very, very hard to do. But she has to be lean enough to see abs and definition in her arms and shoulders. Otherwise she will just look like a bulky linebacker.

    But that’s just my personal preference and you more than entitled to your own opinion.

    And those are all great exercises you listed.

    • Caitvd October 23, 2012 at 7:11 am #

      I am a female that also gets muscular very easily. Now, when I say muscular I don’t mean my body is rippling with bulges like crazy. I’m lean. Even at my heaviest weight, I still had abs. I’ve NEVER been one of those girly girls that you speak of (thank god). I’ve been a hardcore athlete my entire life– I played soccer in college and was the designated diesel girl on the team. Luckily, I had a coach who hired a personal trainer for the team, which helped me become even stronger. The guy gave me a bunch of GREAT weight lifting exercises that I’m still using a year after graduating! Because I played a pretty grueling sport my entire life, I still NEED exercises that are incredibly physical that will undoubtably make me sore, such as sprinting or lifting/squatting heavy weights. Trust me when I say, you will never see me on a bike, an elliptical, or even a treadmill because it just doesn’t cut it for me.

  8. Jami July 17, 2009 at 8:07 am #

    Like Alyson said who wouldn’t want a body like hers! It’s amazing!

    Unlike most women I have never been afraid of weights, being to muscular or bulky. Weight training classes were a requirement where I grew up and I prided myself on being the strongest and holding a few records even to this day! I have always had a muscular build, but the difficulty has been getting rid of the fat and leaning out!

    I died when you started talking about how women train, needing to be dripping with sweat and rolled out of the gym…about not taking any breaks and using higher training volumes. That is SO me and I didn’t even realize it! I have never trained with other women mainly because I like to focus and worry about myself not someone else. But because of this I never realized some of these things that I do. I am currently doing Craig’s TT workouts and find myself cutting out the rest periods within his supersets because I get bored just standing there! I also feel I didn’t push myself hard enough if I’m not dying and dripping with sweat! I thought everyone thought that! :)

    I often visit your site to see if you have any diet information as I am a vegetarian but haven’t gone all the way vegan. Do you anticipate ever doing any vegan meal plans? I was really excited to see Craig and Kardena’s plans however I am not thrilled with the idea of getting so much of my protein from seitan, tofu and other soy sources.

    Anyway, thanks for the article and I really appreciate the tips!!!


  9. Kirsten July 17, 2009 at 8:51 am #

    I sent this to my boyfriend. We train together and a lot of the information you provided explains why we have a different experience even when we do the same workout. It also helps explain why, when we did a powerlifting cycle together (West Side For Skinny Bs) he was dripping with sweat and exhausted and I was just fine after every workout we did. Sometimes I feel like I’m not working as hard as he is, even when I’m setting PRs and working with the heaviest weights I can. Thanks for the great post!

  10. Matty Holmes July 17, 2009 at 3:41 pm #

    Of course another great article, I preach this so often! Especially the working hard part since there is not pussy footing in my warehouse. I passed this on to a few people and my girl to read.

    We need to connect and do an audio interrogation soon for the site.

  11. patty July 17, 2009 at 3:57 pm #

    Amen. Thanks. I find your posts exceptionally informative and inspiring.

  12. jasonferruggia July 17, 2009 at 4:05 pm #

    Awesome post! Always glad to hear from a female that’s so into lifting weights. I definitely am going to do some vegetarian and vegan plans. The thing is, I have 50 other things to do first. But hopefully by years end. I will keep everyone posted.

    Thanks for the comments.

  13. jasonferruggia July 17, 2009 at 4:07 pm #

    We will.

    Kirsten and Patty, thanks for the comments.

  14. Matty Holmes July 18, 2009 at 4:33 pm #

    Sounds good bro just DM me on twitter when you know when @BodySynergy

  15. Serena July 18, 2009 at 6:21 pm #

    I agree with Alyson and Jami, I definitely want my body to look like Jessica Biels and I love to lift weights and train hard. I’m not one of the rare girls that builds muscle easily and always struggle to gain weight. Thanks in part to what I have learned from you I’m getting closer and closer to the look I want. I just have to focus on eating more often that’s my biggest problem.

  16. Karen July 18, 2009 at 6:26 pm #

    Great post, Jason! I was lmao reading it. Thanks for helping dispel the myths and telling girls what they need to hear. I’m going to show this to my friends who are all cardio queens.

