Regardless if you are a male or female, you can still gain muscle and increase strength. Women you will not get 'bulky' but you will improve your bodies function and image. Muscle gain is a massive component of tone and cannot be underestimated when seeking a happier, fitter and stronger body.
How do I build muscle?
Beginners will naturally build some additional muscle when you start resistance training however this will only carry you a certain way in the path for a better body.
Once you start to see results diminish it is time to look at the main components of resistance training:
I will help you with all of the above and provide a little more information how you can progress your training and make it work for you:
To build muscle you need to be in a calorie surplus, this means eating more calories than your body needs a day to function. Personally consuming around 10% more than your maintenance calories (TDEE) will allow your body to use the additional calories to build muscle. Again like part 1, if you need help with calculating these - email Adamcooley@acptfit.co.uk
Intensity commonly refers to weight or time. When looking at resistance training, this is the amount of weight you have on a bar, machine or on your person - caution must be made when increasing weight as the additional pressure on joints & muscles can lead to injury.
Frequency commonly refers to repetitions of an exercise, total sets of exercise or amount of times you train the muscle group in a week. The common way of progressing your training is to increase the repetitions of the exercise before increase weight (intensity) - never increase both at the same time
Consistency is key! There is absolutely no point in having a really good week of training followed by 5 weeks off. When planning your workouts make sure you stick with something that is manageable and can be maintained for long periods of time - building muscle takes months to years.
Picking the right exercises and muscle groups are key. Instead of overtraining one muscle per day commonly referred to as 'bro split' try full body workouts where you at a minimum train the big 5 muscle groups - legs, back, chest, shoulders and abdominals.
Training the muscle more often has evidence to suggest increased performance and growth as recovery is maintained throughout training and overtraining is limited.
Living a healthier lifestyle will promote better bodies - sleeping more, eating more protein, drinking more water, less stress, more walking and staying healthier will help combat the pressure of resistance training on the body.
Make sure the training is relevant to your goals - if you don't want big arms, don't train them. If you want a bigger bum focus on deeper squats, glute bridges and band assisted workouts. Become the expert on your body, if you don't need to train something - don't.
Make a 6 month plan, make sure that at any time you are either looking to increase frequency or intensity. The amount of times I see people who are still doing 3 sets of 20 repetitions at a low weight scares me, be bold and try 10 repetitions at a heavier weight.
Tone doesn't come from higher repetitions - lift heavier to succeed.
I hope this has helped and please feel free to contact me for more information.
Be your best.