Best Ways to Build Muscle for Females
There’s plenty of information out there about how you can lose weight as a woman, but not so much about what you can do to build muscle. If you’re not trying to become a bodybuilder and just want to build lean muscle, there are a lot of things you can do to set yourself up for success. Here we’ll outline ways you can get the most out of your workouts and build lean muscle.
Hit the Weights!
Think dumbbells, barbells, and kettlebells. Start slow and don’t try to overdo it by lifting too much weight at first. Instead, try a weight that allows you to do eight to 12 reps, where the last two are difficult. Lifting weights is the best way to see results when it comes to muscle growth. Here are a few tips to help you see better weightlifting results:
- Lay off the dieting. One of the biggest things you can do for successful muscle-building is to take in more calories consisting of healthy foods. Generating new muscle tissue requires additional energy above and beyond what you need to eat to maintain your current body weight.
- Set achievable goals. If you want to increase your muscle mass, you need to be realistic. Some people try to gain as little body fat as possible, often sacrificing muscle development, while others eat with abandon and just accept the fat gain follows. Instead, try to gain a little body fat along the way, which helps with muscle growth.
- Pay attention to your macros. It’s important to track your macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates, and fats) because it allows you to be more precise with your nutrition and see better results. For optimal muscle building, it’s recommended to create a meal plan consisting of 40% carbohydrate, 30% protein, and 30% fat.
Rather than targeting a particular muscle group, like your biceps, for example, try doing compound movements like squats, push-ups, and presses. These exercises involve more than one muscle group, which can save you time in the gym by targeting different muscles with just one exercise.
Female Muscle Growth Diet
For lean muscle growth, you should try to eat roughly 2,000 to 2,500 calories per day. But that doesn’t include junk food, which will end in fat gain and water retention. Protein is key. If you eat more protein, you’ll gain more muscle. The following high-protein foods are recommended:
- Chicken breast
- Pulses and lentils
- Cottage cheese
All of the foods mentioned above also contain leucine, which is a muscle-building amino acid. They also have creatine, an organic compound that’s found naturally in your muscles.
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Let Your Body Recover
Recovery is an important part of the muscle-building process. Make sure to let your body rest for at least two to three days a week. These recovery days are when your muscle growth actually occurs because they allow your muscle fibers to grow back after being microscopically torn during your workout with weights.
Consistency is Key
If you stay consistent with your workouts, you’ll see results. Even though two days of strength training is good, it’s recommended that you try to train three to five days a week. If you do a full-body routine each day, you’re not going to overdo it and overtrain one muscle group. If you’re feeling sore in one part of your body, try to steer clear of it in your next workout to avoid overtraining.
And be patient. It usually takes months to see results depending on the individual. If you stay consistent with your workout plan, diet, and recovery, you’re going to get the results you want.
Next Steps and Useful Resources