Working out can be intimidating. Even small, mom-and-pop gyms are usually full of strange-looking machines, equipment you have no idea how to use, and unapproachable people lifting dead weights as if there’s no tomorrow.
Most of us who are new to weightlifting will walk into a gym feeling completely overwhelmed. There’s so much going on that it’s difficult to know how and where to start!
And once you’ve started, you might be unsure of what you want to accomplish. Every woman who is interested in bodybuilding should be aware of the following fact:
Weight Training for a Healthier Body
Many women are afraid that weight training will turn them into Hulk-ettes, so they spend hours doing cardio to keep their “feminine” figure. The truth is that women do not have the same hormonal support as men to gain muscle mass. That means you can bench press without worrying about how much chest hair you’ll develop.
While there are bodybuilding women who appear masculine, they did not achieve this physique in a short period of time. To achieve this level of muscularity, years of dedication and a specific lifestyle are required.
However, you are correct in one point: weight training will increase your lean muscle mass and that’s great news! The greater your muscle mass, the more calories your body will burn. The more calories you burn, the more lean you will become.
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, here are tips on how you can structure your work-out as a beginner:
Set realistic goals.
Fact: It takes female bodybuilders longer than men to build muscle and lose body fat.
As a result, you should set aside 6-8 months to achieve your desired physique. When planning their training programmes, most female bodybuilders follow a 0.5lb rule.
Of course, these are generic targets, and your progress may be faster or slower depending on your training history, diet, and overall training.
That is why it is critical to keep track of your progress by weighing yourself weekly (or daily), taking progress photos and employing body fat measurement tools.
Bulking vs. Cutting for Female Bodybuilders
Female bodybuilders partition their training into “bulking” and “cutting” cycles.
- Cutting Cycles – The goal is to lose as much body fat as possible while keeping muscle loss to a minimum.
- Bulking Cycles – The goal is to gain as much lean muscle mass as possible while limiting fat gain.
Female Bodybuilders: Compound vs. Isolation Exercises
Depending on their training cycles, female bodybuilders will use a combination of compound and isolation exercises (whether bulking or cutting).
Examples of compound exercises:
- Barbell Overhead Press
- Bench Press
- Barbell Rows
Examples of isolation exercises:
- Single-Leg Dumbbell Hip Thrust
- Single Arm Cable Lateral Raise
- Lying Down Leg Curl Machine
- Seated Leg Extension
- Single Arm Lat Pull Down
- Single Arm Cable Tricep Extension
There are numerous other ways to structure your workout, such as using progressive overload, which is the concept of doing more of something over time.
There is a lot that goes into female bodybuilding, but it is possible! You’ll make it to the stage if you stay organised, focused, and disciplined. If it were simple, everyone would do it.
If bodybuilding is something you want to do this year, a professional trainer can be very helpful. Explore Muscle Gains training courses online.