HOW TO PUT ON MUSCLE AS A WOMAN!
If you are a woman and you are trying to put on some muscle and build some curves, you need to be concerned about three things:
- Working out
Let’s delve into each of these!
WHY IS IT SO DARN HARD TO PUT ON GOOD WEIGHT?
As women we just do not have enough testosterone (or androgens) to put on muscle easily. To make matters worse, hardgainers (aka ladies who find it extra difficult to put on weight) typically have high metabolism (and catabolism) to make putting on lean weight hard!
So what is a girl to do? In layman’s term, work out hard, eat and sleep more! Of course, this is much easier said than done!
Here are a few solid tips that I know has worked for my hard gaining clients:
Working out more frequently:
Frequency is errrything! Hit the gym and work out frequently. Make sure to work out the “weakest links” (aka the lagging muscle groups) more often! I find that you can strengthen and grow the muscle groups that are the weakest or the ones which you have a hard time growing by hitting them more often! Have a had time growing glutes? Make sure to work on em more often… if its your arms.. then work on them more often!
Progressive overload is super duper important to weight gain. If you are looking to put on some lean curves, then do not be afraid of lifitng heavy! Challenge your body! You should aim to lift about 5% heavier on most of your exercises. In general, your workouts should be getting progressively harder! This could come in the form of doing more weights, more reps, more sets, faster or slower tempos… or could be a switch in order of exercises or rest time! The key thing is to try to lift heavier and keep your workouts challenging. Your body slowly will adapt to new demands asked of it! Confused as to how to properly progress your workout? Then hire a certified fitness coach or better yet, check out my TWL online program!
Choose the right exercises for your body type:
Not everyone will see results from following “cookie cutter” programs. Women need women specific exercises that focuses on building lean curves in the right places. Further more, some lifts are more appropriate for hard gainers while others will not give you much results. You should also consider your body type, mechanics and genetics when selecting exercices. This is something that I teach in my program!
Eat lots of good food!
Ok, so if I were to really dumb it down, calories in – calories out = how much muscle you can gain. That means that you are indeed what you eat! And you need to be in excess calories in order to put on weight! Let me say that again, you need to be in excess calories (so your energy expenditure should be slightly less than the calories you are eating) in order to put on muscle! Now, that doesn’t mean you get you get to even whole lotta junk and processed food. It mean you need to eat lots of good, nutritious whole foods. Don’t be afraid of eating! And specially do not be afraid of eating good food like starches, carbohydrates, healthy fats and protein. I wanna emphasize the GOOD food part… not all food is created equally. Know that you will need lots of protein, vitamin, minerals, water to maintain and increase your body mass. So do not have empty calories but follow a good meal plan and eat frequently.
Use the right supplements:
Hard gainers typically have higher metabolism and catabolism. This means they need to supplement with a quality protein powder, BCAAs (or EEAs) and perhaps even creatine to help them retain and increase their muscle. No, you don’t need to turn your kitchen into a science lab and be chugging pills down every hour. It just takes a few simple supplements to do the trick. I personally actually think less is more! Eat plenty of good food and use a few essential supplements to compliment a good diet.
Help your metabolism by eating fats:
Healthy fats (like the ones in egg yolk, avocados and nuts) can help you get the right amount of calories in to put on mass. Many high end professional athletes use this trick to ensure they are getting enough calories to maintain their muscle. Why fats? Fats offer 9 calories per gram (while protein and carbs have 4 calories per gram) so just a small amount of good fats can go a long way of helping you get adequate amount of calories you need to put on muscle. And like I mentioned before you do actually need to be in excess calories to put on weight (not by much, only about 200 to 300 calories per day). Healthy fats also help fight inflammation and can help improve your cardiovascular health.
Focus on recovery after each and every workout:
Don’t forget to set aside time to stretch, foam roll and most importantly sleep! Almost ALL muscle repair happens during sleep. So make sure to get 6 to 8 hours per night! It’s often forgotten but super important. Develop a good sleeping habit by going to bed and waking up at the same time every day (yupp, that means even on the weekend!)
Stop being a picky eater:
I find that many hard gainers are also very picky eaters. Nothing wrong with not liking all foods but DO make an attempt to open up your palette to alternates of the foods that you do like! Make a list of the foods you like and then write than some alternatives to those foods. Remember you need to eat to put on muscle! I encourage you to try some alternative foods, you never know, you may just like it!