  17. jasonferruggia July 21, 2009 at 12:52 pm #

    Keep hitting it hard and stay dedicated on the diet. You’ll get there.

    Thanks, Karen. The cardio queens won’t be happy.

  18. lenzy July 10, 2011 at 3:57 pm #

    hey thank for all the info it helped a lot ☺


  19. Rebekah March 14, 2012 at 5:06 pm #

    Hey Jason! My husband forwarded me your article, and I had to post a few excerpts on my blog (that’s all about bikinis, the beach, and tips on looking better in a bikini). Being an avid weightlifter (my husband is also a Strength & Conditioning coach) I am always saying in my posts, “Want to look good in a bikini, lift heavy!!!” So it was awesome to find your article, with your expertise, and Jessica Biel’s bum as extra ammunition to the cause.

    Thanks so much,


  20. Kristen March 20, 2012 at 12:19 pm #

    Fantastic article. I usually nod off reading something so long…but you are very quick witted and it kept my attention. I love lifting weights…hate cardio. I have been Cross-fitting for 7 months and LOVE IT. Started a Paleo lifestyle in January and am on my way to a much leaner body. I lost 90lbs several years ago and am trying to keep it real…went from a size 22 to a size 6 in 2 years. Iost interest in being a gym rat and am so glad to have found the circle of people through my new fitness venture. Being 44 years old, it isn’t easy keeping weight off! Thank you for the great info in-between chuckles. I look forward to more free advice ;)

    • Jason Ferruggia March 21, 2012 at 1:19 pm #

      Wow. That’s some impressive progress. Keep it up Kristen

  21. Lauren March 21, 2012 at 3:28 pm #

    My girl back at Camp Gladiator posted this and I loved the read. One issue though, muscles don’t stretch or elongate? That is the opposite of what every yoga and pilates instructor on the planet has been telling me.
    Also, I kind of dropped out of yoga once I started boot camp and now my identical twin who is a stretch-a-holic has become a full inch taller than me, longer in the torso and neck. Am I nuts?

    • Jason Ferruggia April 9, 2012 at 8:51 am #

      It’s physically impossible. That’s their sales pitch

  22. Sofia March 22, 2012 at 12:40 am #

    Interesting article. Do you have any suggestions for someone who is recovering from a pelvic injury and cannot lift heavy weights? (That would be me).
    Either way, thanks for the helpful article. Hopefully I’ll be able to use it in the future!

    • Jason Ferruggia April 9, 2012 at 8:52 am #

      @Sofia- Glute ham raises, back raises, reverse hypers, single leg work, sled pushing and dragging.

  23. Lacci March 30, 2012 at 9:03 pm #

    I’m currently deployed and was looking for a way to gain strength. Being one of the very few females here and 5ft flat at 100 lbs, if that, you can understand why i’d want to gain some strength. After reading this article and laughing my ass off, so much made sense. Theres a guy on my flight thats been in a few magazines and he’s in the process of getting sponsored so I asked him what to do to get bigger and gain strength and he says the same thing im use to hearing. “Do light weight at 12-15 reps” ,but after I feel bored sitting there waiting for my next set. So I tried going on the bodybuilding website and trying one of the muscle building plans and its almost the exact same as everything else. I’ve gotten a little bigger, especially my biceps. I’m getting some stretch marks around my biceps maybe because of the quick muscle gain and it wont seem to stop. But I still don’t feel like im where I should be in two weeks. So I came across this after googling Jessica Biels workout like everyone apparently and tried it tonight. I couldn’t believe the difference. I’m already sore and within the first 3 sets my heart was beating out of my chest, which doesnt usually happen. I’m so glad I found this and i’m looking forward to keeping up with your articles and posts. Thanks for the advice!

    • Jason Ferruggia April 9, 2012 at 8:53 am #

      @Lacci- Wow, that’s great to hear. Keep it up and you’ll definitely see some impressive results.

  24. Alex April 13, 2012 at 9:07 am #

    Awesome post! Makes a lot of sense, I’m excited to start applying your tips. How do you feel about classes at gyms such as Body Pump/Group Power? I do them from time to time and enjoy them, but do you have any tips on how to maximize them if you’re familiar with them?

