Though not always characterized as such, bodybuilding is a sport. Bodybuilding often requires as much time, dedication and effort as any other professional sport (maybe even more in some respects). Whether it’s a male bodybuilder or a female bodybuilder, bodybuilding means hour after hour of intense training sessions coupled with an incredibly disciplined diet. This hard work is centered around one major goal: shaping a body that’s ripped, symmetrical, and contest-ready.
Although their goals are nearly identical, how a women and men achieve this can be markedly different. When accounting for differences in anatomy (men’s broader shoulders for example), hormones (estrogen vs. testosterone), and metabolism, the differences in regimen make sense. In large part, women are unable to achieve the same mass levels that men without the aid of chemicals and/or drugs.
Through the years the world of female bodybuilding has transformed alongside its male counterpart’s. Female bodybuilding has evolved from the shapely, smooth, Marily-Monroe-esque figures, to the anabolic steroid/growth hormone-enhanced figures that were more reminiscent of the male body, to a happy medium of musculature and femininity.
How women build muscle doesn’t deviate from the standard game plan. The goal is to train hard, eat protein, and supplement when necessary. The female frame may have a different response to the training, but nevertheless, doing the right things can create awe-inspiring, lean legs, lined arms, and etched abs.
A big part of developing muscles is in the resistance training you do. It is vital to make sure that all muscle groups “feel the pain” so to speak…EVERY WEEK! An exhausted muscle given to time the repair, will grow and tighten (though not a large in women). There are a slew of great exercises to help a women to achieve her ideal musculature.
Let’s examine the upper body first. The muscle of the chest are quite important. Doing exercises like the seated machine bench press, the incline dumbbell press, dumbbell or machine flyes, and the barbell benchpress are great methods to build and define your chest.
When working the arms keep in mind that the triceps muscle, which run along the back of the arm, make up of the majority of the arm’s muscle mass. Triceps press downs using the cable machine, dumbbell kickbacks, French Presses, and similar exercises can really make the triceps muscles burn and grow. To work the biceps, curls are one of the best weapons you can have. Barbell curls and dumbbell curls done properly will help your biceps to transform.
The lower body is also a big deal. Squats, lunges, leg curls, and deadlifts will help build strong thighs, hamstrings, and glutes. Combine these with adductor/abductor machine exercises and solid calf raise routine (using barbells or dumbbells) and you have yourself a winning, COMPLETE lower-body program.
Flexibility. Many women value having elegant long, lean muscles, so incorporating a stretching program or even yoga with your weight training can help to achieve this goal.
Don’t forget that a good workout routine is complemented with healthy nutrition. Getting 25-30% of your calories from protein, 35-40% from good, low-sugar carbohydrate sources (brown rice, whole grain breads, etc,), and the remainder from fats/fiber give your body the nutrients and conditions it needs for building muscle.
If getting your protein intake proves to be a bit difficult, a good protein supplement, taken regularly will help to balance things out.
Following these basics concepts can help a woman to achieve the muscle building goals she seeks. Depending on your goals your training and nutrition will differ a bit. A woman seeking simply to tone about wouldn’t need to the protein or the same training intensity as a female fitness model, or female bodybuilder. Just something to keep in mind.
To your muscle building success!!