The Ultimate Guide To Female Muscle Growth. If you are like most women, you want a particular type of body.
You want to look toned, but not “big.”
You want to be skinny but not cheeky.
You want the right lines and curves for all the right places, such as your legs, abdomen, and buttocks.
Well, you can have all of these things – the whole package – regardless of your current condition, genetics, or exercise history. You don't have to live in a gym or eat like a bird.
It's effortless. All you need is…
- Add enough muscles to the right part of your body.
- Reduce your body fat percentage to ~ 20%. That's it.
Do so, and you will get the body of your dreams. I guarantee it. In this article, we focus on number one: building muscle.
More specifically, we are going to study the topic of women's muscle growth and dispel myths (such as the idea that women cannot or should not grow muscle effectively), find out the scientific facts about building women's physics, and present simple, practical guidelines that you can implement immediately.
So, if you want to know how fast women can gain muscle and how to put it in the “right” places to get the look you want, you want to keep reading.
- 1 Women's Muscle Growth Myth # 1:
- 2 Women cannot build muscle as effectively as men.
- 3 Women's Muscle Growth Myth # 2:Weightlifting makes women “big.”
- 4 Women's Muscle Growth Myth # 3:Women need to “tone” instead of building muscle.
- 5 The best way for Female Muscle Growth
- 6 Step 1Eat the right amount of calories
- 6.1 1. Keep a reasonable 5-10% calorie surplus.
- 6.2 2. Don’t go around everything with massive scam meals or days.
- 6.3 3. If your fat is over 25%, lose weight to ~ 20% before focusing on building muscle.
- 6.4 4.When your body fat is 25-27%, stop assembling and start reducing your body fat.
- 6.5 5. Juggle the “getting” and “cutting” steps until you are happy with your physique.
- 7 Step 2Eat the right amount of protein, carbohydrates and fat
- 8 Step 3Do effective muscle building exercises
Women's Muscle Growth Myth # 1:
Women cannot build muscle as effectively as men.
You may have heard that women do not have the physiology to build muscle effectively and that they should stick to Zumba and yoga.
This seems reasonable at first glance, as it is well known (and immediately apparent) that women produce much less testosterone than men – exactly about 15-20 times less.
Most people know that testosterone is the primary hormonal factor that stimulates muscle growth, so it is reasonable to assume that a body with very little testosterone flowing in its veins cannot build much muscle.
Well, they don't know that testosterone isn't the only hormone involved in muscle growth.
Another major player is estrogen, which women produce much more than men and offers a variety of muscle-building benefits, such as:
- Stimulation of growth hormone production significantly helps post-workout recovery.
- Prevention of muscle breakdown
- Increase in metabolism
Women also produce more growth hormone throughout the day, which further helps with muscle growth.
So while women's low testosterone levels put them in a hormonal disadvantage to improve body composition, they replace it more or less with the above.
Therefore, research shows that women can gain muscle more or less as effectively as men, and why many elite female athletes have about 85% as much muscle as men of the same length.
However, it raises the question:
Why do you rarely see women in gyms that are close to the size of guys?
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The answer is simple:
Women start with about half as much muscle as men, and they can't grow as much full-body power as men, mainly due to differences in hormones and anatomy.
Women's Muscle Growth Myth # 2:
Weightlifting makes women “big.”
If you are like most women, this is the one that has got you to lift weights.
You've probably also found a lot of evidence, like CrossFit elite athletes.
This image alone is enough to get most women to swear to their children that they will never, ever, ever do heavy squats, ditches, or overcrowding for as long as they live.
Well, it's exponentially harder to look like most women know. It takes elite muscle-building genetics and years of a joint effort in the gym and kitchen, and in most cases, steroids.
Nevertheless, many women in gyms hit weights regularly and look “big enough” to take a break.
Therefore, you need to know what women look like:
Hard, I know, but let me explain.
First, should this woman be “big”?
Probably not, right?
You might be surprised at how much different her body would look if she got 15 pounds of fat because she has a lot more muscle than the average woman (~ 15 pounds more than average, I guess).
