Sometimes women shy away from bodybuilding because they don’t want to end up looking like Mr. Universe. Instead, their goal is a lean, mean calorie burning machine that will look great in a bikini and allow you to get through your day without getting tired.
Bodybuilding will do exactly that for you – and more!
Some women want to lose a few pounds and some want to gain a few to look better in their clothes. But it’s important not to add just any pounds. Instead, you’ll want to gain lean muscle to get the healthiest weight gain possible. You will add stress to your bones which reduces your potential for osteoporosis. Exercises and bodybuilding will improve your moood and self-image, reduce your cholesterol level and improve your balance.
But remember, while lean muscles look better on your body and burn more calories, they also weigh more. So if you are determining your goals based on what the scale says, then fat weighs less than muscle. But if you are aiming for a leaner and tighter body, then stay away from daily weigh-ins and focus on how your body looks, feels and feels in your clothes.
In order to gain that lean muscle mass without bulk and fat there are several things that you can do to get it done right.
Do exercises that use multiple joints at the same time. Exercises like lunges, plyometric moves, squats and deadlifts meet that requirement. These can be done with or without weights.
Work to increasing your weights over time. Don’t get stuck at the same weight each week. To get more lean muscle do more reps with lower weights. BUT, don’t think that low weights means no weight at all! Use a weight that you can comfortably repeat 12 – 15 times. Use that until it’s too comfortable and then increase the weight and reduce the reps to 8-10 and then work to increase the reps to 12-15.
Use light cardio work to warm up and cool down. This gets your blood flowing and gets the muscles more oxygen. However, longer cardiovascular work will only increase the amount of cortisol that you produce, insulin resistance and fat production. Instead, use the PACE program in which you do a 20 minute workout in which you do a 3 minute warm up and cool down. Between those two 3 minute segments you perform 30 seconds the hardest you can and then a 90 second cool down for 8 repetitions. You can do the PACE in any aerobic activity you enjoy – the bike, ellipitical, running, treadmill, rowing, etc.
At home, remember to drink lots of water to flush the toxins out of your body, get at least 8-9 hours of sleep a night to build muscle and repair and to time your carbs to eat within 30 minutes after your workouts.
Muscle & Strength: Weight Gain and Muscle Building for women
Breaking Muscle: The Female Guide to Getting Lean
Nutrition Express: Diet tips for getting lean
WomanIncredible: 10 Mistakes Women Make When Trying to Get lean
JCD Fitness: The Muscle Building Guide for Women
ACE Fitness: How Women Build Muscle
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