In today’s issue of FUN, HOT, NO B.S. Fitness Magazine!…
VFT’s Featured Fitness Expert Chad Howse, (Chad specializes in Muscle Building) is sharing five vital tips that women need to know when wanting to increase lean muscle.
Guys, don’t feel left out, because there’s male specific info on the way for you 🙂 So stay tuned!!
I hope you enjoy today’s lesson and PLEASE leave your feedback below, we love hearing from you!
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The biggest objection women have to lifting weights is, “I don’t want to get too muscular.” Every woman I’ve ever trained, whether that be online or in person has that one objection to weight training. But here’s the reality of weight training for women:
1. Weight training benefits women more than it does men because weight training helps prevent osteoporosis. Weight training helps prevent this by increasing bone density and strength. Boom.
2. Weight training = greater fat loss and a faster metabolism.
3. Women don’t have the hormones to truly “bulk” like ze men’s do. Yes, you’ll see women that are very muscular, but a lot of this has to do with diet choices and in extreme cases ‘hormonal adjustments’. You, the woman who isn’t going to eat a massive surplus of testosterone-inducing calories need not worry about building anything near this physique, even with weight training.
So, without further ado, here are 5 tips that help women build muscle. Not the bulky look that you’re afraid of, but the lean, toned, and sexy muscle that you’d love to have.
1. Train less and for shorter periods.
By training less, I don’t mean accomplish less. Actually, shorter, more intense training sessions will have greater benefits to your physique. Once we pass the 60-minute mark of an intense workout, our body goes into panic mode.
Panic mode isn’t good, especially for our muscle. Panic mode means our body releases a powerful hormone called cortisol. Cortisol takes our muscle and bone and uses it as fuel to feed our vital organs. Great for when we were running from saber tooth tigers, but unnecessary when we train.
Shorter, more intense training sessions, using supersets, giant sets, and quad sets, with shorter rest periods will actually have a positive effect on our metabolisms for up to 24 hours after we’ve left the gym.
Intensity is the key to a great workout whether you’re after fat loss or gaining muscle.
2. Compound exercises will help you build muscle and burn fat faster than the little exercises.
Compound exercises – or exercises that work more than one muscle group – like squats, bench press, and the inverted row primarily work a large muscle group with smaller muscles being the secondary focus. These exercises help us build muscle more effectively, but due to the fact that we’re working a larger area of muscle, we’re also burning more calories in the process.
I don’t mean for you to completely toss out isolation from your training routines. But definitely give it a back seat to squats, deadlifts and the exercises that will have a greater effect on your entire body.
3. Sprint. Do not hop on that treadmill and jog!
Cardio, cardio, cardio. I just summed up the average program for a woman. The problem with an abundance of cardio is that it will result in muscle loss, not gain. A loss that will lead to a slower metabolism and as a result, greater fat gains because of the negative effects it has on us (humans of both sexes) hormonally.
Remember that mean hormone called cortisol I mentioned earlier? Well this applies to cardio as well.
Sprinting on the other hand, has a positive effect on our metabolism, but also helps us build muscle rather than burn it by having a positive effect on our hormones. Have a look at the difference between a sprinter’s body and a distance runner’s body and you’ll see what I mean.
4. Improve every week.
You need to be lifting heavier weights. Improve from the small dumbbells you lift week after week. Become stronger, more fit, and gain the lean muscle that’ll help you build your dream body.
You don’t have to improve by 10 or 20 pounds every week, just improve. Try to lift heavier every time you’re training. It’s called progressively overloading the muscle.
Our bodies adapt to demands we place on them, which is pretty cool. The problem with this is that we need to change our training splits every 3-4 weeks to avoid a plateau in our training. But we also need to be lifting heavier weights and increasing the demand we’re placing on our muscle.
If you want to consistently get in better shape, add variation into your training, and try to improve on the weight you’re lifting and/or the amount of reps you can lift at that weight for every exercise you do.
5. The two most important meals of the day.
So the goal with both fat loss as building muscle is to maintain or gain muscle. Muscle is our friend. The thing about muscle is that it needs fuel and it needs to recover.
Without proper recovery we’re not going to see the benefits from our training. Without proper fuel, our muscle can be used as fuel.
I’m a big high fat, low carb guy. I love it. But I do eat a fair amount of carbs before, after, and during my workout. Why? So my body has something to burn. If I don’t give it fuel, it will use me muscles as fuel. Not good!
Carbs also spike insulin levels. Insulin is a ‘carrier hormone’. This is good because our higher carbohydrate meals that are also high in lean proteins means that the protein and nutrients we’re eating before, after, and during our workouts are going to be absorbed better than they would on their own.
This, combined with the increased blood flow to our muscles that a workout provides, means this protein (helps repair muscle tissue) will be carried to where we need it most: ze muscles.
My favorite pre/post workout meals:
Pre workout: French Toast
10-12 egg whites
Natural maple syrup
Soak the bread in the egg whites + vanilla extract, then plop them on the lightly buttered frying pan and enjoy.
During/immediately after a workout:
We need carbs and we need protein during or right after a workout. I like starting my shake with 10 minutes left in my workout. This helps us start the recovery process while we’re still breaking down muscle.
Protein powder with a carbs mix or a sports drink is a great way to go.
Post workout: chicken + a carbohydrate + veggies
I keep my post workout meal ridiculously simple and bland. I have oatmeal and 2 chicken breasts with a bowl of steamed broccoli. It’s easy to make and it does the job.
With that being said, feel free to spice up the meal with some whole wheat pasta or a tastier carbohydrate.
The goal is to keep fats low, with lean proteins and good carbs high.
Chad’s transformation of building 32 pounds of ripped, athletic muscle in 32 weeks, spurred him to start ChadHowseFitness.com and PowerHowse Challenge: a web site dedicated to helping people get in great shape, building a strong body and a strong life. Chad has helped hundreds build ripped muscle, burn fat, or all of the above, and continues to do so with unique articles that he publishes on a weekly basis.