His legs lose their sleek lines, the core definition disappears, and his arms fill up like sausages.
When you see fat, most of it builds in and over your muscles, so the more you have both, the more massive and shapeless your body will usually look.
Rule of thumb for women who want to be skinny, toned, and defined:
The more muscle you have, the thinner you need to be to avoid “bulky” appearances.
(Replace “big” with “fat,” and the same goes for men.)
For example, a woman with little muscle may feel raw in 18% body fat and comfortable 25%. In contrast, a woman with a significant amount of power is likely to love what she seems to be 18% but feels downright uncomfortable by 25%.
That is why most of the women I have worked with are happiest when they have gained 10-15 pounds of muscle, and body fat percentage dropped to about 18 percent.
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Women's Muscle Growth Myth # 3:
Women need to “tone” instead of building muscle.
Read almost any fitness magazine for women, and you'll find lots of good advice on how to get “toned down.”
You know, starve yourself, do a bunch of hearts and lift light weights.
Well, if you want to be tired and hungry all the time, hate exercise, and spend half of your days spitting on the idea of eating carbs only for thin fat, go ahead right away.
However, if you want to go the other way with your physique, you need to go the other way with diet and exercise.
And to get a visual image, check out these images:
Whose body do you prefer?
Most women would choose the other one … and would be surprised to hear that both women have about the same percentage of body fat. The latter has only much better positioned muscles.
As I mentioned earlier, muscle gives you curves, shape and “tone” when you're skinny. Without enough meat, the best thing you can hope for is “thin”.
So… the question is not whether you should grow muscle, but how much.
And I worked with thousands of women, I have noticed that most need to gain about 10-20 pounds of muscle and reduce body fat percentage from 18 to 20% in order to get the desired look.
Here you look both feminine and appropriate, and it’s a look that can be maintained all year round.
So now that we’ve shattered some myths and are in the real north, the next question is … how do you really get there?
Let's find out.
The best way for Female Muscle Growth
Like most fitness, this is not as complicated as many mainstream “gurus” seem to do.
There are only three steps:
- Eat the right amount of calories.
- Eat the right amount of protein, carbohydrates and fat.
- Do effective muscle building exercises.
Let's take a closer look at each.
Eat the right amount of calories
The single biggest mistake that prevents women from building muscle is to eat too little food (calories).
If you constantly eat fewer calories than you burn, you significantly inhibit your body’s ability to build muscle.
Physiology is relatively complex here, but the short story of limiting energy intake puts your body in an “energy-saving state” where certain bodily functions take precedence over others.
Building new muscle tissue is not essential for survival and requires quite a bit of energy, so it’s pretty low on the list.
Calorie deficiency also reduces anabolic and increases catabolic hormone levels, causing a systemic shift away from muscle growth toward muscle breakdown.
On the flip side, if you regularly eat at least a little more calories than you burn, the opposite effects are obtained, which helps in muscle growth.
It increases the production of anabolic hormones, improves your body’s muscle building and improves your performance at the gym and your ability to recover from your workout.
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“But doesn't eating too much also make me gain weight?” you might think.
Yes, it will, and it’s just part of the game. It is simply impossible to gain muscle quickly and efficiently without also adding fat.
You are like most people, you can expect muscle and fat to grow at about the same rate (for every meat you can also get a pound of fat).
Fortunately, you can manage your fat gain carefully (and remove unwanted body fats easily when the time comes).
Here's how to do it right:
1. Keep a reasonable 5-10% calorie surplus.
This should allow you to gain 0.25 to 0.5 pounds per week.
If you are not sure how to determine your calorie intake, click here.
2. Don’t go around everything with massive scam meals or days.
One of the biggest mistakes I see people make while eating to gain muscle is outrageous overuse.
A few day breaks a week when the filler is enough to make the fat double or even triple at a normal rate.
Don't do this. Instead, learn to “cheat” intelligently.
