You are probably here because you are thinking about how a woman can build lean muscle. Muscles have always been considered a very masculine thing, and all things work out and body building were restricted to men.
Recently, women have started to pick a keen interest in these activities, and there are even women body builders who are excelling in the field.
It is important to note that women are physiologically different from men, and they need to follow different routines to achieve their goals.
Table of contents:
- Physiological differences between men and women
- Key Tips for Lean Muscle Development in Females
Physiological differences between men and women
The degree of cardiovascular fitness is measured by the ability of the body to transport and consume oxygen during strenuous activity.
Remember that oxygen is an important component in respiration, and when it is taken in good amounts, respiration becomes more effective.
Men have a higher capacity to carry oxygen, allowing them to reach higher levels of workout intensity. Women also tend to have less haemoglobin in their blood, which is necessary in transporting oxygen from the lungs to the cells in the muscles.
Bone and Ligament structure
Males usually have larger and longer bones, together with tougher ligaments. This structural advantage helps them maintain balance, and it gives them more surface area for muscle support.
On the other hand, females have a lower centre of gravity and their pelvic area is wider. This provides them with great balance.
This is determined by the body’s capacity to burn calories and convert them to energy. Female bodies are more efficient in converting glycogen into energy, which is a secondary source of energy in the body.
When glucose levels drop, the body resorts to burning stored glycogen to supplement on energy. Male bodies are less efficient in this, giving them less in durance than females.
The difference in bone to muscle ratio influences the strength that a person’s body has. Males have a bigger ratio and are able to master more strength than females.
However, when you put into consideration the cross section dimension of muscles and the strength they bear, males and females seem to have the same amount of strength.
There is a higher proportion of fat volume in the bodies of females than in males. As earlier mentioned, the bodies of females tend to utilise secondary sources of energy in the form of fat when glucose levels in the body decline.
They tend to oxidise more lipids than carbohydrates during heavy exercising. Also, protein synthesis is much slower in females’ bodies than in it is males. That said, here are some great tips you can use to build lean muscle mass as a female.
Key Tips for Lean Muscle Development in Females
Achieving the kind of body you desire is mostly a dream come true. The main reason is that a lot of grit, hard work, commitment and discipline are involved.
You cannot wish your desired stature or form into existence, and you will definitely not achieve it in one day. Many aspects such as consistency, the choice of routine and diet play major roles in helping you get there. These tips will see you steadily make milestones in your journey.
1. Eat Healthy and eat often
Eating small helpings many times throughout the day will help to keep your metabolism active. You want to avoid consuming a hefty meal at a go to avoid overworking the system, especially when your diet contains lots of proteins.
Remember that proteins take quite a while to digest, and you will end up overloading the body.
Carbohydrates are normally broken down into glucose, which is then metabolised for energy. Excess carbohydrates are converted into glycerol (fat) and it is then deposited into various parts of the body. You do not want that, your main goal is to lose this fat and not accumulate it.
Eat small complete meals with a proper balance of carbohydrates, proteins, fruits and vegetables and take copious amounts of water. A good diet without water will not help you much.
You need the nutrients to reach the rest of your body, and that is achieved by water which acts as a transport medium. Eat these meals before and after your workout to keep your energy at optimum levels.
Remember to snack during the day. Keep a few protein bars close if you like, or carry a fruit such as an apple to eat in between meals. Your body will be able to get a lot more in terms of nutrients from the food you eat.
A good jog or walk on the treadmill will do you a great deal of good. Have in mind that when you are doing intense physical activity, your body demands a lot of energy from muscular tissue.
This means that less fat is going to be metabolised. A good cardio workout will cause you to lose fat because your body will target the reserves for energy production. How does cardio help your body?
When you engage in a lengthy but slow cardio workout, your heart is compelled to expand its left ventricle’s (the chamber responsible for pumping oxygenated blood out of your heart) volume.
This is so that more oxygen can be delivered to the cells for use in metabolism which results in production of more energy. A strong heart will work more efficiently, and will give you more endurance in your more rigorous exercises.
Wider Capillary network
A strong heart will need a large network of capillaries to get as much blood as possible to all parts of the body, including your muscles.
Cardio helps your network of capillaries increase so that you can get more oxygen and nutrients to your body cells much faster, resulting in a more productive workout routine.
Your muscles will also be able to recuperate and regenerate faster, owing to the higher rate of metabolite and waste clearance from your muscles.
3. Weight Training
Weight training exercises are important in helping you grow your muscles. They work by causing a certain resistance against your muscular tissue, which causes the muscles to work more and increase in volume so that they can be able to withstand and counter the resistance. You can use dumbbells and weights in your workout routine.
Also incorporate exercise such as push-ups, squats, lunges and planking into your workout activities. They are good exercises for building muscle mass and ridding your body of unwanted fat.
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4. Supplement on your regular diet
While a good diet and clean eating are incredibly important for the proper working on your body, it will not get you all the way there. Intense workout calls for an increased intake in nutrient packed supplements. Some supplements that you can add to your regular diet are;
Protein-rich powders and snacks
As mentioned earlier, proteins are important in the growth and development of muscles. When you take proteins, they are broken down into amino acids. These are the building blocks for muscle and other tissue in the body.
Some protein powders will give you as much as 25-30 grams of protein per serving. You can also snack on a solid protein bar, and it may be more convenient because you can carry it in your bag and eat it on the go.
A regular protein bar will give you 20 grams of protein.
Omega-3 fatty acids
This supplement will do your body a great deal of good. It helps in the working of your heart, brain and other organs. It has anti-inflammatory properties and will help your muscles regenerate faster and get rid of accumulated lactic acid that causes soreness. It also improves your lung functions which facilitates proper and sufficient oxygen intake.
Other supplements you can incorporate into your daily diet are;
- Beta-Alanines which is are amino acids
- Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) which are amino acids that assist in muscle development
- Casein which is a protein obtained from cow milk. It works well when used together with milk whey
Be sure to get ample rest and good sleep. You need to stay consistent, and a build-up in fatigue will impede your progress. Also, do not be hard on yourself. Set realistic goals.
Building lean muscle is no mean feat, but with a great workout routine, a balanced diet and proper supplementing will see you achieve your goals. Ensure that you promote the health of your organs such as the heart, kidneys and lungs.
They are essential in helping you attain your desired muscle mass. Avoid sticking to only one routine as you will not give attention to all parts of your body. You will need your entire body to benefit.