Men have a leg up on us ladies when it comes to the ability to develop and build lean muscle mass. They have a little hormone called testosterone that makes them all sorts of crazy but also gives them the ability to grow muscles at a much quicker and easier rate than women.Muscle curves and definition make us healthier and work harder to keep us fit! For every pound of lean muscle you have, your body will burn 4.5 – 7 calories extra per day just to maintain that muscle (Livestrong). Strong is the new sexy, ladies, and we want to give you some tips on how to build lean, sexy muscle in time for this summer’s bikini season!
1. Reduce the time you spend doing cardio training, especially high intensity cardio, as you run the risk of burning through newly developed muscle as fuel for your cardio session.
2. Do NOT be afraid of the big boy weights! You are going to have to lift something heavier than your purse to put on any muscle. Remember, we do not have the genetic makeup to get bulky. We are going to have to put in some serious work under the bar to build muscle!
3. When lifting heavy with a goal of hypertrophy (adding muscle), you typically want to increase the weights to an amount that gets you close to failure by your 8-10 rep count. Basically, you will increase your weights, decrease your repetitions and add additional sets. For example, you may do heavy squats, 5 sets of 8 repetitions.
4. When weight training, do not forget to include the old school basics. They have survived all of the fad training regimens for a reason…they WORK! Include standard squats, deadlifts, bench presses, dumbbell curls, overhead presses, etc.
5. Increase your daily caloric intake by increasing the amount of consumed lean protein sources. Everyone will gain muscle at a slightly different rate, however you typically need to be consuming 500 calories a day more then you burn to add muscle.
It is possible to add body fat in the process, but once you are close to your muscular development goals, you can start to increase your cardio training again. You should burn through the evil fat more quickly now that you have added muscle to your frame!