3. If your fat is over 25%, lose weight to ~ 20% before focusing on building muscle.
This is ideal for several reasons:
- It maintains insulin sensitivity and hormonal balance.
- It allows you to maintain a calorie surplus for several months before you need to reduce your body fat levels.
- It saves you from long, exhausting cuts.
4.When your body fat is 25-27%, stop assembling and start reducing your body fat.
Also, do “slow surgery.” Do everything you can to lose fat safely and healthily as quickly as possible.
5. Juggle the “getting” and “cutting” steps until you are happy with your physique.
If you’re like most people, you’ll eventually get to the point where you’re happy with the overall tone and development of your muscles.
The name of the game then becomes slim and permanently lean as you train hard and progress in your lifts and deal with weaknesses in your physique.
Eat the right amount of protein, carbohydrates and fat
If your only concern is body weight, then calories are king.
However, if you want to improve your body composition, you need to pay attention to where these calories come from in terms of protein, carbohydrates and fat.
Do like this:
1. Eat 1 gram of protein per kilogram of body weight per day.
This is enough to reap all the benefits of a high-protein diet, including faster muscle growth.
2. Eat 0.3 grams of fat per kilogram of body weight per day.
This is enough of dietary fat to maintain health and performance and mealtime
3. Get the rest of your daily calories from carbohydrates.
Many people limit their intake of carbohydrates because they think it prevents the increase in fat.
It won’t come, but it’s another conversation. Here you need to know this:
Studies show that a moderate / carbohydrate-rich diet can help grow muscle and strength faster in many ways. (If you want to dive into the details, check out this article.)
Relatively unprocessed carbohydrates such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are also good sources of a variety of trace nutrients and fiber.
For all of this reason, I recommend a high-carb diet to maximize muscle growth.
You’re probably wondering how to figure out what you should get from your carbs – how to “get the rest of your daily calories from carbs”.
Well, a gram of protein and carbs both contain about 4 calories and a gram of fat contains about 9, so to figure out carbs, you need to …
- Multiply the target protein intake by 4.
- Multiply your target level by 9.
- Add these together and subtract the sum from your total calories, which gives you the amount of calories left over for carbs.
- Divide this remaining number by 4 to get the amount of carbs you eat each day.
Let’s look at an example of how this works.
I weigh about 190 pounds and TDEE is about 2700 calories, which I plan to eat daily to maintain my weight and body composition.
I need to eat 190 grams of protein and 60 grams of fat a day, and this is how I figure out carbs:
- 190 x 4 = 760
- 60 x 9 = 540
- 760 + 540 = 1300 and 2700 – 1300 = 1400 calories left for carbohydrates.
- 1400/4 = 350 grams of carbohydrates per day.
Therefore, my macros are:
- 190 grams of protein
- 60 grams of fat
- 350 grams of carbohydrates
(In a day.)
All right … it's your turn!
Do effective muscle building exercises
You can be the embodiment of elegance and grace outside the gym, but if you want a killer body, you have to get on the ground and dirty in your workout.
You want statue-like legs, a butt that “melts the Internet,” and gouged arms and abdominal muscles, you say?
Then you have to drop the BOSU lungs, side skills, yoga poses and Swiss ball fractures.
This nifty training will make you just a waifin.
Squat, dead end, hip push, overhead clamps … these are your new best friends.
These make you a goddess.
And you need to appear every day with one goal in mind: to build muscle and strength.
This means that you are going to transfer heavy weights and give each agent, setting and workout everything you have.
That means you’re going to make a deformed face when you grind these last repetitions. You can even let go of two or more fractures.
Your hair will get messy and you may want to invest in good moisture wicking clothing.
But you're not there to look cute.
You have to make progress there, and it comes one ugly, trembling, sweaty facial twist at a time.
Now, women’s best exercise routines meet the following criteria:
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- They focus on heavy weight lifting.
- They emphasize combination movements.
- They emphasize the lower body more than the upper body.
- They keep the heart to a minimum.
Of course, this approach does not meet everyone’s needs, but most women should train this way.
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