We are showered with images of six-packs, biceps and booties every day. Social media has become a platform for the fitness revolution to thrive, meaning it’s almost impossible to avoid it. It’s become a part of our everyday lives, leading to a shift in how women work out. Girls are moving away from a desire to maintain a stick thin physique and towards a leaner body which they can be proud of.
So, how can you get amazing curves and be stronger than ever before? To put it simply, lifting is the answer. The rise in squats and sports like CrossFit and powerlifting are some of the best ways to sculpt amazing curves and build an impressive ‘booty’. With that in mind, there still seems to be a stigma attached to women lifting weights, with some believing that it will make them bulky… but it’s not true.
MaxiNutrition has put together a small guide on how to build muscle.
When your aim is to build muscle, your workout doesn’t need to be complicated. For the best results, you’ll simply want a regime that combines two types of lifting: compound lifts with some accessory isolation lifts.
Compound lifts are typically known as the big ones, such as the deadlift, squat, bench press and military press. They all target the most amount of muscle groups in one singular motion, by putting pressure on your central nervous system and encouraging a release of hormones that contribute to muscle growth.
Isolation lifts are perfect for targeting a specific muscle group that you want to develop. These are typically bicep curls, seated leg extensions and tricep extensions. As a general rule, you should lift heavier weights with less reps when building muscle. Lighter weights with more reps are typically suited more to toning, which you must establish muscle first before thinking about.
Here is an example:
Day A: Upper body push
- 5 minute rowing machine warmup
- 3 x 8 Bench press
- 3 x 8 Shoulder fly
- 3 x 8 Incline bench press
- 3 x 8 Military press
Day B: Upper body pull
- 5 minute rowing machine warmup
- 3 x 8 Deadlift
- 3 x 8 Bent over row
- 3 x 8 Lateral pull down
- 3 x 8 Pull up (or assisted pull up)
Day C: Lower body
- 5 minute jogging warm up
- 3 x 8 Barbell back squat
- 3 x 8 Dumbbell lunge (4 each leg)
- 3 x 8 Seated leg extension
- 3 x 8 Goblet squat
You should schedule a rest day following each workout day as your body needs time to heal and your muscles need to repair. Sleep helps this healing process so focus on getting 7-8 hours of sleep at a minimum, as sleep is an essential part of muscle recovery.
Just like your workout, your diet doesn’t need to be complicated. If you stick to a clean, lean diet and consume a slight caloric surplus when lifting weights then you will see results. Your diet should be primarily comprised of the main macronutrients such as carbohydrates, good fats and protein.
Carbohydrates are vital to your diet but you should choose non-refined foods like wholegrains, brown rice, green veg and sweet potato, whilst staying clear of white potatoes and pasta. You need to keep your protein levels high especially when working out. Protein sources can vary but a good way to keep levels high is by snacking on protein bars pre-workout.
An app like MyFitnessPal helps you work out exactly how much you should eat and what ‘type’ of macronutrients you’ll need.