10 Muscle Building Tips For Women!

When you think of muscle you think of guys, but muscle matters for women too! Muscle = weight loss (this is explained in this women’s weight training post at Lean Curves). All women should be looking to build a bit of muscle, both to look good and lose weight.

If you have the basics of building muscle down but simply need a few more pointers to get you along your way, take a look at the following tips and advice for women who want to build muscle.

Women Muscle Building Workout

Muscle Building Tips For Women:

  1. Push yourself. While you don’t want to workout too much, you want to make sure you cannot do one more repetition in a set because you are too exhausted. You want it to burn (this feeling is lactic acid stimulating muscle growth) and want to make the next set harder to do.
  2. With burn comes resistance, and with resistance comes stronger muscles and a more toned look. (more about training at Muscle and Strength)
  3. Harness the big tree exercises. The big three exercises when you build muscles include the deadlift, squatting, and the bench press. They should always be included in your workout plan in some fashion as they build condition, strength, and bulkiness.
  4. Workout a few times a week. You should workout at a minimum of 3 times a week – that should provide more than enough exercise required by your body to build muscles. If you’re more advanced at lifting weights and have done it for a while, you have the ability to attempt maybe one or two more sessions a week – alternatively, if you’re new, start with 2 a week. If you haven’t got a workout, use one of these workouts.
  5. Keep it balanced, but limited. You want to focus on both cardiovascular workouts like running and biking while you try to build muscles. However, if you never want to do both extremes at once – for example, training to run a marathon while still lifting 5 times a week. It is great to mix cardio and strength training, but just don’t push each to the max at the same time.
  6. Eat well. Not only do this mean eating healthy, but you need to eat to be catered for your muscles to build and not deplete. If you’re cutting calories as part of a weight-loss regime, they will leave your muscle and you’ll be fighting to build them back up. If you are trying to lose weight at the same time as you’re building your muscles and are required to drop the amount of food you eat, make sure at the very least to keep your protein levels the same as before. You can work out how many calories you need on a daily basis by using a BMR calculator.
  7. Measure body fat, not weight. If you are apart of a diet and weight loss regime and perform strength training, be sure to measure body fat – not your weight. If you’re actually gaining muscles, you will be gaining weight (pounds on the scale), even if you’re losing calories in other places on your body. Remember, weight does not equal size – it’s about how you look in the mirror, not how much you weigh!
  8. Carbohydrates are your friend. If you’re exercising and performing cardio and weight strengthening exercises everyday, your levels of glucose are being depleted. If you fail to fuel your body with a sufficient amount of protein, your body will begin to ravage your muscles to extract protein (for carbohydrates). It depends on how much you’re exercising, but you should consume anywhere from 2 to 3.5 grams of carbs for every pound of body weight you have daily.
  9. Consume protein before and after workouts. Consume about 10 to 20 grams of protein less than an hour before training to help increase the muscle-building effect of training. This equals to about the same size as 1 or 2 glasses of milk. After your workout, have a whey protein shake. (facts about whey protein)
  10. Try supplements. While the results vary for all individuals and should be taken only under the advice of a medical professional, creatine supplements may have the ability to enhance your training – making you workout harder and for longer period of times. This could lean to increased muscle growth. Additionally, recent research performed has demonstrated that a creatine supplement combined with proteins and carbohydrates may encourage muscle building.
  11. Shoot for the stars, but it might take a while. It takes a long time to send a rocket shuttle into space and to complete a mission at NASA — this analogy applies to your weight building efforts. You need to make sure to set systematic, reasonable goals for your muscle building program that you can track, progress, and meet overtime. It also needs to be said that genetic plays a role in building muscles – if your body wasn’t designed for a large frame, it’ll be harder to achieve.

The bottom line, however, is that if you keep training – you will lose weight, and you will also gain muscle and strength. It’s time for the women to get in the gym and start training with weights!

If you need any advice about training with weights or muscle building for women post in the comments below and we’ll answer you.

About Katie

Katie has transformed her body from a flabby 186lbs, to a fit & toned 124 pounds through healthy diet and exercise. Katie joined the Lean Curves team in 2007 and has posted hundreds of articles on fitness, fat loss and healthy eating.


  1. Aletta says:

    hi, i just want to say thanx very much for a great site and all the helpful information!