  25. Julie April 14, 2012 at 9:11 pm #

    Yep, you’re pretty much awesome. (I just stopped to double check)

    Thank you for this post. I read a lot of your articles and have shared a lot of them with guy friends that are looking to get bigger. I agree that there’s just SO much info out there and think it just seems logical to follow a handful of people vs subscribing to every fitness magazine, etc. When people ask about my diet or training regime, I used to say that I pretty much live by the principles of Tim Ferris and Robb Wolf. Now I say “I pretty much live by the principles of Tim Ferris, Robb Wolf and Jason Ferruggia.”

  26. Jeremy April 22, 2012 at 8:30 am #

    Hey Jason,

    You’ve spoken about the level of testosterone during workout sessions in several of your posts. Do women also follow the same rise of testosterone (27 mins), baseline at 45 and cortisol increase at an hour? Or are they at a different time frame since their recover rate is shorter and training volume is less?


  27. Katie May 3, 2012 at 7:49 pm #

    Great article! I train my friends, and I always start in the free-weight room. They freak out, but then are so happy that they can lift real weights and feel better than being on the elliptical forever.

  28. Kat May 24, 2012 at 10:27 am #

    So I shouldn’t ask my boyfriend how many women he’s slept with? J/K – Great article, as always! Makes me want to rep out some heavy squats!

  29. Aaron May 29, 2012 at 11:19 pm #

    This article almost made me cry. I have bee working out for roughly 10 years now and am currently training my girlfriend. I have told her and other women the very same thing and they look at me like i’m from Mars. They all say the same thing cardio is the most important. I don’t even bother with them anymore. But I have convinced my girlfriend that weight training is the key to huge gains and efficient body transformation. Its all about the compound training.

    Thanks Jason,

  30. Bennett June 6, 2012 at 11:41 am #

    I think it’s worth noting, from some of the girls I’ve trained, that men and women have different reactions to training stress, too. Men tend to think they have better technique than they really do, and confuse “pushing harder” with getting more done. So yeah, they’re getting more reps or weight, but with risky, destructive flaws in their technique. Women, on the other hand, tend to have a much lower threshold for discomfort, and will quit well before they’re at risk of failure.

    Or, more bluntly, men think they’re better than they really are, and women think they’re weaker than they really are.

    Of course, women are also conditioned to think they should be much more frail than is actually attractive (and men, of course, suffer the opposite again–we think we need a lot more muscle and definition than women find appealing, or even tolerable in some cases). But, as a fitness model acquaintance of mine pointed out, even guys who claim to find ‘muscular’ women unattractive, all stare and lick their chops when she stretches and they can see her abs. Trust the eye-fucking, not the mouth. The mouth always lies anyway, when it comes to your appearance.

  31. Kristen July 7, 2012 at 8:14 pm #

    What to do if I’m 9 months into recovery of a shattered left wrist and hand? I can bend my wrist (to about 65 degrees, not 90 degrees like the right one), I can rotate it (sort of) and can bear about 25-30 lbs of weight when my wrist is kept straight. If it is bent, I can bear even to nothing. Pulling motion is much easier than pushing motion with my left wrist/hand. I’m allowed to do strength exercises according to my doctor, but is there anything that I can do that will work my muscles that is not so hard on my wrist? I do try to keep up with some strength training to regain strength in that wrist but it is likely, according to my doctors that I will never have the same use of it as I had before it was shattered. Its hard to do any lifting because my right arm over compensates for the weight I can’t bear on my left wrist. I want to lift heavy. Any advice?

  32. Dustin July 10, 2012 at 10:49 pm #

    Jason, great article! I have you program muscle gaining secrets which is awesome! However I have a friend who wants to start lifting. Do u have any specifics on slight alterations to the program for a female? Maybe it’s in their but I haven’t found it. Thank you

  33. ashley July 17, 2012 at 9:18 am #

    This was legitimately the best written work out advice that I have encountered. Thank you so much.

  34. Hayley July 17, 2012 at 3:24 pm #

    Thanks, Jason,

    I’ve been weight training for 2.5 years now
    and I really enjoyed this article. It’s inspired me
    me to go train hard tomorrow.

  35. Kim July 23, 2012 at 9:12 pm #

    This was a fantastic read and a good laugh. I think muscles on a woman look amazing and though I’ve never taken any notice of Jessica Biel before I can see why women would like to look like her (particularly her shoulders). I’ve just started weight training and my trainer has set a plan exactly as you’ve described. I’m lifting the same weights as some guys but it doesn’t phase me at all as I have complete faith my trainer.

