Our social media feeds are swamped with images of both genders flaunting their sculpted bodies for us all the see. There is no doubt that we have entered a fitness revolution, which has led to a shift in what women aspire to look like.
We have seen the rise of squats for developing your ‘booty’, and an increase in popularity of CrossFit and powerlifting to sculpt perfect curves. However, despite this shift, there is still a stigma attached the weight lifting— some females still think that lifting weights will make them big and bulky.
But it’s not true. In fact, weight lifting is the best way to get in shape. If you want amazing curves that even your favourite Instagram model will envy, then lifting is the answer. You will not build a bodybuilder physique – most girls don’t have the caloric intake or testosterone to build that mass. Weight lifting will simply help you shed the pounds and sculpt envious curves that you can be proud.
MaxiNutrition have used their expert knowledge in nutrition and good training techniques to offer advice on the best way women can build muscle.
To achieve maximum results, you will want a workout routine that includes a good mix of two types of lifts – compound lifts and isolation lifts. The main ones are compound lifts, which are the likes of squats, deadlifts, military presses and bench presses. These ‘big four’ tend to target the most amount of muscle groups in one singular motion. They also place a great deal of pressure on your central nervous system, encouraging a release of hormones that promote muscle building.
The isolation lifts are an accessory to the compound ones. They tend to target specific muscle groups for development. These include tricep extensions, bicep curls and seated leg extensions.
Lift heavier weights with a smaller number of reps to build muscle. It is best to avoid lighter weights with more reps until you have built some muscle, as lighter weights are typically suited to toning. You can keep your regime simple by simply focusing on gaining strength and muscle. For example:
Day A: Upper body push
- 5 minute rowing machine warmup
- 3 x 8 Bench press
- 3 x 8 Shoulder fly
- 3 x 8 Incline bench press
- 3 x 8 Military press
Day B: Upper body pull
- 5 minute rowing machine warmup
- 3 x 8 Deadlift
- 3 x 8 Bent over row
- 3 x 8 Lateral pull down
- 3 x 8 Pull up (or assisted pull up)
Day C: Lower body
- 5 minute jogging warm up
- 3 x 8 Barbell back squat
- 3 x 8 Dumbbell lunge (4 each leg)
- 3 x 8 Seated leg extension
- 3 x 8 Goblet squat
It is vital that you schedule rest days between workouts to all time for you muscles to repair properly prior to your next workout. Protein helps to speed up this process as well as ensuring you get the right amount of sleep. Focus on getting 7-8 hours of sleep at a minimum, as sleep is an essential part of muscle recovery.
When focusing on building muscle, you can also keep your diet pretty simple. Generally you need to follow a clean, lean diet and make sure you are having a caloric surplus daily. Your diet should be primarily made up from the main macronutrients of carbohydrates, protein and good fats.
Whilst you need carbohydrates when training, they should come from non-refined foods like wholegrains, brown rice, green veg and sweet potato. Protein sources can vary depending upon your dietary choices but you must make sure that you keep your protein levels high especially when training. Protein helps to repair your muscles between workouts. It is a good idea to use protein powder and have a protein shake to boost your levels following your workout regime.
An app like MyFitnessPal helps you work out exactly how much you should eat and what ‘type’ of macronutrients you’ll need.