  2. rachel says:

    I’m working with a trainer for nearly 3 months now. I also spin/bike 4-5 times weekly. I eat lots of fish, yogurt and greens.
    I ‘m seeing great results especially abdominally. I’ve got a 4 pack.
    But my triceps are all flabMy trainer seems to think less weight is better. I disagree.
    I have begun doing more lifting in this area and increasing the weight. My question is, when will this flab go away? I’m 53, 5’1 and weigh 110 lbs.

  3. grace says:

    im so happy to read all the tips on how to achieve a smaller arms and large hips. i have begun doing all the tips i’ve read everyday. but it seems that there’s no result to me. can you emeil me some easy result tips for my problem?

  4. roxan says:

    i start weight lifting 5 times a week with cardio and some areobic iam 29 and 60 kg i dont want to lose my body just because i dont think i need to but iam just a bit comfuse what and how much should i eat to bild up plz help

  5. Ryan says:

    Can i have more information. Yes i am a Guy. I have been lifting for 2 years and i have lost 70 lbs. but i am not here for me. i am here for a good friend. she is a young mom and she asked me for help to get her a beatch body a loss 20 lbs. i just want to know how hard i can push her and how long it will take here to loss the 20 lbs thank you and have a great day

  6. Leah says:

    Hello, I was wondering… Ive been lifting for what seems like ever!! Im 30 yrs old and food and exercise are my bestfriends.. My problem is I want to go in a figure comp this yr, and for the life of me Im not gaining size.. I change my workout routines round fortnightly… eat like im never going to eat again, completley stopped doing cardio, and I keep losing weight.. What do you suggest I do??

  7. Janine says:

    I have been working out for a little over a year consistently, 5 days a week. I do 45 minutes of cardio on the elliptical and bike and lift weight about 30 minutes. Lifting weights include working my arms, legs, stomach, and butt. My top half is ok, but I am still not happy with the bottom half. I have lost about 60 pounds, but the bottom half is still squishy! I eat protein smoothies, always eat healthy, take vitamins, etc. I am very active. So do I just keep doing what I am already doing to see the results I want? I know this will take time, but should I be doing something extra to speed up the process?

  8. Melissa says:

    I have been working out for 10 weeks now when I first started I was weighing 133 now I weigh 137. I was using 55lbs for my arms 3 sets of 30. My legs extentions 55lbs for each 3 sets of 30 and leg curles 110 3 sets of 30. I use my ellicpical before weights at a speed between 9.0 – 10.0 going for 3 miles. I am trying to watch portion size and how many calories I eat. I feel toner but still not happy with my butt and thighs. Should I run more miles and less weight with more reps? I am really confused and frusterated. I am not happy with results with the scale. What should I do or doing wrong?

  9. kyle says:

    mellisa no you shouldnt run more, the fact that you can tone your body is a myth.
    most people especially women think that toning means, tighter more lean muscle and defenition. which is false.
    what you should be aiming to do is cut cardio (not all) down to a minimum while increasing the free weight exersises to build muscle.
    women are usally scared of lifting weights because they dont want big bulcky muscle that will make them look less femenine, but this wont happen, women have about 100 times less muscle building hormones than men which means that you should and will struggle to gain any more than a few pounds of muscle unless its your absalute goal. what you really mean to say instead of toning your muscles you want to icrease there size slightly and reduce your bodyfat to bellow 10% to give a a more defined leanient look.

  10. Laura says:

    Please advise how to gain muscle and definition in my legs. I work my legs out hard (with weights) once a week. I am usually pretty sore but not seeing the results compared to the effort I am putting in. I’m not sure if I am doing something wrong or if legs are just a hard muscle to build, and I’m not being patient enough. Please advise……

  11. Laura says:

    Please advise how to gain muscle and definition in my legs. I work my legs out hard (with weights) once a week. I am usually pretty sore but not seeing the results compared to the effort I am putting in. I’m not sure if I am doing something wrong or if legs are just a hard muscle to build, and I’m not being patient enough. Please advise……

    • Quincy says:

      Doing it once a week is a good way to keep in shape, but constant repitition is most likely key. Try skipping stairs every time you’re at home, (or when no one is looking), then skip two, then three. Once you get used to skipping a certain number of steps try to aim higher. It will build resistance in your legs and can make you faster (also try challenging you hamstrings)

  12. Carolyn says:

    I am beginning a weight training program to increase muscle mass. I have let myself get very soft and wonder how hard I should begin. I had a serious car accident 3 years ago and have a very weak left wrist, but could possibly wear a brace when lifting weights. Any good ideas.
    Also, what are the very best foods to eat to get optimal fibre, protein, carbs?

