Too many women are scared to train hard in fear of looking like a man. But, hormonally, this will never be the case. So stop overexaggerating and get to the weights session for a proper program today!
Getting muscular is a process, made up of fundamental yet straightforward concepts that work for both men and women.
One of my very dear friends, and someone who trained me for several years, once said, “women need to start training like a man, because we are not that much different from one another, despite our sexual organs, and hormones.” Because I had already spent an extended period training, and utilising the “bang for your buck” exercises, I understood what he said ultimately!
The principles of weight training are the same — Apply a stimulus to the muscles, making sure you are always challenging those muscles.
What does diet have to do with building muscle? It does play a part, but not as crucial as actually lifting weight. Does that sound surprising?
Protein can retain muscle mass, but without applying the proper weight training principles, there won’t be an adequate amount of muscle building taking place. This is a mistake many people make and why they tend to look the same after years of training in the gym.
There are a few technical aspects of building muscle mass, and I won’t get into a detailed post about that, but I will give you a very condensed version of it here.
Six top specific muscle-building principles, most people don’t know and are holding you back from getting the results they want.
- Train to failure to produce muscle damage and a more significant response to protein synthesis response. One thing I do regularly keeps a lighter weight beside me. When I can’t perform the number of reps I need for a set, I drop the heavyweight and go for it with a lighter one. It’s a win-win situation.
- Train for metabolic stress by using higher volume, moderate-intensity and shorter rest periods. This is a killer but very rewarding. You will be drenched in sweat, get a tremendous fat-burning session, as well as build hypertrophy.
- Use multi joining movements and split your training. This will allow you to maximise your recovery and allow for greater training frequency. I always make sure I train at least four days a week, with good splits to focus on my chosen muscles.
- If you must do cardio, aim for HIIT a couple of times a week, so you do not sacrifice muscle. Long duration, steady-state cardio should not be part of your routine, unless you are walking at a very moderate pace for overall health.
- Train weaker body parts twice a week. I make sure I always train hamstrings as often as possible, as they are my most invalid links. Split your training into segments, according to your goals. For instance, one day, I will focus on quads with some hamstrings, then on another leg day, it will be hamstrung all the way. Weakest links need training the most for maximum growth and strength building.
- Stay consistent. If you want to put on muscle, you have to be consistent with your training, and prioritise that over all other types of exercise. If you are a marathon runner, your main focus is running and training for your events. Muscle building is a byproduct. For building muscle, stay away from marathon cardio sessions. I speak from experience here. Let your diet dictate your level of leanness, and use HIIT to get a little sharper when needed.
Please make sure you use all of these principles within your workout. Yes, you do need protein, but you MUST know how to train correctly, to get maximum results, for the minimal amount of time. I think we all have a lot more critical things to do than wait for gains to happen. Train right, stay consistent and give it your all — then you get to your summit. If you appreciate this post, please feel free to upvote it, and do come along and get your complimentary goal setting guide for 2021. I’m also on social if you are active in that space.