The Truth about Muscle Growth in Women
Strength training hasn’t always been the most popular topic among women. Do muscles make you bulky? Learn the truth about muscle growth in women. Plus, how your hormones, your diet, and specific exercises can help you gain muscle.
Muscle building makes you stronger – inside and out
We often hear women say that they’re worried about building up too much muscle, which is why many of them decide against bodyweight training. It’s important to remember, though, that building muscle has a multitude of benefits for women. Not only does it boost your metabolism, which turns your body into a more efficient fat-burning machine, but it also does wonders for your self confidence. You will stand taller and feel more sure about yourself when you walk into a room. Plus, strength training has been shown to slow bone loss, reducing the risk of fractures associated with osteoporosis.
You don’t need to worry about bulking up; men and women who work out three to five times a week will not experience the same muscle growth. Women’s testosterone levels are about 20% lower than men’s.
Menstrual cycle and muscle growth
Do you want to get stronger and build muscle, but you don’t know where to begin? Start with your hormones: if you know what phase of your cycle you are in, you can use this valuable information to sync your training to your calendar.
One female sex hormone is especially important for muscle growth: estrogen. Studies have shown that the hormone (which is particularly “active” during ovulation) can boost the production of protein and thus the building of muscle.
Good to know:
A US study found that birth control pills can limit muscle growth.(1) Women who didn’t take the pill, however, gained up to 60% more muscle mass.
Why you shouldn’t skip cardio
It goes without saying that cardio should be part of your training routine. Workouts outdoors or on a treadmill, elliptical, or stepper are great, especially if you are looking to blast fat. But less fat doesn’t necessarily mean firm tissue. That is where muscle or strength training comes in.
And…if you want a cardio and strength workout combination that will get you amazing results in 20-40 minutes per day without any equipment, you have to give our Runtastic Results app a try. You’ll be torching calories all day long after each workout and build that sexy muscle definition that makes us feel better and (of course) look better.
If you are interested in achieving lasting weight loss success or improving your general health and fitness, the best way is a combination of cardio workouts, bodyweight training and, of course, a balanced diet.
Eat right: Tips for forging muscle
A proper diet is essential to build muscle. The following foods can help you get stronger:
- Water: Did you know that your muscles are largely made of water? Make sure to get plenty of fluids through your diet: salad and other vegetables contain a lot of water.
- Eggs: You need plenty of protein to build muscle. Eggs are a great source of high-quality protein.
- Legumes: Beans and lentils not only contain protein, but zinc, too. The latter is especially important for muscle growth. Without it your body cannot build muscle. Our tip: Avoid eating legumes before your workout. They are high in fiber and thus heavy on the stomach.
- Berries: These fruits are true nutritional powerhouses. Berries not only help you lose weight, but they also promote muscle growth.
- Meat and fish: After an intense workout, meat and fish help you replenish your protein stores.
- Nuts: Different varieties like walnuts, almonds, or Brazil nuts contain protein and many important fatty acids. You also shouldn’t forget about vegetable fats (like olive oil and canola oil).
6 good reasons why you should begin bodyweight training today:
Do you need a little extra motivation? Here are six reasons why you should try bodyweight training:
- It will enhance your performance.
- It will whip you into shape and tone your entire body.
- It will improve your strength and your posture.
- It will really boost your metabolism.
- It will strengthen your immune system.
- …and it will increase your self-confidence!
So, do you want to be more active in your life? Download the Results app and start your customized 12-week bodyweight training plan today!