  13. kathy says:

    I have been working out for two years and i thought i looked great. I had very high cholesterol and went on a vegetable, fruit, lentil diet. All of a sudden all of my muscles have disappeared even though i work out every day. Every thing is going flabby and i am aging quickly. What am I going to do to reverse this? Please help!!!

    • Quincy says:

      If that is “only” a fruit, vegetable and lentil diet, then that is very bad for you! You need to even it out a little, take a glass of milk with that bannana, and put some chicken in that salad. “Crash diets” are an obvious no-no because your body cant take the sudden change of intake. You need protein and oils in your body just tone it down a little on the veil and you should be fine.

  14. shelby says:

    I have a questions to ask. Is there any other ways to build muscle without using weights? I have asked this question because I don’t own any weights; besides a punching bag. What else would help to build muscle? Would doing push ups, chin ups help for the upper body?

  15. Gemma says:

    I am just recovering from an acl and mcl sprain, i have lost alot of muscle in my quads and need to build the muscle back, do you know how long it will take me to get my muscle back please as i play football and our league starts soon, please let me know

  16. mecia says:

    i am 39-215lbs. I am starting a work routine and i wanted to know what type of machines should i use at the gym i want to add weight lifting to my routine but i am lost on what where why and how. I have a friend but men onlly know one thing lift as much as you can and keep going i dont think women suppose to do that to tone and lose weight.

    • Quincy says:

      Believe it or not, a handstand can do you just as much good as benching. It can tone your abdominals and challenge your arms (helps your balance too) but if machines are what your after, try doing the leg press it will help your legs and the only thing that you have to watch out for is when you take the weights on and off (you only drop a weight on you foot once), other than that keep you feet shoulder width apart and put the chair at fair distance.

  17. Rala says:

    I have been trying to lose the same 20lbs for over 4 years. My workouts and eating are sporadic trying various things. I have had 3 very good trainers over the years but since i am not reaching my goals I decided this is going to have to be between me, my workouts and my eating and maybe later add the trainer once I get a handle on things. I want to build muscle but am confused about how many calories to take in. I am 5feet 9 inches and weigh 160 some of that MAY be muscle as my arms have been building nicely and my legs are okay my problem is mid section MAJOR fat in my core area – thin legs and arms so they sculpt much easier i know that buidling muscle helps with losing weight but you need calories and protein for the muscle growth and I am only supposed to have 1200 to 1300 calories a day when i stick to that (which is rare) i feel like i have had NOTHING to eat. I need help to know how to balance losing weight and gaining muscle

  18. stephanie says:

    if your trying to gain muscle but not lose weight is that possible? Can eating fats prevent you from gainging muscle?

    • Alexis says:

      To gain muscle but not lose weight, you need to do three things: increase your weight while decreasing your reps (go as high in weight as you can handle for 3 sets of 3-5 reps), decrease your cardiovascular activity, and increase your calories as much as you’re burning. For example, if you usually eat 2000 calories per day and you burn 400 calories in your workout, then eat 2400 calories on days that you’re working out.

  19. Sharms says:

    Hi I been reading through the website, and i do work out, but am thinking of taking some kind of supplement to gain weight or so.
    An is it safe or have any side effects.
    Another thing what exercise is really good for you sides to get rid of the love handles…an to tighten your mid section abs.
    Am small frame, want to put on weight on my lower body, meaning my legs, butt and for my hips area to get or look a broader is any exercise for that.

    Thanks for you time and reply.

    • Alexis says:

      1. Supplements are usually not safe or effective, sorry to say. The exception is protein, but only if it brings your total protein intake to your recommended protein intake, which can be determined by this formula:
      Weight in kg*0.8 to 1.8g/kg=grams of protein. Go closer to 0.8g if you are sedentary, or closer to 1.8g if you are an extreme trainer.
      Do not go over your protein limit, as it can cause weight gain and other side effects.
      2. Unfortunately, you cannot spot reduce- meaning that you cannot lose weight from one part of your body while keeping the other parts of your body the same. However, you can lose weight from all parts of your body by doing cardio while building muscle in the parts of your body that you want to keep bigger.
      The best exercises for abs are side crunches, side planks, and normal planks.

