Health

Muscle building for girls

There is no escaping the fitness revolution, it is everywhere. And there is no reason why we would want to avoid it. Girls are now opting to build muscle to make themselves stronger and leaner. Despite the rise of the booty and perfectly sculpted curves, some females still believe that lifting weights will make them bulky.

Frankly, that’s not true. There has been a shift in how girls workout. Women are moving away from aspiring to be stick thin, and instead gearing towards building a leaner, healthier and stronger self. The important thing to remember is that just because you lift weights, this does not mean you are going to be the next big female bodybuilder. Most women don’t have the testosterone of caloric intake that would build that kind of mass. Instead, you’ll build a lean body that you can be proud of.

Protein retailer, MaxiNutrition, has utilised their expert knowledge in nutrition and good training techniques to provide you with this guide of the kind of workout you should be following if you want to build muscle:

Workout
Your workout should, ideally, be a good mixture of two kinds of lifts: compound lifts and isolation lifts. Compound lifts like the deadlift, squat, military press and bench press are ideal for incorporating multiple muscle groups in one motion, meaning that you can place a large amount of stress on your central nervous system which results in a release of muscle building hormones.

Isolation lifts work differently and target a muscle or area you want to develop. These include bicep curls, tricep extensions and seated leg extensions.

Now that you know how you should be lifting, it is key that you are aware that the best way to develop your muscles is to lift a heavier weight with a smaller number of reps. By lifting a smaller weight with a greater number of reps you are solely toning, and to be able to tone, you must first have the muscle in place. You can keep your workout fairly simple as long as you are focusing on strength and muscle.

Day A: Upper body push

  • 5 minute rowing machine warmup
  • 3 x 8 Bench press
  • 3 x 8 Shoulder fly
  • 3 x 8 Incline bench press
  • 3 x 8 Military press

Day B:  Upper body pull

  • 5 minute rowing machine warmup
  • 3 x 8 Deadlift
  • 3 x 8 Bent over row
  • 3 x 8 Lateral pull down
  • 3 x 8 Pull up (or assisted pull up)

Day C: Lower body

  • 5 minute jogging warm up
  • 3 x 8 Barbell back squat
  • 3 x 8 Dumbbell lunge (4 each leg)
  • 3 x 8 Seated leg extension
  • 3 x 8 Goblet squat

Rest

You should have a rest day following each workout day. This will allow your body to heal and your muscles to properly repair. Focus on getting 7-8 hours of sleep at a minimum too, as sleep is an essential part of muscle recovery.

Nutrition
When it comes to your diet, let’s keep things simple. Essentially, the two main tips to keep in mind is that when lifting heavy, you should be consuming a caloric surplus and eating a clean lean diet. Your lean diet should contain a mix of micronutrients like carbohydrates, lean protein and good fats.

You should stick to ‘good’ carbs like wholegrains, brown rice and sweet potato with a high intake of protein. Depending on your dietary choices, your protein sources can vary but it is wise to have a post workout protein shake to boost your body’s protein level and help repair your muscles ahead of your next workout.

An app like MyFitnessPal helps you work out exactly how much you should eat and what ‘type’ of macronutrients you’ll need.

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