I am a huge advocate for gaining muscle. I love the way it looks on a female. For years I wanted people to notice that I worked out. Finally, after losing enough fat off my entire body, my muscle definition became visible and people noticed!
Muscle is not just aesthetically pleasing, it is EXTREMELY important for a myriad of health benefits.
Here are nine reasons women should not be afraid of gaining muscle:
- Muscle helps you live longer! According to Tufts University, the more muscle mass you have, the greater your longevity potential. Muscle is the number one biomarker for longevity. It is a better predictor than total cholesterol or blood pressure!
- The more muscle you have the more calories you burn at rest. It is estimated that for every pound of muscle you gain you burn an extra 50 calories a day. Add 5 pounds of muscle and you’ll burn an extra 1,750 calories a week! That’s the equivalent of going on the treadmill five times a week for 40 minutes!
- Muscle makes life and everyday activities easier. The more muscle you have, the more strength you have. Researchers at Tufts University determined that strength is the number two predictor for longevity!
- Muscle improves body composition. According to world renowned strength coach Charles Poliquin, for every kilo of lean muscle that was gained, there was an equal loss of weight in body fat! Look at this way, if gained 4 kg of muscle during a 12 week program, in the same 12 weeks you would drop 4 kg of fat! So if you started at 20% body fat and 60 kg of bodyweight, your body fat would now be 13%! These body composition changes will make you look absolutely amazing and feel very empowered.
- Muscle empowers women because of the new sense of strength and power that muscle gives!
- The more muscle you have the more insulin receptor sites you have, and the more sensitive they will be. This means it’s easier to stay leaner and keep the fat off!
- Muscle builds stronger bones, preventing osteoporosis.
- Muscle improves flexibility and balance
- Muscle can improve the postural muscles to enhance your posture.
And most importantly, muscle makes you look great naked! Want a sexier butt? Add some muscle, strip the fat and VOILA! Want your waist to look tinier? Shape your shoulders and WOW! Want to make your legs look longer? Strip some fat and add some muscle and SHAZAM!
Now that you understand why women should not be scared of gaining muscle, here is what you need to know about muscle tissue. It can do one of two things:
- Grow larger and/or stronger
- Shrink and/or get weaker
So how do you gain lean, sexy and hard looking muscle safely?
If you want to be toned, sexy and defined curves, don’t be afraid of training with weights
A desirable female physique is one that can only be achieved by moving some serious iron in the weight room! But what about all the talk about weight training making women big and bulky? First, it is physiologically impossible for you as a woman to put on large amounts of muscle mass; you’re body’s hormonal makeup is not one that will allow you to do so. God never intended for women to look like men (go figure), so he made the chemistry of each gender’s respective bodies different. Regardless of how you train, how often you train, how much protein you eat, etc, you’re not going to even come close to the big, bulky physique of a female bodybuilder. It will not happen. That look is only obtainable by one means: steroids. Because their natural hormonal profiles would never allow them to get that “big,” they resort to changing their body’s chemistry through the use of illegal drugs. Secondly, if the right training method is chosen, the hypertrophic (growth) response to resistance training can be even further reduced. This brings us to our next point.
If you want to be toned, sexy and defined curves, you should train HEAVY with weights.
Training with heavy loads and low volume (sets x reps) is the best way to get hard and strong, but not big. Muscular hypertrophy is generally a response to a high volume work output; therefore, by keeping the sets and reps low with heavy training, you wont have to fear getting overly big (this really isn’t even an issue due to the physiological reasons mentioned earlier). Why then is it commonly recommended that women train with lighter loads? Well, there are a couple reasons. First, there is the typical stereotype that women are weak, fragile creatures who can’t handle anything more than pushups on their knees and bicep curls with pink dumbbells.
Give me a break. Secondly, the belief that high-rep training increases muscle tone is 100% myth.
Losing fat is the only thing that can reveal the status of your “tone” and high rep training does very little for improving your “tone”.
If you want to be toned, sexy and defined curves, you should train with compound, multi-joint movements.
If you want to sport a hard body, you better start training heavy. Big, compound movements such as the deadlift, squats ,presses, chin ups and rows are superior to machine, isolation-type movements for toning up your thighs, butt and upper body as they allow you to use challenging weight while training a number of muscle groups simultaneously. Another benefit obtained by performing multi-joint compound movements is increased confidence. With strength comes confidence.
Getting skinny and soft is the easiest task in the world – starve yourself and avoid weights. But once you stop starving yourself all the weight will come right back and you’ll be fat and soft. Not exactly what we want!
Instead, tapering your calories down gradually (without doing anything extreme), while adding metabolic resistance training workouts to strip the fat to reveal your muscle tone and adding heavier weights and lower reps will help you reveal a sexier, athletic and fit body.