How To Build Muscle As A Woman: Strong Is The New Sexy

Now, all women want sexy muscles! To effectively build muscle, women also need to train hard and feed properly

Women with muscles – many people still have such an oiled bodybuilder cliché in mind. What a crap! Even muscular female bodies can be aesthetic. And above all, it’s a great experience to discover the fun of your strength.

That’s why it’s worth building muscle for women

How To Build Muscle As A Woman: Strong Is The New Sexy

The free weight area in the gym is reserved for men only? Are you kidding me? Are you serious when you say that! More and more women are discovering strength training and conquering the studio’s squat racks. The result: athletic body and well-trained muscles that benefit women in many ways:

1. Muscles make you look slim

The great thing about building muscle is that it helps you lose weight. Because not only the workout consumes energy, even if you are relaxed on the sofa, your body continues to burn calories. “Muscle building automatically increases the basal metabolic rate, which means you can simply eat more,”

The more muscle you have, the more energy your body can burn. And the greater the percentage of muscle in total body weight, the more calories you burn in rest periods.

2. Building Muscle make sexy curves

When it comes to losing weight or defining the body a little more, many women rely solely on endurance training and torture themselves in long-running sessions to lose a few kilos. “Although they lose weight, muscles form and tighten the body a lot better,”. If you want to have a nice body, instead of spending hours on the treadmill, you can lift a few weights. Building muscle is definitely also a women’s thing.

3. Building Muscle prevent pain

Too weak back muscles can cause headaches. With targeted muscle building and strength training, you improve your posture and thus prevent tension and pain. Also to prevent back pain, you should not neglect the sport, but strengthen the back muscles with the right muscle-building exercises.

4. Building Muscle push self-confidence

Mentally, women also benefit from muscle-building training: “It’s just a great feeling to be able to move heavyweights, which not only strengthens your muscles but also your self-confidence,”. As for performance increases, you not only become physically stronger, you also feel unbeatably good.

The different muscle types and fiber types

How To Build Muscle As A Woman: Strong Is The New Sexy

There are 3 types of muscles: skeletal muscle, cardiac muscle and smooth muscle. We can not control the heart muscles and smooth muscles ourselves, since the heart, circulatory system, respiration, metabolism and digestion virtually work on their own, without us having to specifically tense muscles here. The situation is different with the skeletal muscle, which is connected to the bones, stabilizes the body and can be specifically trained.

In these muscles, sports medicine differentiates between two muscle fiber types: fast and slow-twitch muscles. The slow-twitch fibers are very persistent but thinner and not very strong. The fast-twitch fibers (fast-twitch) immediately give you real power but do not last long. They are responsible for the fast-moving movements. Each has both fiber types, but not in the same ratio. You decide whether someone can run long, jump far or sprint quickly. Which type of fiber predominates depends on the function of the particular muscle and your genes.

Unfortunately, this genetically predefined muscle fiber type can not be changed arbitrarily. But: Through targeted training, you can get the most out of the existing muscle fibers. With lower weight and high repetition rate (15 and more), you train the more enduring fibers, while high weight and few repetitions (less than 10) require the fast-acting muscle fibers. By always varying the weight and the number of repeats you can increase your strengths and compensate for weaknesses.

Do I get huge muscle growth from weight training?

This is the great fear of many women, which approaches the topic of muscle building. The answer is no, a few bicep curls or barbell squats will not make you a bodybuilder overnight. Just the genes alone will ruin your genes. Because compared to men, women have too little testosterone and too much estrogen in the blood to build up excess muscle. The chance to become terribly muscular all of a sudden tends towards zero.

Even if you have an above-average amount of testosterone for a woman, you would need to stick to a very strict diet in addition to hard training to become a bodybuilder. From a purely anatomical point of view, however, the muscles of men and women are identical. That’s why women can also make their muscles grow with the right training stimulus.

This is how muscle building training works

When building muscle, your muscles should increase. The individual muscle fibers should be thicker. This can be achieved with the so-called hypertrophy training. To stimulate muscle growth, they must be required beyond the usual level of performance. This means that you really have to go to your performance limit in training.

Due to the strength training stimulus microscopic cracks in the stressed muscle fibers, which is often felt in the next few days as muscle soreness. The body then begins to repair the fibers. They thicken in order to better prepare for similar burdens in the future. In fitness jargon, this important adaptation process is called supercompensation.

How to plan your muscle-building workout

How To Build Muscle As A Woman: Strong Is The New Sexy

To train properly for muscle growth, you need to properly challenge your muscles. For strength gain and muscle growth are adaptation processes of the body. Only if you irritate him beyond the limits known to him, he sets himself in the future.

How intensive the training stimulus is, you control the number of repetitions and the weight. How to choose the right weight for your exercises? take just enough weight to make just 2 to 3 clean reps at the end of a set. In the beginning, you probably have to experiment a bit and slowly increase the weight to determine the required load.

This will take you from 3 to 4 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions and 45 to 90 seconds between sets. Because: “Women experience requires shorter recovery times between sets than men,” explains the personal trainer. A good movement speed for beginners: 2 seconds for the overcoming, 1 second for the static and 2 seconds for the compliant phase of an exercise. For a push-up, that would be 2 seconds for the way down, 1 second for the lowest position and 2 seconds for the pushup.

