Ultimate Guide to Female Aesthetic Preparation: Training and Diet and More

Female Aesthetic Preparation: Training, Diet, and More



In this article, we will discuss female aesthetic preparation, mainly focusing on training, diet, and a few other small considerations.

Assuming that we are addressing only healthy women without specific organic conditions (cardiovascular, pulmonary, metabolic, osteoarticular, etc.) or psycho-behavioral disorders (especially eating disorders), we will provide specific guidelines to harmonize appearance within physiological and natural limits.

For statistical reasons, let's assume that we are working with a woman between her twenties and forties who regularly attends a weightlifting gym or fitness center and does not have severe overweight issues.

Many female readers will come across these lines feeling confused. Very few can find the right answers to common doubts such as: How should I train? Which exercises should I focus on? What should I avoid? What and how much should I eat?

Intermittent fasting has gained popularity as a weight loss strategy among those following the Mediterranean diet.

Let's start with a brief explanation of female body composition.


2- Body Composition

Even for women aiming to improve their physique, body recomposition is necessary. The extent of this intervention varies from case to case, and sometimes it may be sufficient to focus on proportions. However, by increasing muscle importance in a specific area, there will inevitably be changes in the percentages of lean mass (FFM%) and fat mass (FM%).

In the fitness and sports environment, it is well known that fertile women should not have a body fat percentage below 15% to avoid irregularities in the menstrual cycle or, worse, amenorrhea (loss). The specific set-point varies from case to case, but the general rule remains that, for a complete restoration of functionality, it becomes necessary to regain more kilograms of fat compared to the initial condition.

From an aesthetic standpoint as well, maintaining a certain amount of subcutaneous fat is useful because it helps soften the figure despite increased muscularity. Additionally, let's not forget that localized weight loss, as most of us perceive it, does not exist, and often, when a woman aims for significant weight loss, there is a reduction in breast size.

keto diet
keto diet

The keto diet is known for its high-fat content and low carbohydrate intake, which can lead to rapid weight loss.

3- Different Scenarios

The training protocol aimed at improving female aesthetics is based on resistance training, specifically weightlifting exercises (free weights or isotonic machines), and cardiovascular exercise aimed at calorie expenditure (outdoor or using fitness machines).

The overall workload, determined by intensity, volume, and potential stimulus density, for women seeking to enhance their aesthetic line, primarily depends on their initial condition and final goal.

For a Beginner

Therefore, in the case of a novice with amateur goals, it is advisable to proceed gradually, starting with simple initial conditioning typically achieved through a total body workout. During this phase, which may last several weeks, the focus will be on learning the movements of a few important fundamental compound exercises, while emphasizing technique and maintaining low intensity, which translates to higher repetitions (12/15) and shorter rests (60 seconds).

For a Runway Model or Fashion Model

On the other hand, if the individual has professional goals, the protocol may slightly change depending on the relevant field.

Incorporating high fiber foods into your diet, such as whole grains and legumes, can promote better digestion and help maintain a healthy weight.

When it comes to runway models, if there is no need to correct specific proportions, the predominant activity will undoubtedly be cardio-fitness (including high-intensity intervals) but extended to the whole body, with minimal strength training. Alternatively, mixed circuit training like PHA (Peripheral Heart Action) can be utilized, with an emphasis on cardiovascular exercise. In these cases, the workout should not be psychologically demanding because managing the diet will play a more significant role, consuming much of the mental energy dedicated to the goal. For fashion models, the approach is slightly different; it is advisable to focus more on muscle development through weightlifting or orient the circuit training towards strength rather than cardio.

For women with amateur fitness experience,

Returning to the population of non-professional women concerned with aesthetics, this time considering those who have already undergone proper conditioning or have some fitness experience, it is recommended to create a balanced protocol that combines strength training and cardiovascular activities. It will be the responsibility of the individual or their trainer to adjust the balance between the two, taking into account the desired proportions, as mentioned above.

Following a well-balanced diet is essential for overall health and weight management.

4- How to Train

Which training protocol to choose?

In general, the majority of women can benefit from applying resistance training with weights to achieve body recomposition or correct certain proportions.

On the other hand, we must also consider another premise: many women are not comfortable with free weights (barbells, dumbbells, plates, flat bench, power rack, etc.) and certain isotonic machines like the leg press. The tendency is to perceive these tools as "mostly for men" because they are "excessively" associated with hypertrophy as if the tools themselves determine muscle growth instead of the training system. That being said, when the goal is reshaping the body, it will be difficult to avoid using these tools. Caution and patience will be good companions for all women with aesthetic goals who face difficulties in overcoming the aforementioned preconceptions.