  20. Briar Rose says:

    do you have any tips for a strong person about to go in for knee surgery and is terrified of losing muscle and gaining weight while recovering?

  21. Veronica Ramirez says:

    Im 36 years old and weigh 135. I just started going to the gym about a month ago, but go Monday through Friday for 1 1/2 — 2 hrs. I know its only a month, but I see NO results. My goal is to get my butt and thighs toned by summer, no matter how painful. I also dont really eat much, never have. Is this something I NEED to do to gain muscle? If so, what should I be eating? Hope you can help.

  22. mirs says:

    I am 37 years old weight about 115 5″4 tall and I am trying to gain muscle badly .I do work out three times a week ,I also do weight training but I have no idia what is good and how much is enogh for me. I can’t affored to work with a personal trainer.Most important part of my body that i wanted to gain is my leg, and my tigh please help me .plus when I strength train, I usually start with whichever machine is free. Does it matter in what order I work my muscles?.

  23. mirs says:

    I saw my question/comment are posted but i was expecting some help of new advise that i can really use ?

  24. Branda says:

    Hi I been reading through the website, and i do work out, but am thinking of taking some kind of supplement to gain weight or so.
    An is it safe or have any side effects.
    Another thing what exercise is really good for you sides to get rid of the love handles…an to tighten your mid section abs.
    Am small frame, want to put on weight on my lower body, meaning my legs, butt and for my hips area to get or look a broader is any exercise for that

  25. Sarah says:

    Been dieting and lost 35 pound in the last 9 monthes, now I want to tone up. Very motivated just need direction.

  26. AMP says:

    What exercises should a 5’1 100 pound woman do to get defined abs and toned muscle arms?

  27. Marianna says:

    i want to build up my leg and my butt,hips, i workout almost everyday, what should i do to increase these area

  28. Improv says:

    Hello, I am naturally thin n tall, but sort of curvy. I am ok with this, but I would like to be a lil thicker or wider at that. Specially my legs. I have very thin legs. What do you recommend I do. Keep in mind I do not want to loose any weight or mass. I want to build mass and look fuller.


  29. june says:

    ime 64 ive been weight training for three weeks now were i lost weight i want to build my mussels up on my arms it is working for me i go to the gym 5 times a week i dont do cardio ime very fit for my age am i doing right by weight training , i do have a ptotien shake 1 hour before i go to the gym

  30. Sylvie Trajchevski says:

    Question: I have been been exercising in order to improve my legs. They have so much fat on them that leg exercise is obviously the way to go. The problem is, that upper body is soo skinny and very vascular. I hate the vains that have manifested themself. What can I do to build mass on my upper chesy and arms and still concentrate on my legs. My upper half looks like I am sick. People are starting to tell me this.

  31. Beverley Haynes says:

    I am a woman who wants to build lean, slender arms. I began working out about 3 weeks ago and my arms look too big for my comfort. What can I do to reverse this gain? I do not want to look like a man. I take CLA and whey protein. How long will it take me to look normal again and what should I stop doing? I jump on a trampoline as well as do weight training on a Total Gym.

  32. Nena says:

    How can I lose 10 lbs. I am a 65 year old female and weigh 130 lbs. I walk at a fast pace for 30 minutes everyother day and train on my Total Gym everyother day. I only eat about 1200 calories per day but have not lost weight. I want to lose between 7 and 10 lbs. Help please!

  33. bj says:

    Everyone seems to be asking questions that nobody answers. Is this section a Q and A or just for comments?

  34. monaliza says:

    im taring really hard for me so easly to cut down fat level but how to gain more muscles my body fat percentage 13% i wanna add 2kg of muscles mass ive personal trainer for more one year i didnt get my goals is possiple to gaine 2kg muscles while maintan my weigkt plzzzzzzzzzzzzz help me

  35. Mary says:

    i want to know if it is ok to take a protein shake in the morning instead of 30 minutes before a workout or if i have to eat protein all day for muscle gain and weight loss.

