The vast majority of women work out because they want to lose weight and because they want to increase their fitness levels. However, there are also some women who actually want to bulk out. Some find it aesthetically pleasing, while others want to bulk up because it helps to increase their performance in athletic fields.
Unfortunately, women have far more difficulties in bulking up than men. This is because what is needed to bulk muscles is testosterone, something that women are in short supply of. Of course, this doesn’t mean women are incapable of bulking up, nor does it mean that they have to turn to illegal substances like steroids. It is about knowing what to eat, how to train and how to build a lifestyle that supports bulking up for the female body.
The Importance of Protein
Anyone who wants to bulk up, whether male of female, needs to add more protein to their diet. For women, the recommended protein intake is between 1.4 and 1.8 grams for every kilogram of their body weight. It is incredibly important to get the protein balance right if you want to bulk up.
Women who want to bulk up should add an additional 350 calories to their diet each day, and perform muscle-strengthening exercises, such as weightlifting, on a regular basis.
The Importance of Strength Training
Obviously, in order to bulk up, you need to do a lot of strength training. However, there is some disagreement as to how a woman should perform strength training, with many believing that heavy weights won’t help you tone your muscles, which is not entirely true.
Lifting heavier weights with fewer reps (8 to 12 on average) and working until you’re fatigued is more effective at helping you reach your toning goals than lifting lighter weights.
As such, many women make the mistake of starting out in the gym with lighter weights to tone up, and only pushing themselves with heavier weights once they have toned up. Naturally, there is a limit as to how heavy the weights you should lift, particularly when you are just starting out, but there is no need to stick to lighter weights first. Go straight to as heavy as you can manage.
What is also very important is how often you train.
The American College of Sports Medicine recommends a minimum of two sessions a week with eight to 12 repetitions for each type of exercise.
These two sessions will only address a single muscle group. As a result, for truly good and overall body results, you should work out five days a week. It is hugely important to have two rest days during that week as well. This is because of the lactic acid in your body. If you work yourself past exhaustion, there will be so much lactic acid coursing through your body that it will actually start to break down your muscle tissue, thereby undoing your hard work.
Clearly, how often you want to work out is a balancing act between too little and too much. This is also why it is important to have a proper training plan set up for you. You do have to review this plan regularly, so that you can increase your weights or repetitions, or move on to more complicated and heavy workouts.
The Importance of Cardio Training
Finally, you must never forget the importance of cardio training and fit in at least three half hour sessions per week into your routine.
Low- to moderate-intensity cardio keeps you lean and healthy while bulking up. Don’t overdo it, though, as too much cardio burns a high number of calories, which will impair muscle growth and recovery.
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