  36. Angela July 24, 2012 at 2:24 pm #

    This article was inspiring!
    I’m a similar shape to Jessica Biel (broad shoulders, not very wide hips) and this is what I’m aiming for…
    Since I have wide shoulders I was always scared that using weights would add more to my shoulders making me even more out of proportion but u’ve giving me the confidence to try it out!

    When you say heavy weights, how heavy? We talking 5kgs? 10kg? 20kg? I’m trying to add muscle to my bottom half to balance out my top and also slim down in general to decrease my waist line. So squats and dead lifts for me right?

    Thanks for a great article :)

  37. Donna Brown August 9, 2012 at 5:16 pm #

    I am 64 years old and in very good health but I carry 10 to 15 pounds I can not seem to get rid of, I am interested if you think my age would affect working out? And would it take longer
    I would love to show the world that age only is strong when we are weak but i would love to hear your opinion
    Donna Brown

    I am 5’2 and weigh about 135 to 140 and run about 10 miles aweek when i am just running. I did my first marathon at 58 and it was Chicago. I have done 2 whole and 2 half marathons. So I am not a whimp
    Donna Brown

  38. Vix- Miss Fitness Life August 16, 2012 at 4:31 pm #

    Great Article Jason- Finally someone is sharing the truth about how to get a fit strong female body, not some lame article on how cardio will give you skinny legs and how teeny tiny weights are the best way to “tone”

  39. Sonya October 18, 2012 at 4:55 pm #

    You’ve got allot of great stuff on this site, thanks for sharing the knowledge.

    As a skinny girl struggling to gain muscle mass, I ended up looking into allot of articles you’ve posted here. I see that you emphasize gaining strength in the lower rep ranges (5-8reps), so is that advice geared more towards men whereas women will need to mainly work within the 8-15rep range to gain muscle?

    • Jason Ferruggia June 14, 2013 at 8:46 am #

      @Sonya- 5-15 reps will work for females. The weaker you are the lower you should keep the reps then as you get more advanced you can bump them up a bit.

  40. Missy December 5, 2012 at 9:10 pm #

    I’m also one of those women that packs on muscle easily… so much that all BMI scales have said I’ve been at least 30lbs overweight my whole life if I add in the gender specification. In addition to that, I’m 6 foot tall. I have two choices: be overweight-big or be strong-big. Since no dreaming or dieting is going to make me fit in with the average woman, I just ride with it and work with what I’ve got! I follow “men’s” workouts because they just have the right impact on my body. “Women’s” workouts do nothing for me, not even burn the fat! Thanks for a no-nonsense article that supports what has been working for me. It’s really nice to feel normal.

    • Jason Ferruggia June 14, 2013 at 8:44 am #

      @Misssy- Thanks for the feedback. Honestly, I don’t know that “women’s” workouts do anything for anyone.

  41. keira newton June 12, 2013 at 5:26 am #

    AWESOME. All of the things I tell the women in my gym. Well said, Jason

  42. Lisa June 13, 2013 at 4:26 pm #

    If you want a nice butt, you have to squat often (2-3 days a week) and heavy. Period.

    • Jason Ferruggia June 14, 2013 at 8:43 am #

      @Lisa- Can’t argue with squatting.

  43. Kirsten July 1, 2013 at 1:57 pm #

    It’s great that people see you as a beacon of training wisdom. It’s sad they don’t have the boundaries to respect your time and talent. As someone new to strength training (3 months), I’m thrilled with the results I’m getting. God bless my trap bar and my trainer-o-awesomeness.

  44. PJ July 8, 2013 at 7:29 am #

    great info there man. Have you any workouts that includes easy to follow nutrtition. My wife is looking to lose some body fat and gain muscle for an upcoming wedding.
    I am studying a strength and conditioning course so I would be able to help her with technique etc.

  45. Christine July 22, 2013 at 1:35 am #

    Ok, I love this article because there is nothing I hate more than 3lb weights. I am naturally extremely muscular but only 4’11 and a little on the heavy side as well. I have been googling the hell out of my dilemma which is what is my ideal weight for my body build not my height. I “should” be 95-100 lbs according to charts and my bmi says I’m obese (at 30). I admit I am overweight but I don’t think I’m obese. To be honest I am built like a football player and would like to not add too much more muscle but still need to lose the fat. Any advice?

