There is a whole lot of misconception about women and weight lifting. Most females want to have that beach body you’ve seen in Baywatch.
Yet so few are able to achieve that goal. You probably want to look lean, but not too skinny, toned up a little bit, but not too muscular or bulky.
One of the things that stand between women and their dream physique is that most females are so afraid of getting bulky that they don’t even touch the weights in the gym.
What they don’t know is that getting those curvy lines is all about putting on a little bit of muscle mass and getting down to around 20% body fat.
So if you are looking to recompose your body and take your physique to the next level. This article will go right down your alley.
Let’s bust some myths!
Myth #1 Women need to diet all the time
It is true that women have a lower metabolic rate than men, but eating incredibly low amounts of food will most likely not get you the physique you want. It will just make you extremely skinny.
Weight loss or weight gain is all down to calories in versus calories out. Depending on what your starting point is you will need to get either into a caloric surplus or a caloric deficit.
For women who are skinny and want to gain a little bit more weight.
And by weight I mean muscle mass, not fat, I recommended following a mild hyper-caloric diet.
It is enough to eat just 10-15% more calories than your maintenance level to start putting on lean muscle mass and minimize any fat gains.
Women who have a little bit of extra body fat. Will need to restrict their caloric intake with just as little as 20% below their maintenance level.
Don’t forget to take into account your physical activity level when calculating your caloric intake though.
So, even when dieting you could probably eat 1,800 kcal a day or even more if you are an active individual.
Of course you don’t use that number as a strict rule.
Everybody’s metabolism is different, some have to problem staying lean all year round without watching their diet that closely.
But some of you might need to really stay on top of your diet if you want that scale to go down.
Myth #2 Women can’t build muscle
So on one side of the fence you have women who are afraid of getting to muscular and on the other side you have those who think that women can’t build muscle at all.
So that’s why you hardly see any females lifting weights.
It is true that a woman’s body will produce a lot less testosterone that men, there’s no argument about that.
And testosterone is indeed the main driver of muscle growth, but there are other factors which will affect your ability do build muscle. Testosterone is just one of those many factors.
For example, estrogen – which women produce a whole lot more than men, is also known to stimulate growth hormone production which has a direct impact on muscle growth.
Estrogen can also increase the metabolic rate and decrease protein breakdown rates.
Even though estrogen can’t fully make up for the lower testosterone levels, it will definitely enable women to build sufficient amounts of muscle mass.
The reason why there is such a big difference between men and women when it comes to the amount of muscle size is mainly because untrained women start off with just half of the muscle mass that untrained men have.
It’s just how mother nature dealt with these things.
Myth #3 Weight Lifting Makes You Bulky
As state above, the majority of women are literally horrified by the thought of having their muscles pop out so they stay away of any kind of resistance training.
The truth is that building a muscular physique like the ones you see in athletes that are stepping on stage is pretty much impossible to achieve naturally.
It is extremely unlikely to get very muscular, regardless of your gender. If you don’t have perfect genetics, you are not on top of your diet 24/7 and you are not using the right “supplements” you will not get bulky.
On top of that, it’s not muscle mass what make you bulky, but the body fat. Muscles are much more compact than fat.
You can put on 15 pounds of muscle and look extremely lean if you have a low body fat percentage. But if you put on 15 pounds of fat you will look bulky.
Fat will be stored on top of your muscles and it will take much more volume. So that’s what can make you look bulky, not your muscles.
From my own experience, most women will achieve the look they want after they have put on a solid 10-15 pounds of muscle and maintain a body fat of about 20%. Putting on that amount of muscle is not easy, not even for a guy.
So get to the gym and don’t be afraid to hit the weights at least 2-3 times a week and have a balanced and healthy diet which supports your workouts.
You can even use supplements like creatine, pre-workouts (here’s a good list of the best pre-workout supplement for women) or protein shakes if you feel that you can’t get in all the calories you need, or you want to give yourself a little boost.
Over to you
With that being said, if you are a women, I challenge you do start lifting some weights!
Give it a try for a couple of months, follow a diet that supports your training regimen and I guarantee you will be surprised by the results.
Stop wasting your time and effort on ineffective workouts which are supposed to miraculously get you the body you are after in just days or weeks.
It’s all marketing. There are no shortcuts and definitely no easy ways to achieving a great body.
Put in the work, be consistent with your training, with your diet and you will eventually start seeing some results.
It might take a whole lot longer than you would expect, but slow and steady wins the race.
Cristian is co-editor at Kick-Ass Home Gym, a website providing helpful articles that inspire you to stay fit and healthy at home – on your own time, in your own space.