Building lean muscle and maintaining your fitness level is a challenge for anyone. The only way to achieve the best results is to make sure you are working with your body to help maximize your workouts. Women and men build muscle in different ways. Here are some tips, specifically for women, to help you build muscle fast.
1. Break Out of Your Comfort Zone
Many women tend to repeat exercises with weights that they can easily handle. But building muscle mass – especially quickly – will depend on exercise that pushes the boundaries. You need to add more weight – that you can safely lift, of course. The goal is hypertrophy. This is when an external stimulus is placed on the muscle, stimulating it, and encouraging growth.
To make sure you are choosing a weight that is challenging but not impossible, you should be able to lift it 10 times. It should be challenging, but never painful or impossible. If you overstress your muscles, you can cause injury. The big takeaway here is not to underestimate your strength or your capabilities.
2. Consistency is Key
If you want to see quick muscle gain, the real secret is to remain consistent. Occasionally working out will not give you the results you want. Remember, women go through various hormonal changes in their lifetime. These hormonal imbalances can make exercise a challenge.
But consistency, no matter what hormonal effects you are feeling, will keep your muscles growing. Women can best build muscle by keeping up with a consistent and frequent exercise regimen.
3. Up Your Protein – and Your Calories!
After working out your muscles so intensely, you will want to take in some protein. Ideally, protein shakes are your best bet. Whey protein powders tend to be the most popular. Protein not only helps your muscles recover from a strenuous workout, but it can also help build lean muscle mass.
Get into the habit of having a daily protein shake after your workouts. This will help your body recover and get ready for the next workout. You can also get protein from lean meats, poultry, eggs, fish, and legumes. If you want to maintain frequency and consistency while building lean muscle, protein is a must.
In addition to protein intake, make sure you are eating enough calories for your body weight. Include healthy carbs like rice and sweet potatoes into your diet, as well. Women may be looking to bulk up on muscle and lean down on fat. This sometimes pushes women to eat less, but that is counter-intuitive. Getting enough healthy calories allows you to build more muscle, faster!
4. Do the Right Exercises
Cardio is great, but cardio won’t help you gain muscle mass. If you want to build muscle, you need to include cardio in your routine, but focus more heavily on strength training exercises. Remember, muscle growth depends on muscles being stressed by extra weight.
Consider exercises that work out specific muscle areas like squats, deadlifts, biceps curls, etc. To see real results, start by working out larger muscles like the glutes at the beginning of the workout. These require more strength than arm or leg strengthening exercises. So it’s best to work on these when you have the most energy.
5. Rest Your Body
Working out the same muscles day after day isn’t the way to build muscle. In fact, your muscles will benefit more from adequate rest. But how do you rest without compromising your frequency or consistency? Simple: Each day, work out a different area.
For example, each day should include a different focus area. One day can focus on upper body strength building, the next can concentrate on the lower body, and the following can be centered around cardio or rest.
6. Don’t Follow Fad Diets
Fad diets are advertised directly to women every single day. But the secret to building mass won’t be found in a fad diet. Removing essential food groups from your daily diet will not give you the desired results.
Eating a healthy and well-balanced diet can help you shed unwanted fat, build lean muscle mass, and give you more energy. Hormonal imbalances can affect women’s bodies in different ways throughout the menstrual cycle. Blood sugar may drop at different times.
To maintain a healthy lifestyle, you should be eating foods that help give you energy and help build muscle. That means replacing sugary snacks with high protein snacks.
7. Get Plenty of Sleep
A healthy lifestyle doesn’t come from the gym or your diet alone. A healthy lifestyle means relying on healthy habits in every aspect of your life. If you are sleep deprived, you may notice your energy levels are too low to complete the exercises on your goal list.
Getting plenty of rest will help you stay on track. Fatigue is often the culprit behind guilty snacks and skipped gym dates. Stay focused on your goal, eat well, exercise, and sleep well. You’re not just building lean muscle here – you’re looking to live your best life!
Making time for self-care is an issue many women still find challenging. Women are working more than they did in the past generations, but they haven’t been able to reduce their workload at home by much. This is leading to overworked women who often neglect their own personal needs.
Remember that putting your health first is putting your family first. You can’t care for anyone if you can’t care for yourself. Make healthy eating and muscle building exercise your priority. It may mean changing your schedule, working your tail off, and changing unhealthy habits.
To build lean muscle mass fast, women need to focus their efforts on strength training, resistance training, a balanced, protein-heavy diet, and a consistent workout schedule.
If you are unsure of where to start, don’t hesitate to meet with a personal trainer. A certified trainer can help you plan a diet and workout routine that will help you achieve your results quickly. Plus, they can help lower your risk of injury by showing you proper techniques and sharing their tips on healthy living with you.