Resistance training is oriented towards strength development and the resulting body modifications. If a woman's physique lacks muscle volume, such as in the glutes, the training method will focus on hypertrophy. All the criteria for muscle growth will be respected, including interval training, high intensity (to concentric failure), 3-4 exercises per muscle group, 3-4 sets per exercise, repetitions ranging from 8 to 12, extended time under tension (TUT), emphasis on the eccentric phase of the movement (preferably with isometric pause), and recoveries between 90 and 180 seconds (depending on whether the goal is to work in a lactate threshold or achieve maximum muscle tension). It should be noted that the adaptation achieved varies from one individual to another. 

By following the aforementioned approach, muscles will become short and wide in cross-section. With the possible exception of the glutes, in conditions of sufficient leanness, other muscle groups (quadriceps, deltoids, pectorals, back, etc.) may become overly hypertrophic. In such cases, it is helpful to decrease intensity, work with higher repetitions (12-15), normalize the execution speed, as well as the concentric/eccentric phase ratio, and focus on maximizing the eccentric stretch.

Many individuals opt for a low carb diet to regulate blood sugar levels and promote weight loss.

If the female muscular system is already inclined towards growth, with evident muscle insertions and substantial volumes, the entire training can be focused on cardiovascular exercises for calorie burning. All activities are beneficial, but it is important to remember that each one will create specific conditioning that should not be underestimated. Particularly for running enthusiasts, it should be noted that the calf muscles will always tend to stand out. 

The same applies to those who prefer canoeing or rowing, as they develop broad shoulders and back. For these reasons, it is often advisable to work out in a fitness studio where specific and easily manageable machines are available, such as the elliptical trainer. A good compromise, especially for women who want to correct proportions while maintaining their weight, is mixed circuit training, which involves alternating fitness machines with muscle isolation exercises aimed at specific strengthening.

5- Recommended Exercises

Recommended strength exercises

Let's now describe which strength exercises are usually recommended for female aesthetic training, with the usual attention to individuality.

Including protein foods like lean meats, eggs, and dairy products in your diet can help support muscle growth and aid in weight loss.

Regarding the lower body, every muscle can be trained. It is important to include thigh flexion exercises to target the gluteal muscles in the sagittal plane. This is also the only exercise that trains the short head of the biceps femoris. It should be noted that the adductor group may not be trained in isolation unless the frontal appearance of the figure requires special attention to this muscle group compared to others in the thighs.

Therefore, exercises such as front lunges (with dumbbells), lateral lunges, and leg curl machines will be extremely useful from the beginning. In the post-conditioning routines, using a split routine approach where each muscle group has its microcycle, complementary exercises for the gluteus maximus, abductors, other hamstring muscles, and adductors can be added (we will provide examples later).

Although squats and leg presses are generally effective, they can have a significant impact on the quadriceps femoris and may not be recommended. The deadlift is an excellent exercise that works the gluteus maximus very effectively, but it also tends to increase the size of the front of the thigh. This can be replaced brilliantly by the Romanian deadlift and the good morning exercise (which slightly focuses more on the back than the glutes).

For the upper body, we recommend a fairly selective development and proceeding with caution. The back and shoulders (external rotators of the humerus such as infraspinatus, teres minor, and posterior deltoid) of women should be trained primarily in extension and opening, using exercises such as low cable rows, machines like the upper back machine, and free weights like 90-degree lateral raises. Attention should be paid to scapular adduction. It should be noted that a well-externally rotated humerus with adducted scapulae highlights the breasts, while shortened spinal extensors contribute to an upright posture.

Regarding the pectoral muscles, women with a well-endowed chest can benefit from exercises such as dumbbell flies and incline bench presses, as well as pull-overs (which, by stimulating the latissimus dorsi, have an excellent postural effect on shoulder opening).

If the girl has a considerable hip width, it can be very useful to perform exercises that abduct the humerus, specifically targeting the development of the lateral multipennate bundles of the deltoid muscle. This will contribute to adding width to the upper part of the figure in the frontal plane.

Keto, short for the ketogenic diet, emphasizes high fat and low carb consumption to induce ketosis and burn fat.

Speaking of the posterior abdominal girdle and spinal extensors, if partial deadlifts are not already included in the routine, it would be possible to incorporate trunk hyperextensions on a GHB bench (for the quadratus as well as the iliocostalis, spinal, and longissimus muscles), as a complement to the work for the upper back mentioned above.

For the anterior abdominal muscles, classic exercises such as crunches, reverse crunches, and front planks can be performed, with emphasis on the exhale phase to also engage the transverse. Everything should be balanced based on the development of the rectus, which should not be excessively pronounced (the six-pack look is more masculine). Some twist exercises with a barbell will promote toning of the transverse abdominis without hypertrophying it excessively.

Discouraged strength exercises include:

Working on the development of the upper trapezius fibers (e.g., behind-the-neck exercises).

Excessively widening the back (lat pulldowns and high pulley exercises).

