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.
Muscle Building Tips For Women:
- 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.
- With burn comes resistance, and with resistance comes stronger muscles and a more toned look. (more about training at Muscle and Strength)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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)
- 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.
- 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.