  36. cookiegirlrn says:

    I have been working out for years, but cant gain muscle. I take protein before and after. I want to town!

  37. Teri says:

    I would like to say I have been working out now for 2 1/2 months and feel great. I take Coconut oil and sometimes buy the coconut butter. Look up benefits its great. Gives me energy! I lift weights and do 1/2 mile on stair climber. I have put on muscle. I feel stronger than ever before I am in my 50s. I do free weights 17.5 pounds and lift 40 on bicep curls on ellipticals. I do 110 on my legs and some 55 pounds on other ellipticals. I workout for 1 1/2 hours sometimes 2 and I swim afterwards. My body is really changing and have put on quite a bit of muscle. I also take a whey protein after workouts and I also take ground flaxseed. I eat healthy.

  38. Megg says:

    im a 25 year old very active woman. I did ballet for the past 7 years, ive been doing rock climbing for 3 months now. My metabolism I guess is very high plus being skinny runs in the family. I weigh about 100 lbs – 5″3. I have been trying to gain weight and get tones and get 6 pack abs almost about 6 months now. i go to the gym atleast 4x a week, i focus on my stomach and arms workout and not do cardio because im afraid id lose weight in doing so. What kind of protein shake should i take or muscle milk? What is your advice to me about this.

  39. PattyAnn says:

    I am 66 years old, have degenerative disk disease since age 25. I felt older then than I do now. I am 5 feet 8 inches, 130 pounds and feel that weight is right for me. I do need muscle in my arms and legs though am not flabby. My butt needs building up as it is very flat. (ugh!) Have been told that I need 130 grams of protein a day. Is that true? I work out minimally with weights and want to do much more. Can you suggest what type of exercises besides squats, which I do 50 x 2 every other day for my butt? Also, I want to be able to pull myself up on an overhead bar. Is that possible at my age? Thanks. p.s. have been sitting most of my life at a typewriter or computer.


  40. PattyAnn says:

    Does one get answers to her questions on this site or elsewhere. Would like to know. Thanks!


  41. PattyAnn says:

    All these women needing help and hardly anyone here to give out answers! Kyle seems to be knowledgeable though – how about it, Kyle?


  42. Ashley Rail says:

    Hello, I just want to say that i lift 150 3 times a week& d my full routine . I do crunchs and everything but can not seem to loose the belly fat. I eat healthy & drink all O cal stuff yet cant loose the fat on my stomache ??!!!?? Any suggestions??Please help?? Thank You

  43. Theresa says:

    Hi. I am 43 years old, 5 ft. 9 in. and 176 lbs. I have started a work-out routine but find it tough to stay motivated. I have chronic fatigue, depression, lots of belly fat and no upper body stegnth.

    I am trying to build muscle and tone to be healthy and feel alive again. I and using protien meat substitutes rather then actual meat as I have read I need 120 – 150 grams of protien per day due my life situations.

    Also I have found that belly dancing seems to be more effective then floor crunches as it is not harmful to your back and way more fun. Belly dancing will give you excellent posture while taking every inch of that belly off.

  44. Miley says:

    Hi, recently I have depleted all my muscles in a desperate attempt to lose weight and now I want them back without the fat but I don not know what to eat and I need some good exercises I can do with only 2x 3kg weights. Other than that I have no equipment but I can use my own body weight . I need to build up everything, especially my legs, abs and arms!! Please help me!!

  45. khris says:

    I am 5foot, 7inches and weigh 155. I do not want to loose weight, but gain muscle in mainly my legs. Ive always had a butt, and dont want to loose it, but ive been working out 5 days a week for a month now and seem to only loose weight. I do 30min on the tred climber, 10min abs, and lunges.
    What else should i do to reach my goal?

  46. Tina says:

    Im frustrated and I know I shouldn’t be. Im 5’6″, I’ve gone from 187 pounds to 155 pounds in the last year and a half. I’ve stalled so I’ve cleaned up my diet and incorporating more protein, eating 5 small meals a day, drinking 96 oz or more of water a day. I workout 6 days per week 20 minutes of incline cardio (15 % incline / 4.0 – 4.5 mpg) then I weight train (heavy), I alternate upper and lower body days. I focus on compound joint moves (e.g. deadlifts, bench press, squats, etc.) I weight myself the other day and I’ve actually gained a pound; however, I have noticed my waist is widdling away and my body feels much tighter. I know I just need to be patient and consistent but I get frustrated that I’ve maintained 155 for nearly 9 mos. now. I just needed to vent. I guess the big picture is, I feel great, and Im not 187 lbs anymore. Trying to be a glass half full type of girl.