In the case of a smaller bust, excessive work on pectoral development, especially in the central-lateral area.

In the presence of pre-existing lordotic accentuation, trunk hyperextensions can be avoided.

Excessive hypertrophy of the oblique abdominal muscles by performing lateral flexions of the trunk with a cable or on a specific bench with a dumbbell, as this tends to widen the waistline.

Excessive emphasis on hypertrophy of the muscles that accentuate the lordotic curve; if excessive, this can lead to imbalances and pain.

Working with isolation exercises for the arms, specifically the triceps, and biceps. The arm already strengthens with multi-joint exercises, and excessive shortening of the brachialis muscle is not always desired in women.

A diet rich in high protein foods

such as fish, poultry, and tofu, 

can assist in achieving weight loss goals.

6- Examples

Now let's provide two sample routines.

Note: Consulting with a personal trainer is always recommended to adjust the volume, frequency, number of repetitions, and exercises based on the individual's characteristics mentioned above.

Example of a total-body routine (6-8 weeks)

This sample routine is designed for a novice girl between the ages of 20 and 40, in perfect health and within a normal weight range. Her passion is amateur modeling.

This routine focuses on learning proper movement patterns and prioritizes complex multi-joint exercises. Pay attention to starting with lower body exercises and then transitioning to upper body exercises for the reasons mentioned earlier. Also, note the alternation between pushing and pulling exercises. The inclusion of any stretching exercises can be determined by the personal trainer.

5-Minute Bike Warm-up

Front Lunges 3x15 reps, 90 seconds rest

Side Lunges 2x15 reps, 90 seconds rest

Leg Curls 2x12 reps, 90 seconds rest

5 minutes rest, keeping the legs elevated on a bench for stretching.

Close-Grip Pulley Pull-ups 2x15 reps, 90 seconds rest

Incline Dumbbell Press 2x12 reps, 90 seconds rest

Sit-ups 2 sets, maximum repetitions, 90 seconds rest

Hip and Spine Extensions on a GHB Bench 2x15 reps, 90 seconds rest

5 minutes rest

Bike or Stepper for 20-30 minutes at 60-70% of maximum heart rate (Fcmax).

Naturally, this example should be adjusted from individual to individual and from environment to environment. As explained earlier, for a model or fashion model, the cardio work should be increased while minimizing anaerobic exercises.

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Looking to lose weight fast? Combining a balanced diet with regular exercise is a recommended approach.

Example Split Routine (A-B)

To be performed after approximately 8 weeks, alternating between Workout A and Workout B.

Part A

5-Minute Bike Warm-up

Front Lunges 2x15 reps, 90 seconds rest (up to 120 seconds)

Side Lunges 2x15 reps, 90-120 seconds rest

Leg Curls 2x12 reps, 90-120 seconds rest

5 minutes rest

Side Raises 2x15 reps, 90-120 seconds rest

Calf Raises (any exercise) 2x18 reps, 90-120 seconds rest

Crunches 2 sets, maximum repetitions with forced exhalation and extension of the torso during the descending phase

5 minutes rest with legs elevated on a bench for stretching

Bike or Stepper for 20-30 minutes at 60-70% of maximum heart rate (Fcmax).

Part B

5-Minute Bike Warm-up

Close-Grip Pulley Pull-ups 2x15 reps, 90-120 seconds rest

Dumbbell Shoulder Abduction (crucifix - not beyond horizontal) 2x10 reps, 90-120 seconds rest

Horizontal Shoulder Extension with Flexed Torso (crucifix at 90° with scapular adduction, contraction, and forced external rotation of the humerus) 2x10 reps, 90-120 seconds rest

3-5 minutes rest

Incline Dumbbell Press 2x12 reps, 90-120 seconds rest

Sit-ups 2 sets, maximum repetitions, 90-120 seconds rest (always with forced exhalation to fully contract the transverse abdominis)

Hip and Spine Extensions on a GHB Bench 2x15 reps, 90-120 seconds rest

3-5 minutes rest

Twist with Barbell 2 sets, more than 20 repetitions (optional), 90-120 seconds rest

Rowing Machine or Bike for 20-30 minutes at 60-70% of maximum heart rate (Fcmax).

Please note that for professional models, strength exercises may be reduced to the essentials, with more time dedicated to cardio work and diet planning.

At the instructor's discretion, the cardio exercises (bike, stepper, rowing machine) can be included in specific additional sessions during the week, instead of at the end of the protocol.

This two-way split routine can be changed after another two or three months. The variations to be made at that point will depend on the progress made and the modeling of the female figure. However, keep in mind the lengthy considerations discussed above.

For individuals following a keto lifestyle, keto meal delivery services offer convenient options that adhere to the diet's guidelines.

Let's talk about the diet.

7- Diet

Diet for Female Aesthetics

Let's be clear: a diet is a diet.

