Want to build lean muscle? Afraid that strength training will make you look bulky?
Don’t worry, it won’t!
Testosterone levels in women are 10 to 15 percent lower than those in men. Testosterone, the male hormone, gives men the ability to pack on muscle.
As a woman, you don’t have enough testosterone to get “too muscular.”
The female bodybuilders featured in magazines lift hundreds of pounds. They also follow strict diets and take supplements that speed up muscle growth.
Weight lifting will shape your body and increase muscle tone. It also boosts your metabolism, so you’ll burn more calories throughout the day.
Ready to give it a try? Check out these five female bodybuilding tips for a strong, lean body:
Focus on Compound Exercises
The deadlift, squat, and bench press should come first on your list. These compound exercises hit every muscle, leading to muscle gains.
They also increase your metabolic rate and stimulate testosterone production. As a result, you’ll get leaner and stronger.
Compound movements should account for at least 80 percent of your workout routine.
For instance, if you’re training your legs, complete three sets of squats, three sets of lunges, and four sets of deadlifts. To gain definition, finish your workout with leg extensions and calf raises.
Train Your Weak Areas Twice a Week
Everyone has lagging body parts. Some women complain about their glutes and legs. Others want bigger shoulders.
The best way to fix your weak areas is to work those muscles more often. Twice a week should be enough.
Let’s say you want a round, firm butt. Train your glutes every Monday and Friday. Do isolation work, such as donkey kicks, sumo squats, and one-legged deadlifts.
These movements activate the glute muscles and give them that perfect shape you’re after.
HIIT the Gym
If you want to build muscle without the bulk, you must lose fat. Cardio isn’t necessarily bad, but better ways exist to drop those pesky pounds.
A good example is high-intensity interval training (HIIT). This workout method raises your metabolic rate and triggers the so-called “afterburn effect.”
In layman’s terms, it causes your body to burn fat during and after exercise. Unlike cardiovascular training, it doesn’t affect lean mass and testosterone levels.
HIIT is a favorite choice for fitness models and aesthetic bodybuilding competitors. A typical workout takes less than 15 minutes, so you have no excuse to skip your training session.
Clean Up Your Diet
Female bodybuilding and clean eating go hand in hand. Even the best exercise program can’t offset the side effects of poor nutrition.
What you eat can make or break your progress. A healthy diet should provide optimal ratios of protein, carbs, and healthy fats.
Ditch the junk food and eat the real thing. Opt for leafy greens, whole grains, sweet potatoes, fish, lean meat, and eggs. Fruits are high in carbs and should be treated as a dessert.
Get Plenty of Rest
Along with exercise and nutrition, sleep is vital to muscle growth. Your body builds new tissues and recovers from stress at night.
If you skimp on sleep, you’ll lose muscle and feel fatigued. Improper rest affects your recovery time and increases cortisol levels, otherwise known as the stress hormone. It also drains your energy and slows your metabolism.
Get at least eight hours of sleep per night to build muscle and recover faster from training.
Female Bodybuilding: The Key to a Perfect Figure
Whether you want more muscle or better health, female bodybuilding is the way to go. Its benefits go beyond a perfect physique.
Once you start to lift weights, your life will change forever. You’ll feel stronger and more confident, and your energy will go through the roof.
In the long run, strength training will lower your risk of heart disease, osteoporosis, and diabetes. The best part is that you’ll be able to eat more without adding inches to your waistline!
What are your favorite strength exercises? Share your workout routine!