  47. Mairelys says:

    I need a little help. I have lost 85 pounds without exercising.
    Now i feel that i am too skinny and am trying to gain weight in muscle. What should i be doing in order to gain muscle and not lose weight.

  48. Candice says:

    Tina– You need to get your bodyfat measured and get offf the scale. you can then e-mail me with questions you may have. Also send me the current nutrition plan you are following.

  49. Jaleesa says:

    Great info! Its my first time here. I have little energy. I can usually do short bursts. My endurance is not where I think it should be. I almost never exercise. I would like to gain maybe 7 pounds of muscle. If I am OK with how that looks, maybe more. I would really like to strengthen my core (especially my core), whatever you call the side of your stomach, abs, legs, and arms. I have OK shoulders. Anyway, could you help me with what I should eat and how much exercise I should and what kinds?

  50. Jaleesa says:

    What are some ways for a 5 foot 5, 130 pound, 20 year old woman to build muscle and strengthen her core and build endurance?

  51. ella selmon says:

    I have lost muscle ,working in retails,take blood pressure medicate,
    64 years old.Is there any help for me.

  52. Avri says:

    hi, I am a 22 year old female and I have been working out 6x a week for almost a year. I am 5 “6″, 140 and a small/medium build with large breasts and medium curves in the hip and but region. I would like to increase my butt, hip and, thighs significantly, while decreasing the abdominal fat. I take a multitude of supplements, including maca root, wild mexican yam, and amino acids. How can I grow my lower body while shrinking my mid-section?

  53. Petra says:

    Hi im 25 and i weigh 133 im 5´7, i weighed myself and the scales says im 20% body fat! what i want is to lose the fat in my belly n sides. I have been doing alot of cardio and have lost about 10 lbs, i weighed 143. I would like to see if u can help me with maybe a routine?

  54. veronica says:

    Hi, im 45 years and have been training now for 5 months constant, i have lost a lot of weight and im happy about it, ive had 5 children and back to my school age weight, ive started incoporating weights into my cardio coz i have an interest to do body building, however my problem is that i have a saggy skin on my stomach and i want to know the best exercise for the abodiminal area and how i can build muscle mass around this region also will it get rid of the ssaggy skin , what should i do.

  55. Lisa says:

    I am 45 and have not been actively working out. A friend of mine showed me a picture of herself a few years back with super buff arms, and I said I would love to have arms like that. She said that not everyone can have those arms it all in the genetics. Is this true?

  56. Nicki says:


  57. Marie says:

    Workout a few times a week. You should workout at a minimum of 3 times a week – that should provide more than enough exercise required by your body to build muscles. If you’re more advanced at lifting weights and have done it for a while, you have the ability to attempt maybe one or two more sessions a week – alternatively, if you’re new, start with 2 a week. If you haven’t got a workout, use one of these workouts.

  58. Jade says:

    19 year old female, 5’7 160 lbs. Im not built to be a small person, I have a thick build and I’d like to work with that and gain a large amount of muscle. I work out 5 days a week for 1.5 hours. Alternate weights 3 days and half weights/cardio the other two. What supplements should a take to gain muscle and can someone give me tips to get bigger muscles? More reps with light weight or less with heavier, which is better?

  59. Jade says:

    19 year old female, 5’7 160 lbs. Im not built to be a small person, I have a thick build and I’d like to work with that and gain a large amount of muscle. I work out 5 days a week for 1.5 hours. Alternate weights 3 days and half weights/cardio the other two. What supplements should a take to gain muscle and can someone give me tips to get bigger muscles? More reps with light weight or less with heavier, which is better?