There is no difference between men and women, except for some specific aspects that, in any case, are not significant. The priority is determined by the goals, which can be achieved by adjusting calorie intake and nutritional distribution.

For obvious reasons related to the wide range of cases, we will not provide any examples here. Nutrition is too specific of a topic to be generalized, and there is a considerable risk that someone reading this may dangerously engage in incorrect "do-it-yourself" practices.

So, we will limit ourselves to general indications. It will be the professional's job, who can assess the individual's specific characteristics in person, to design the diet. For female aesthetics, the diet should take into account the following:

The diet will include the usual 5-6 daily meals and should provide all the necessary nutrients, including vitamins and minerals – with a focus on iron – dietary fiber – considering the higher tendency for constipation in women – and water.

For a fashion model, who is not training for hypertrophy, a preference should be given to a normoproteic diet (around 1.1-1.2 g/kg of body weight) and a balanced one (with fats at around 25%); if necessary, a calorie cut can be implemented before a performance, but for the rest of the year, the weight should remain within the set point – the range of normality. It is logical that, for ethical reasons, we cannot recommend a typically weight-loss diet (70% of normal calories) to an individual who is already within a healthy weight range. If the kind readers still decide to do it anyway – perhaps for work purposes – we recommend relying on a professional and limiting the weight loss cycle to the bare minimum.

Utilizing a meal planner can help you organize your weekly meals and ensure you follow a healthy eating plan.

In general, therefore, the diet for a fashion model aims to accurately maintain a baseline condition that does not require excessive stress to handle work-related performances.

In the diet of a photo model or a woman who simply wants to reshape her body, it may be appropriate to increase the protein intake (around 1.5 g/kg or slightly more), while still staying within the balance range; fats should not exceed 30%.

It is always advisable, especially in the long term, to avoid low-carb diets, especially ketogenic ones. The calorie cut before an event is usually around 30% of the total, leaving protein intake unchanged and avoiding fats dropping below 25%.

Keep in mind that just before the menstrual flow, women experience a peak in progesterone and estradiol, which can cause water retention.

Planning your meals with a weekly meal planner can contribute to better portion control and weight management.

8- Supplementation

Supplementation may not be necessary; the most common cases require minerals (especially iron) and vitamins.

Some find it useful to use beta stimulants such as cocoa alkaloids, caffeine, guarana, green tea, etc., during calorie-cutting periods before a photo shoot or work performance, or peak physical condition. However, they should be avoided in the long term. The dosage, mode of use, and timing should be evaluated by a professional, as these products are not without contraindications and side effects.

Other products are considered unnecessary, except for compensating for nutritional deficiencies due to the fast-paced lifestyle – meal replacements.

Weight loss meals tailored to your specific goals and dietary needs can be a helpful tool in achieving desired results.

9- Cellulite

It may seem strange to most readers that we haven't talked about cellulite yet. This is because both the causes (sedentary lifestyle, poor dietary habits, alcohol) and some treatments for this aesthetic issue go hand in hand with weight loss therapy.

Fibro-edematous radiculopathy is a condition that affects loose connective tissue, the mesenchyme, which becomes denser, rigid, and even sclerotic (irreversible - requiring surgery) due to the polymerization of mucopolysaccharides. The thickening of the mesenchyme leads to the compression of arterioles and nerves (causing pain) and the formation of cellulitic nodules. The polymerization of mucopolysaccharides occurs due to lymphatic fluid stagnation with a high presence of solutes, commonly referred to as "toxins" (although the term itself is improper). Therefore, its etiology can be summarized as a sedentary lifestyle combined with poor dietary habits. The etiology is exacerbated by hormonal imbalances, constricting tissues, paramorphism, and dysmorphisms. However, we won't delve into this further as it is already a well-covered topic on the website.

diet for diabetics
diet for diabetics

A well-designed diet for diabetics focuses on managing blood sugar levels and promoting healthy weight management.

"Curing" fully sclerotic cellulite is the task of surgery, which can only achieve partial success (depending on the locations and state of the condition). Therefore, just like with any disease, the solution lies in prevention, which is still easier and more cost-effective than one might think: regular physical activity and a healthy diet, or more generally, a correct lifestyle.

10- Alcohol and Smoking

If you have the habit of smoking, while waiting to quit (so to speak), it is advisable to consume a high amount of antioxidants through foods and supplements.

combining the principles of a balanced diet with regular exercise is key to achieving and maintaining weight loss for individuals with diabetes.

Alcohol is metabolized in the liver using the same system that neutralizes poisons, simply because it is a toxic substance itself. The calories it provides are empty because they do not contribute to a sense of satiety (the brain does not recognize alcohol as a nutrient), and it still raises insulin levels, lowering blood sugar.

For both aesthetic and health purposes, both alcohol and smoking should be completely avoided.