For some ladies hearing the words “build muscle” can be really scary! However for me it is exciting and would make me click on a “Pin” and follow it straight to the article.
I love the way toned strong muscles look and I love having them on my body. Some women are afraid that if they lift weights that they will look like a man, and that simply is not true.
I lift weights several times a week and I DO NOT look like a man! I am actually working hard to put on more muscle. It takes hard work for women to put on muscle.
I have been following a plan I created for myself for only a few weeks and I have already began to see some “gains” :). I still have a bit to go to get to my goal but I’m seeing progress and I know this plan is working for me.
Lets discuss what a muscle is, and a few reasons why it is important to have on our bodies especially as women and as we get older.
A muscle is defined as “a band or bundle of fibrous tissue in a human or animal body that has the ability to contract, producing movement in or maintaining the position of parts of the body“.
Why is having muscle important?
- Bone Health. Women are prone to getting osteoporosis and bone fractures as we get older. Having muscle helps protect against this. “weight training with heavy weights has been proven again and again to increase bone density, even in the elderly” (PaleoLeap)
Weight Loss. Muscle burns an extra 50 calories a day while at rest. That’s better than nothing, and anything helps when you are trying to lose weight.
Productivity. Having muscle and strength make life’s daily tasks easier to accomplish. For instance, if you have muscle you can bring all the groceries in on one trip from the car :). You can even carry your 8-year-old on your back, even though they are almost taller than you!
It looks good. Period.
How to build muscle?
The easiest way I have found to tone up and build muscle fast is by increasing the weight that I lift, and how often I lift.
I currently lift weights 3-5 times a week and I usually do this split: Lower body one day, Upper body one day, HIIT with upper body and HIIT with lower body.
I try to work my core daily at the end of my workout.
If you are used to using a 8-10 pound weight increase that to a 12-15 pound weight. I suggest you try to go heavier each time to challenge yourself.
Since you are increasing your weight, you will want to decrease your reps. So instead of doing the standard 3×10 or 12, lift weights heavy enough that you will have to stop by the time you get to your 8th rep, so 3×6 or 8.
If you follow this method as well as eat enough calories (that’s another post) you will start seeing some gains fast!
Try out these workouts to get you started on your muscle-building journey:
I do more reps on Lower Body because they are larger muscles:
How do you tone-up?
Are you afraid of the term “build muscle”?