When it comes to building muscle as a woman, the diet and exercise regime is vastly different to that of a man. That’s right, it’s not a myth — it’s actually scientifically proven and relates to the makeup of our bodies and our differing hormone levels.
In fact, according to the Journal of Applied Psychology, researchers found that men have roughly 72.6 pounds of muscle mass in comparison to women, who have just 46.2 pounds. This doesn’t mean that women can’t build strong muscle, it just means that it’s important they go about it differently to get effective results. So if you’re a woman who wants to lose fat and build muscle, here’s how:
1. Eat The Right Stuff
It may seem obvious, but having the right diet that fits your workout goals is essential to achieving them. First and foremost, cut out all processed and fast foods that are high in fat and low in nutrition value. Your eating schedule should consist of five to six smaller meals so that you’re eating regularly, and these should be high in protein, good carbs, and good fats.
Good carbs like sweet potato and brown rice helps force the protein into your muscle cells while good fats like avocados and fish oil can be a great source of energy. Supplements like protein shakes can be a great addition to the diet as they provide the right amount of energy that’s perfect for a pre-workout. But make sure you go for a high-quality supplement from a reputable brand, such as Amway, to avoid any unnecessary sugars and chemicals.
2. Opt for Heavier Weights and Less Repetition
Have you ever seen somebody with big muscles lifting light weights? There has been a myth that higher repetitions of lighter weights is a great way to build muscle; however, lifting heavier weights trains your muscles and make them stronger. But the good news is you don’t have to do 15-20 reps. Try aiming for a higher weight class but only do between two and eight reps.
Technically called the Myofibrillar hypertrophy, this type of exercise should leave you finding it difficult to lift the weights on the seventh or eighth repetition. This means your muscles are exhausted, which spikes the production of testosterone and microtrauma tears that your body replaces with stronger muscle.
3. Couple It Appropriately With Cardiovascular Exercise
The key to building muscle for women is to also lose fat at the same time — it’s efficient and gives you the leaner body figure that many women desire. How do you get rid of body fat? You need to invest some time in cardio exercise that gets your body moving and forces the stored fat back into your bloodstream. High-intensity interval training is a great way to get this job done fast and effectively.
Try sprinting your hardest for 30 seconds and then follow it with 90 seconds of a more relaxed pace. Repeat this five times without stopping and notice how tired you are. The good part about high-intensity interval training is that you don’t have to do it for long so your workout is over much quicker.
When it comes to the business of building muscle, it’s important to consider that male and female bodies require different techniques. As such, tailor your diet and exercise for your body to get the most effective results.