Muscle Building For Women
Muscle building for women is a bit different than muscle building for men – and isn’t all about getting ripped arms and abs.
Gaining muscle typically means losing fat, which is important to staying healthy.
All women should go for a workout that builds muscle, not only for getting fit, but for keeping their weight under control as well. Let’s look at tips for muscle building that women can incorporate into their workout routines and their lifestyles in order to add attractive (not bulky) muscles – we’re not looking for Arnold Schwarzenegger in high heels – just a lean and healthy body.
Muscle Building for Women: During Your Workout
Pushing yourself to the max is the best way to train when building muscles – you really want to feel the “burn” (literally, the burning sensation you feel during workouts is due to the lactic acid that is stimulating the formation of muscles). You also want to add resistance training to you workout because this leads to stronger muscles and better tone.
There are three exercises that all women looking to build muscle must do, and they are appropriately known as the “big three”: dead lifts, bench presses and squats. The big three exercises should be included in any muscle building workout plan because they help to condition the body for muscle growth, build strength and add bulk. You should plan to work out at least a few times a week and no fewer than three times when building muscles but use caution if you’re a beginner and don’t push yourself too hard, too fast – limit yourself two twice weekly until your endurance has improved and your body is strong enough to handle the workout.
Balance your workouts between cardiovascular exercises such as biking and running along with strength training and lifting weights. Just be careful not to overdo yourself by trying to max out with both cardio and lifting at the same time – choose one to be your focus and the other to balance out your workout routine. Remember, cardio keeps your heart working optimally and enhances your health.
Muscle Building for Women: Nutrition
Eating well while building muscles is important, and not just for your health and well-being; eating well gives you the added assurance that your muscles are not depleted of the nutrients that they need to grow. Many women cut calories as part of their weight loss regimen, but that doesn’t mean that protein has to go; choose lean turkey and chicken or tuna and add as many complex carbohydrates to the mix as you can. Steer clear of the empty calories and insulin spike that you’ll get from simple carbohydrates like energy drinks or fruit juices – these can add to your waistline if the energy they produce isn’t burned off right away.
Exercise and lifting can deplete your levels of glucose, which means that carbohydrates are not the enemy when women are trying to build muscle. And as far as protein goes, when your body needs fuel for working out, it will attack your muscles to get stored protein. Aim for at least three grams of carbohydrates for every pound of body weight – each day. Consume the biggest part of your protein before and after your workout routine – with about ten to twenty grams an hour before muscle building (which is the equivalent to around 16 ounces of milk). Follow up your workout with a whey protein shake.
Women who are building muscle might also want to try supplementation of their nutrition, but only under the advice of their doctors as some supplements can interfere with certain medications. Creatine supplements are a great choice for many women when building muscle because they enhance their abilities to train harder and longer, which leads to enhanced muscle growth. There is some research that indicates supplementation with creatine when combined with carbohydrates and proteins may actually encourage the development of muscle.
Muscle Building for Women: Measuring Results
When measuring your results, measure your body fat, not your body weight. Muscles weigh more than fat, which means that adding muscles will add pounds, not inches. A good sign that you are gaining muscle is that you are gaining pounds and indicates that you’re on the right track. Keep in mind that weight does not translate to size – and getting into those size four jeans again may be possible, even if your body is more muscular (because its less “flabby”).
It is important for you to set realistic goals for your workout routine and your journey to build a muscular body – and then track your progress and monitor your results. The female frame, for the most part, wasn’t designed to be large, which makes achieving muscle building goals for women that much harder. With patience, perseverance and dedication, however, building the muscles you want is possible.