Muscle building is a goal of most people who are focused on fitness, but the way a man’s body builds muscle is different than how a woman’s body does so. This means if your goal is female muscle growth without the body fat, you’re going to need to do a few things differently, especially if you want to avoid over-bulking.
First and foremost, it’s important for women to understand that muscle building for them is usually more of a challenge than it is for men. Whether you are trying to add muscle or you want to sculpt the muscle you have, it’s going to require more patience than it would if you were a man.
Despite the difference in bodies and the time it takes to reach your goals, the two options you have are enduring training or muscle mass building through muscle protein synthesis or other methods while still ensuring no increase in body fat.
If you want a more athletic physique and to see more muscles overall on your body, you’ll want to focus on creating lean, toned muscle, as opposed to bulking up as much as possible. To tone the existing muscle you have on your body, avoid using max capacity in your workouts—that’s the fastest way to bulk up your body.
To gradually add and tone muscle, you’ll want to focus on repetition. At the gym, you’ll want to use just enough weight to allow you to manage eight to twelve repetitions. If you’re able to do more than 12, you need to increase the weight you’re using. If you aren’t able to get to eight repetitions, decrease the weight. You’ll want to apply these rules to any muscle group you’re working.
In addition to lifting, it’s also a good idea to incorporate some cardio into your weekly workouts. This can help you build overall endurance and tone up all over. You don’t need to do cardio every single day and your focus should still be primarily on lifting, but just one or two cardio sessions per week can help you get the muscle growth results you want in a faster period of time.
Now, for women who want to add muscle mass, these tips are for you. You can consider yourself in the “bulking up” category, but chances are you still don’t want to bulk as much as you would if you were male. In this case, repetition is not going to be as effective and you will want to focus on increasing the weight you’re using.
Choose a weight that allows you to do at least four repetitions, but no more than six. Again, you’ll want to use this trick for all muscle groups. If you’re ever able to do more than six repetitions, increase the weight you’re using until you exhaust yourself at six reps.
The bad news about bulking up is that it’s more challenging than toning your existing muscle. Granted, you’ll feel some aches and pains after a toning workout, but building muscles during a workout can really leave you feeling the burn. It’s a good idea to get a feel for your body and its capabilities—you don’t want to overdo it and injure yourself, but you also need to be ready to push yourself if you want to experience muscle growth.
If you’ve focused on muscle growth workouts and you still aren’t experiencing the results you want, there might be other factors at play. Women’s hormones have a major effect on their ability to grow muscle, an activity that is directly influenced by testosterone. Men naturally produce more than women, thus their muscle growth usually happens faster.
Testosterone levels in women vary from person to person, which means some women are going to find it easier to build muscle than others. In addition to testosterone, you’re also going to need to consider your protein intake. If you find it especially hard to build muscle, you might need to make adjustments to the amount of protein you’re consuming on a daily basis.
The cells in your body responsible for creating and sustaining muscle fibers need a lot of protein in order to do their job. If you’re only consuming enough protein to sustain your current muscles, you’ll need to increase what you’re taking in in order to build more muscle. At your current level, you won’t have enough protein left over to put into significant growth. Adjusting your intake of protein, whether through food or through protein supplements, is one of the best ways to achieve female muscle growth.
Another issue that might arise as you try to build muscle is whether or not you are working out enough. Think about how much time you currently spend in muscle training. If it’s three days a week or less, chances are you’re going to need to increase your training workouts at least by one to see a change. You’ll also need to do about ten different exercises per session to see results.
Focus on workouts that help you build raw muscle by doing fewer repetitions with heavier weights. Most women who have been lifting for some time find it difficult to transition from high repetitions with lower weight to higher weight exercises, but if you are truly focused on building muscle, you should be able to adjust after just a few workouts.
Sample Workouts For Female Muscle Growth
The key to muscle growth is to be consistent in your efforts but to also be flexible. If you make changes to your workout and you find they do not help you achieve your goals as quickly as you’d like, look for other ways you can improve your muscle growth without straying from the workout. It might take some time, but eventually, you’ll see the results you want.