    My father which I am built like is a type-2 diabetic and I am looking to avoid that as well.
    Being 35 and my body changing has not helped my situation much either so I thought I’d start here! :)

    • Christine July 22, 2013 at 1:42 am #

      I meant to say that at 95-100 lbs, I would tip over because my head is too big! I feel that 125 lbs would be ideal for me, but would like a professional opinion.

    • Jason Ferruggia July 24, 2013 at 1:27 pm #

      @Christine- Try the Renegade Diet and a lot of conditioning. Two moderate intensity sessions per week and two high intensity sessions.

  46. Jen August 31, 2013 at 8:54 am #

    Just to add to this, I love this article by the way. I know using soup cans and 2 lbs dumbbells might seem silly, but most women have no choice but to use that as a starting point. I work my upper/lower body two times a week each and I am always trying to challenge myself. When I first started out most of my upper body muscle groups could only handle 2 lbs, except my deltoids, so I had to use a soup can for two months! I just wanted to add, don’t worry about using soup cans ladies, but make sure you can those cans as fast as you.. can…. that was a little too lame :D

  47. Tim September 11, 2013 at 3:42 pm #

    Solid post.

  48. Christie Staffa September 14, 2013 at 6:06 pm #

    I really enjoyed your article, which confirms what I already thought. I told my trainer that I didn’t want to waste my time with all of that Pilates BS and I wanted to weight train. I was fortunate to find him, he is excellent and I am already seeing results… even though I HATE squats…

  49. Jessica October 9, 2013 at 5:37 pm #

    I like your blog and I think you have smart, honest advice. However, I feel this post is catered to women who… want to look like Jessica Biel. I get it, tons of guys drool over her. But I don’t. I drool over Megan Fox, Amber Heard, and Gretchen Rossi (her body, not her face). So, how does a girl get a body like that? One that’s tight and toned, but not ripped as hell like Jessica Biel. Is that more Pilates oriented? I’d appreciate your advice!

  50. catalin manea October 11, 2013 at 11:02 am #

    But I don’t want a body like Jessica Biel!

    That’s really good advice. My leg workout consists only of squats, lunges, stiff legs deadlifts and occasionally a set or two of leg extension and leg curls. That’s all I need for big legs. I don’t see how this would be different for girls

  51. Sarah_WI November 20, 2013 at 9:33 pm #

    Wow, I happened across this link when I was looking up images of mesomorph women. I have a very similar body type to Jessica Biel, but she is definitely more buff. I guess you could call her my working “goal body type”. I have been strength training since the beginning of June, so over 5 months now, and prior to, was only doing cardio. I only saw a difference in my body (especially my core) when I began the strength training.

    From this article, I learned that I should do heavier lifting at less reps (doing up to 35 reps a set now, 3 sets), and that is a tip I will take with me to my next workout. I go 6 days a week and am looking to challenge my body more, as I seemed to have hit a plateau. My main goal is more definition in the abs and they were looking amazing 2 months ago and now, not as great. It’s all right, I am up for the challenge.

    Thank you for a great article… it was both informative and humorous. :)

  52. Eva R. Phillips December 18, 2013 at 8:23 am #

    Greetings! I’ve been following your website for a
    while now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from Atascocita Tx!
    Just wanted to tell you keep up the fantastic job!

  53. Jen February 5, 2014 at 5:20 pm #

    Jason. Thank you for writing this – you just validated my gym routine. I’ve been working out with a group of semi-pro football players for the last 4 months after I started to plateau on my own. They’ve done a great job of teaching me a wider range of those compound exercises you mentioned.

    I completely agree with the part about needing less time to recover in between sets – I got antsy waiting for my turn so now I superset my exercises. And the part about girls wanting to leave the gym drenched in sweat – yup, that’s spot on too.

    Thanks again, I needed to hear this.

  54. Sue March 29, 2014 at 5:16 pm #

    Hi Jason. I am very impressed with what I have read in your blog and in your book, and am going once again to start my exercise program. Due to life circumstances I’m unfit and overweight at the moment, but fired up to get back into shape. I’m reasonably walking fit – am used to walking with my labrador quite frequently.

    I have one question. I am 54 years of age and have a problem with arthritis. I have a problem with pain in my right knee from time to time. I want to strengthen the muscles in my legs, but am a bit unsure whether squats and lunges are good for my knee. Could you give me your opinion on this please. Would you suggest any other exercises to try to start off with to strengthen those muscles?

    Looking forward to hearing from you.