If you look up women’s fitness online, you will find a bunch of articles that focus on weight loss. However, today, there are many women who want to become strong and beautifully muscular. And don’t think you will become huge if you want to get strong—that’s a myth. Even with the lower testosterone levels, it’s more than possible for women to build lean muscle without bulking up. Want to take that route in your training? Here’s what you need to know:
Adjust your workouts
First things first, if you want to build muscles, you need to hit the gym. A good workout plan for building lean muscle focuses on muscle groups that are harder to grow. Inspect your body and note down your problematic areas. For instance, some women can grow their arms just by looking at weights but struggle with getting quad definition. If that’s you, create a workout plan that works your quads more. Train your quads twice a week while cutting back your arm exercises.
When you’re training for muscle, you will notice many benefits that will also impact your metabolism and allow you to better maintain your weight. This can trigger all the right hormones that will help you build lean muscles without gaining weight.
Do strongman or sprints for cardio
You might be focusing on weight training, but doing cardio is still important for keeping your heart and lungs strong and healthy. However, keep cardio to a minimum to save energy for muscle building.
When doing cardio, it’s best to perform intermittent exercises like modified strongman (for instance, sled training) or sprints. These exercises torch calories and trigger an afterburn that can last for up to 24 hours after you finish your workout. High-intensity cardio also leads to better protein synthesis. You can boost your lean muscle mass and lose fat thanks to your healthy metabolism.
Include supplements into your diet
If you look online, you will find many supplements that promise lean muscles without having to hit the gym—these are fake and won’t help you. However, there are good supplements that can improve your muscle mass and allow you to reach your goals faster. Focus on muscle growth supplements that contain creatine. Creatine is a natural energy source, and boosting its intake will saturate your cells and provide your body with a practical energy source when you lift.
This supplement will also boost strength and give you that lean muscle you want. If you choose to take selective androgen receptor modulators or SARMs (they stimulate the production of testosterone that’s beneficial for muscle growth) consult a professional and stick to a healthy dose. Also, don’t forget about vitamins and minerals.
Increase your calorie intake
Muscles are made in the kitchen just as much they are made at the gym, so you need to eat well and enough to fuel those bad boys. Lean muscle mass requires energy and you need to up your caloric intake to maintain your body weight. Without calories, you can’t achieve muscle gain and growth.
However, just because you’re taking more calories, it doesn’t mean you can eat whatever junk you get your hands on. What you want to eat is food that provides you with energy but is not too rich in fat which can lead to weight gain and no muscles. It’s normal to gain some fat mass as you train for lean muscle, but be careful not to push this too far.
While most carbs and fats are not good for your weight and energy levels, avoiding them altogether can set you back in your progress. Knowing the difference between healthy and unhealthy carbs and fats can boost energy levels and muscle loss.
Here’s an example: reduce donuts, pies, white bread and processed foods, but don’t restrict the intake of vegetables, fruits, nuts, avocados, healthy oils and whole-grain too much. If you cut these from your diet, you will rob your body of essential nutrients necessary for muscle growth and energy.
Don’t neglect recovery
Recovery is not optional if you want to build muscle, especially if you have a rigorous workout schedule in order to boost lean muscle production. It’s important to plan your sessions in a way that provides you with plenty of time for recovery before you hit the same muscle group again. Also, don’t make your sessions too long. Instead of wasting hours at the gym, perform a reasonable number of sets and reps but make sure to give 100% during the short time you’re there.
According to experts, it’s best to have at least one complete day of rest every week to rest, relax and allow your muscles to heal and grow. Rest and recovery after demanding sessions will provide you with better results and more energy.
By building lean muscle, women will not only get that physique they dream of, but also increase strength, boost metabolism and raise insulin sensitivity. The benefits of lean muscle mass are numerous, so adjust your workouts today and reap rewards tomorrow.