A lot of women avoid weightlifting because they don’t want to build muscle and look masculine. But women don’t have the same number of anabolic hormones that men do. This makes it harder for them to build muscle.
Women should instead focus on retaining their muscle mass. By the age of 40, women lose a lot of muscle which gets replaced by fat. But weight-building exercises will sculpt your physique, improve your posture, increase your metabolism and make you look younger while reducing the appearance of cellulite.
Are you convinced that you should work on adding some muscle to your frame? Then keep reading for 7 great tips on how to build muscle as a woman without appearing masculine.
1. Lose Fat While Gaining Muscle Through Proper Nutrition
Diet is important when figuring out how to build muscle as a woman. Many women use calorie restriction diets to lose weight. But gaining muscle requires that you eat enough healthy food to support the growth and maintenance of muscles.
But the main reason why some women may start to look bulky after weightlifting is that they have a layer of fat on their bodies. So, gaining muscles adds another layer to their physique and increases their size. To achieve a lean look when building muscle, it is important to lose fat by avoiding sugar and simple carbohydrates.
The best thing to eat to build muscle is protein. You should also aim to include all macronutrients in a balanced diet. You may want to also include supplements into your diet for quicker muscle growth like the SARMS at Umbrella Labs.
If you are vegetarian or vegan, make sure you get the recommended grams of protein each day from plant-based sources like legumes and nuts. Try to avoid snacking on too much low nutrition and sugar-filled snacks. Instead, eat protein-rich snacks like beef jerky or trail mix.
2. Split Up Your Workouts
Another great tip for how to build muscle as a woman is to work for different muscle groups on alternating days. This gives your muscles the time to heal and grow between workouts. For example, you could do upper body muscle-building exercises on one day and then lower body ones on the following day. You would then go back to your upper body on the third day.
Make sure that the workouts are pushing your muscles to their limits by training to failure. You should find it hard to do the last repetition in each set without altering your form.
3. Do Less Cardio and More Weightlifting
One of the most important muscle-building tips out there is to do less cardio and more weight training. Cardio burns up calories that you need to create muscle. You should do just enough cardio to get your heart rate up.
The bulk of your exercises should involve weights even if it’s your body weight. Squats, lunges and push-ups are all great exercises to get your heart rate up while building important muscle groups.
Having muscles also reduces our chances of getting injured when walking or doing other cardiovascular exercises. Women also face a greater risk of getting osteoporosis than men. But muscle-building exercises increase bone strength and reduce your chances of getting brittle bones and joints.
4. Lift Heavy
One of the best ways to build muscle is to push them by lifting heavy weights. The more you train, the stronger your muscles get. So you must increase the size of weights to match your growth.
You shouldn’t be lifting the same weights you were using months ago. Choose weights that you can lift using the proper posture but that start to tire you by 8-12 reps. Continue to add a few more pounds to each set of exercises you do.
Traditionally, women trained using lighter weights with higher repetitions. But it is far more effective to use heavier weights and fewer repetitions per set.
5. Use Proper Form
Before you use any gym equipment or start any form of exercise make sure you get expert instructions on the proper form to use when working out. Using the wrong posture when lifting weights is a huge waste of time. This is because you won’t build the muscles you are after.
You may also end up with an injury that prevents you from exercising for months. Once you know the proper form for each exercise make sure you do each repetition and set using the proper form. Your movements should be slow and controlled so that you feel your muscles working.
Consider starting off with resistance machines before moving to free weights. This will give you the extra support you need while perfecting your form.
6. Plan a Rest Day Each Week
Weight training can be so enjoyable that you may not want to take a rest day. This is especially true if you are training different muscle groups each day because you may not feel fatigued. But if you want your muscles to grow you must give them at least one day each week to rest and recover.
During your rest day, you can do a light activity like stretching or walking. Your muscles will thank you by growing bigger. You will also be less likely to get an injury from overtraining.
7. Learn How to Build Muscle as a Woman
Muscles are important for women as they increase metabolism and bone strength while reducing the chances of injury. Muscles give us the strength to do daily tasks like carrying groceries or lifting babies. Women shouldn’t fear getting a masculine physique as this is a health and fitness misconception not back by science.
The most important tips for how to build muscle as a woman are to eat enough calories from protein sources and do more weight training and less cardio. If you are overweight, building muscle on top of fat may lead to size and weight increases. So you must concentrate on weight loss while building muscle. For more fitness and weight loss tips read the rest of my blog.