How you plan your training also depends on what goal you are following and how often you want or can train per week. When building muscle, only regular training leads to the goal. 2 training days per week are therefore the minimum.

For beginners, Hachmann recommends 2 full-body workouts per week, which address all muscle groups. “If you train 4 times a week, you can do a leg workout twice and train your upper body twice,” says the expert.

By alternating exercise days, you avoid overloading the two muscle groups. Because between the individual training days the loaded muscles should regenerate at least 2 days.

The best exercises to build muscle

Put your muscle-building exercises together to train the whole body. This is best done with exercises for the upper body, back and legs. Hachmann swears by building muscle mass on these 4 basic exercises:

  • squats
  • deadlift
  • bench press
  • (supported) pull-ups (alternative: barbed rowing)

These classics appeal to the big muscle groups. Beginners, however, should prefer exercises on machines to build muscle, since the movements are guided here. Advanced choose free weights such as dumbbells and cable pull. “This is more intense than on the machine because so much more muscle must work to properly execute the movement,” explains Hachmann. Make sure you have a correct, clean design and get advice and corrections from a trainer on site.

Muscle building and cardio – is that possible?

“If you want to build muscle, you should basically do more strength training and less cardio,” says Hachmann. Endurance training is not a complete no-go, but too much of it is a hindrance to muscle growth. “For fat burning and regeneration, you can walk at low intensity once a week for 30 to 40 minutes, preferably on a separate day, so that the strained muscles are not burdened immediately after strength training,” says the expert.

If weight-lifting becomes too boring, training can be supplemented with one interval per week. “A few crunchy sprints or a CrossFit workout are fueling the secretion of growth hormone.” But not more than 20 minutes and possibly after the strength training, otherwise you lose energy for the strength exercises.

How do the muscles regenerate after exercise?

Recovery is just as important for building muscle as it is for training itself. Because the muscles need to regenerate, nutrients need to be replenished, and metabolic products of energy combustion removed. In fact, muscle growth does not take place during exercise but in the recovery phase. Therefore, you should treat the stressed muscles after a workout about 48 hours break – otherwise the training effect is lost.

If you grab your dumbbell too soon, your body will have no chance to recharge its batteries and generate more power. However, if you wait too long, you miss the moment when the body has the power and an increase in performance would be possible. After just one week you are back to the original level of performance.

What is muscle soreness exactly?

Painful soreness after a hard workout is caused by micro-injuries of the claimed muscle fibers. If you go to your limit in training, the energy reserves of the muscles are fully utilized. In the regeneration phase after the training stimulus, the muscle compensates for this deficit and gets a little bit stronger (supercompensation). So your muscles get used to a certain load over time and become stronger and stronger.

The right nutrition for muscle growth

“Whether you gain strength through strength training is above all a question of nutrition,” explains Hachmann. “Those who consume more calories than those consumed by exercise and basal metabolic rate will lose muscle, but not fat, if they consume as many calories as they consume, keeping a constant supply of protein throughout the day, you can build muscle mass and over a longer period by the increased metabolism and fat break down. “

So to build mass, you have to eat at least as many calories as you burn – and that’s not so easy with a tough workout routine. In order to be able to secure the energy surplus, you must therefore eat properly – best of all the right thing:

The most important building materials of the muscles are proteins – also called proteins. They are the ones that strengthen your muscle fibers after a hard workout. The catch: Although your body has fat and carbohydrate depots, but no protein stores. The consequence: If you eat too few proteins or consume too many of them, your body also gets the required energy from your muscles, and even breaks them down. Therefore, a protein-rich diet is essential if you want to work hard and build muscle.

Crucial, however, are not the proteins themselves, but their building blocks, the amino acids. Some of them are essential, which means that the body can not make them, but has to absorb them through food. Good sources of these essential amino acids include fish, meat, dairy, legumes and nuts. Here we reveal what the optimal nutrition for muscle building looks like:

Do I need supplements to build muscle?

Supplements are not a must when building muscle, but can be a useful supplement to meet the high demand for protein.

However, the foundation should be a healthy, diet-focused diet. Then certain dietary supplements such as protein powder can be used to support. Here we explain which dietary supplements actually make sense for women in the area of muscle building and which you can safely do without:

These 5 mistakes prevent muscle growth

1. Fear of heavyweights
“Many women do not go to their limits in training, because they still have the fear in mind, but to be too broad, or because they no longer trust themselves.” Better: Go to your performance limits during muscle-building training and increase your weight regularly.

2. Too little protein
“Most women actually eat too little protein and thus lose valuable muscle mass,” says Hachmann. “They tend to consume protein worse than men, so they need more,” she says. Optimal are about 2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight daily. “You should look for a good source of animal protein, and if you are vegan or vegetarian, women need 3 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight to build muscle.”

3. The wrong exercises
Bicep curls and sit-ups are awesome. For muscle building in women, however, you should not neglect the basic exercises and all exercises that appeal to large muscle groups.

4. Unclean execution
Be sure to do the exercises properly and to use the full range of motion. Do not stop halfway, otherwise, muscles can shorten. Also, do the movement with power, never with momentum!

5. Too long breaks
Set a timer and keep the sentence pauses exactly, otherwise, you waste valuable energy.