  60. laura says:

    HI i always type in how can woman bulid muscle and it never gives me a straight answer, this is the best website i have seen so for because most of the time it says dont worry just because your lifting doesn’t mean your going to bulk. But I want to bulk is they anything I need to do to help me to bulk such as a certain supplement. i eat really well and lift weights in my spare time atleast 4-5 times a week. So any tips to help me bulid big muscles im 5,3 and have quite broad shoulders/ wide frame then an average woman. Any tips or advice Please :)

  61. Mary says:

    I am a 35 year-old woman. For years, I had a really attractive, fit, lean body with lots of muscle (small on top and ample below the trim waist). I was very, very active. Due to illness (all clinically diagnosed in my by my doc: hypothyroid, hypoglycemic, terribly high cortisol and adreanal exhaustion, leaky gut–being corrected, over-exercising), I have lost my muscle–and I look anorexic and like a real freak (embarrassing!). I am nearly 5’5″ and was about 115 and now am about 90! I have been desperately trying to gain muscle back (and NOT the belly fat that I am literally gaining–under 100—good grief) by lifting weights for 45 minutes 3x per week and some low-intensity cardio (walking, light marching for 0-45 minutes most days of the week–and lots of toning exercises). High-intensity increases my cortisol–according to my do, bad for me (not all other people, obviously). And, when I gain the weight, it all seems to go with rolls (literally) in my belly! They were not there when I had my muscle! (I eat lots of clean fish, brown rice, vegetables, and healthy seeds and fats—as I have for years and years.) Help, please!!!!!! Thank you, and God bless you!

  62. Mary says:

    Oh, yes. I forgot to add that I have been doing lots of rigorous ab work each night and the lateral roles STILL have gone there–and the fat does not seem to go to my bony but and an barely-there breasts. I so badly desire to look like a lady again—not a freak or anorexic. Please, help!!!! Thank you, and God blesss you!

  63. Denise says:

    Hi all. I am 43 and am going all the way with my fitness routine. While I am getting stronger and more toned, I was fooling myself about how much I ate. I lost 4 pounds as soon as I started keeping a detailed food log. I have been lifting 2-4x a week, one to two sessions of lower body, one to two of upper body. Again, my legs and butt look better, but until I drop a little more fat, the definition will not show as much. I have increased the distance and intensity of my cardio–it is great for your heart and for fat loss. Just remember to keep lifting fairly heavy and consistently to build your muscles. And PattyAnn — you are at a great time of life to focus on fitness — google Ernestine Shepherd.

  64. Amy Robinson says:

    I have been on a consistently weight traininng for 2 years. I stilll am not seeing the type of defenition in my arms and abs i think that i should. I have increased the weight and it still doesnt seem to be helping. I look more bulky than muscular. Any tips?

    • Quincy says:

      you could be muscle building instead of toning,
      muscle building= lower reps higher weight
      toning=higher reps,lower weight
      get it? If you want to tone then increase your reps but lower the weight each time during the workout session.

  65. Kristin says:

    I am 196 pounds 33 years old and want to lose weight and build muscle … I problem area is my belly … what should I do to lose the belly weight and build muscle at the same time?

  66. Pooja says:


    I am 32 and have been working out for quite a few years now, maybe 5 years or so.

    When I started out, all I did was walk or run on the treadmill for a couple of hours, which helped me shed a lot of weight.

    However, the body had no definition as it was smaller in one area and bigger in the other, which is when I started to lift weights.

    I have been lifting weights for almost 2 years now and how managed to get into a better shape.

    Most of my gymmates think I have the most perfect figure, but this is not the case.

    This is because, I look good when I put on clothes, but there are still some problem areas which are not visible to people.

    My inner thighs and love handles dont seem to thin out no matter what I do.

    Also my lower abdomen is absolutely flat in the morning but as soon as I eat something, it protrudes a bit.

    I am controlling my carbs for the last 4 or 5 months and I saw some improvement in the first 2 or 3 months, when my clothes started fitting better, but the process seems to have stalled for the last 1-2 months and I dont see any change in my body shape, even though I am still lifting and controlling my carbs.

    Can you please help me?

  67. danielle says:

    Hi there i have been boxing 2 times a week and running [30 mins 3 days a week]for 3 months now and am definetly building muscle but the scales says im not losing a great amount which im not too worried about as i see the difference in the mirror, but the day after boxing im and absolutly ravaging and cant seem to replenish myself is there any food you could suggest to help?

    Thankyou danielle!

