Women’s Guide : How To Gain Muscle
In the last couple of years we have seen women’s influence in the fitness industry grow. With the growing influence sparked a flux in the training styles… and the gym crowd. However, still in this new era of fitness, we still hear women struggling to get the results they strive for and the dreaded “I don’t want to get big and bulky”. So we at SDS decided it’s time to shed a light on how to gain muscle for all our women athletes.
One of the largest objections we hear when introducing women to fitness is the idea that they will become significantly more muscular or bulky. Which is simply not going to happen without: a passion to do so, the genetics, and/or exogenous testosterone. Women like Dana Linn didn’t obtain the physique they have after a couple of months of resistance training. It took years of dedication and hard work. So if you are looking to obtain a similar physique, you’re going to have to put in the work. If that’s not the look you’re going for, you’re still going to need to put in the work.
So why is it that building muscle takes years of training to show significant changes in your physique?
Women’s testosterone levels are a fraction of men’s. The normal range for testosterone in women is around 15 to 70 ng/dL, whereas men’s normal is 270 to 1070 ng/dL. Our point in this is that unless you are on exogenous testosterone or other anabolic steroids, you will not become big and bulky from lifting weights.
How To Gain Muscle: Diet
When it comes to your diet for building muscle there are a few things to look at. One, you have to be eating enough. If your tracking your macros, make sure your calories are reflecting your goals. Eating too many calories will lead to fat gain, eating too little calories will lead to inefficient muscle growth, if at all. If you’re eating at a deficit, your body’s main priority isn’t going to be growing. Instead, find how many calories you need to maintain your current weight (your baseline) then add 200-300.
You do not have to diet, or count your calories/macros to build muscle. It can help give you some structure, but it’s not necessary. But, you should keep in mind what macro nutrients you are eating in each meal. You want to opt for high protein meals. This doesn’t mean no-fat or no-carbs. Its all about the ratio. Protein helps build and repair the muscle tissues torn during physical activity. Your other macro nutrients play a role in the muscle building process as well. Carbohydrates, for example, are the body’s preferred source of energy. They break down into glucose, which is an immediate source of energy especially for the brain and muscles.
How To Gain Muscle: Exercise
If you want to gain muscle, you have to lift heavy. Light weight/high volume exercises has it place in a workout regimen, but your workouts should be oriented towards your goals. Your muscle fibers need to tear in order to grow. Consider the following rep range during your next workout:
1-5 reps = Strength Gains *
6-12 reps = Hypertrophy Gains *
12+ reps = Endurance Gains *
Of course this range is generalized and everyone builds muscle differently. But it’s purpose is to give you a good idea for what weight you should be lifting. If you can perform an exercise correctly for more than 12 reps, the weight is too light. In contrast, if you struggle to perform the exercise correctly for at least 5 reps, it’s too heavy.
Another thing to consider is your workout medium. Are you lifting with free weights or machines?
While machines provide sufficient stimulation for muscle growth, nothing can beat free weight/compound exercises. By advancing to free weights, you are enabling your body to lift weights at your range of motion. Although machines allow you to adjust the settings, its not perfect for each individual. Therefore mimicking the movements with free weights, dumbbells, barbells, kettle bells, etc., can help you target the focused muscle groups better.
Some compound exercises you should consider adding into your workouts are:
Dead Lifts: Dead lifts aka the King of mass builders, is great full body exercise. Meaning it stimulants almost every major muscle in the body.
Squats: Squats are the most effective exercise for overall leg muscle development, as well as hitting other muscle groups like your abdomen.
Lunges: Lunges are great for targeting the glutes, hamstrings, and quads.
Pull Ups: Pull ups are great for working on your back, biceps and forearms. If you struggle with lifting your body weight, most gyms have an assisted pull up machine.
Dips: Dips are really good for working the muscles in your chest, shoulders, and triceps. These can also, usually, be done on the assisted pull up machine.
How To Gain Muscle: Tips And Supplements
Building muscle mass isn’t going to be a quick process. Keep that in mind after the newbie gains slow down. But there are ways to get an edge on the gains.
- Form Over Ego. As awesome as it is to lift heavy weights, it’s not worth the injury. Practice safe sets, and make sure your form is great before increasing the weight.
- Warm Up. The warm up is low-level activity, which should be completed before stretching and more strenuous exercises. The point is to raise total body temperature and muscle temperature to prepare the entire body for vigorous activity. Doing so will help avoid injuries.
- Work your biggest muscles. If you’re a beginner, just about any workout will be intense enough to increase protein synthesis. But if you’ve been lifting for a while, you’ll build the most muscle quickest if you focus on the large muscle groups, like the back, and legs.
- Perform your compound exercises first, then work on isolation exercises.
- Train your abs last or alone in a separate workout. To save time, you can also insert ab exercises between exercises for other body parts as you near the midpoint to end of your workout.
- Clean out your pantry. If it’s not in the house, there’s less chance you’ll eat it.
As we mentioned in the dieting section, having an adequate amount of protein is essential for muscle repair. So if you struggle with getting enough protein, you can opt for a protein supplement to help get in the calories and protein. But that’s not the only supplement to consider.
Creatine is a great supplement to add in your regimen to help improve muscular performance/endurance.†
Evening Primrose Oil contain essential omega 6 fatty acid, that are great for many things. Among them, evening primrose oil has been noted to improve PMS symptoms.†
L-Carnitine assists in the breakdown of energy stores in cells and plays an essential role in making fat available for muscle tissue – promoting muscular energy.†
Laxogenin is a great muscle building product. It is a non-hormonal, plant steroid. Laxogenin has been noted to help increase muscle mass growth, as well as, improve recovery.† For more information on Laxogenin click here.
Epicat is a Myostatin inhibitor. When you take something to block or inhibit the release of Myostatin, it’s may help to increase your lean muscle mass production. † For more information on Epicat click here.
† While the intention of the information above is for reference only, it is our goal to maintain and display accurate information. But, we can’t guarantee it represents the latest formulation of the product. But If you have any concerns, please visit the manufacturer’s website. Also, the information above is not a representation of our views at Same Day Supplements. Rather, these are the views and information provided by product’s manufacturer. The Food and Drug Administration has not evaluated these statements. Finally, the intention of this product is not to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or illness.