    • Leslie says:

      Hi Danielle,

      How does your fat and protein intake look? You may want to eat the same amount of calories but make sure you are eating enough protein.

  68. Nat says:

    I have now been working out with weight lifting and resistance training combined with some kickboxing during almost one year. I control my calorie intake and monitor everything I eat. I also have a male personal trainer who is a bodybuilder himself and he has been very supporting. I am much leaner and stronger now and feel good and happy. I have always been fit but my body looks much better now. I have lost some fat and my BF is around 17 %. However, I have got problems with absent/irregular mentruation during the last 5 months and I am worried but at the same time I like what I am doing and do not really want to stop it. I eat well but of course my diet consists of almost 50 % proteins and the remaining of complex carbs and healthy fat from for instance fish and almonds. What shall I do? Any tips?


    • Leslie says:

      Hi Nat,

      How many months passed after you started exercising did this start to occur?

      Could you give me some specific diet details…calories, fat%, etc.

  69. Zoe says:

    Hey, I’m Zoe,

    I am looking to gain muscles and some sexy curves/ hips! I am 16 years old, 5″2 and 100lb, but I am pretty scared of putting on weight as fat! Can I please have some advice as to how often( ie how many times a week and for how long) and how I should workout (ie cardio vs weight endurance training ) , as well as the calories I need to eat to sustain muscle building but to not put on fat!! Thanks for your help xx

  70. Zoe says:

    By the way I excersise regularly by running 30 mins 5 x a week

  71. Shannon says:

    HELP!!! I am just starting to get my butt back into shape! I work out 5x a week and was told to do weights mon, Wed & Friday and Cardio on Tuesday and Thursday does this sound about right? My new meals consist of Eggs in Am, Yogert AM snack, Chicken and quinoa and a veggie for lunch, I do my workout the have a protien bar and for dinner i have chicken or another lean meat a grain (rice, quinoa or whole grain pasta) and a veggie. am i doing this right? I am thinking i may do a Whey Protien shake after my work out but what is the best kind to get and what should i look for??

  72. amy says:

    I need help knowing what to eat to get the lean muscles I want without gaining weight, it is hard finding protein because I am a vegetarian, what shakes and supplements would you recommend

  73. Mitra says:

    I’m 40. I’m exercising cardiovascular and also weight training for 12 years (at least 5 days a week). unfortuneatly, I have flabby body. I don’t know whay I can’t gain muscle.

  74. Flower says:

    I already lost the body fat I need to loose…….Just wanted to know if the only way for me a Woman of40 years old is to take a Suppement, wich I dont want to do,,,, Could I just build muscle by heating lots of high protein foods, like raw eggs etc.???

  75. Flower says:

    I already lost the body fat I need to loose….. i WANT TO KNOW IF THE ONLY WAY TO BUILD MUSCLE IS TO TAKE A SUPPLEMENT….wich I dont want to do, or can I just eat alot of high protein foods, like raw eggs etc.???????

  76. Monica says:

    Hi I would like to know how to get a bigger but and wider hip with exercise and diet. I you can help me please

  77. Monica says:

    Sorry a bigger butt!! And wider hips

  78. Mary says:

    I am 48 and I love weight lifting. I am trying to gain about 15 to 20 LBs. I weigh 97 LBs. I do drink my supplements and I work out every other day. Just is not enough. In the last 20 days or so I have not seen any changes in my muscles..Any suggestions ? Thanks xoxo Mary.

  79. Chrissy says:

    Hi I’m 5″4 130lbs I’m trying to lose weight and gain muscle and I’m clueless on how to do it when I work out I usually just run or do the elliptical and I’m getting nowhere. I know nothing about fitness but I want to change my lifestyle and be healthier and more fit . Any advice?

  80. lauren says:

    I have been lifting heavy and working out 4 x week weight training also adding 30 mins cardio after weight training. I eat every 3 hours 5 meals per day.mixing good carb with protein. My progrss is slow, and starting to see some muscles around my arms but I haven’t lossany fat on my stomach? What am I doing wrong

  81. Shirley says:

    Hi, im 45 female. Im trying to gain some muscle but not getting anywhere. I weight 125lbs, 5’3. I just seem to be losing more weight instead. How can I put on muscle without losing more weigh or gaining fat? Please help. Thank you Shirley @ vcuddle1@yahoo

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>