With famous ladies in fitness, such as Massy Arias, Lita Lewis, and Michelle Lewin, it’s no wonder that more women across the world are inspired by their hard work to get in shape themselves. Standards of beauty may differ from one era to another, not to mention that cultures define feminine beauty differently, as well, but more women are putting stock in lean muscle building as a way to be healthier, stronger, and more resilient.
In that pursuit, you might come across so much conflicting information online that you get discouraged or confused. While there are many credible information sources out there, let’s stick to the essential, tried and tested tips that you need to follow in order to build lean muscle in a healthy way, and thus enhance your health, stamina, and confidence.
Manage your macros like a pro
Macronutrients are divided into three key categories: carbs, proteins, and fats. They are essential, so your body needs them all to function, and to build lean muscle. Their balance and amounts, however, will vary depending on your body composition, metabolism, and fitness goals. When you’re looking to build lean muscle, research favors protein-dominant diets, because your muscles are made of amino acids, which are the building blocks not just of life, but of protein, too.
Add to that, you need to consume enough healthy, fiber-rich carbs to have enough energy to train hard and build muscle, as well as healthy fat. To get started, you can use a macro calculator that will help you understand how much of each macro you need to consume for your needs. On top of that, start learning about the nutrient content of different foods, or create a meal plan that leaves no guesswork throughout the week.
Be smart with supplements
Building lean muscle and burning more fat isn’t required, but it does benefit from various supplements. As long as you consume them in a smart way and understand that supplements don’t replace a healthy diet, you can use them to reach your goals in a more efficient way while managing your energy levels better.
For instance, you can add a naturally occurring compound such as synephrine HCL found in sour and bitter oranges that helps your body burn fat more efficiently. In addition to getting rid of unwanted belly flab, you can increase your energy levels and use that zeal to power through those tough workouts we’re about to cover. Just be mindful of its impact in supplement form and avoid combining it with caffeine or similar stimulants.
Hit the weights
So many women fear that weightlifting will instantly balloon their muscles beyond recognition. This common myth has been scientifically busted many times – we don’t have the testosterone levels necessary to achieve this. Not even men do. With that in mind, weights are a perfect ally for women wanting to build lean muscle, as they provide the right amount of gradually increasing resistance to put your existing muscle to the test.
Create a dedicated workout plan that leverages weights as well as high-intensity cardio such as boxing, to increase your fat-burning potential along with your body’s lean muscle building. Choose a mix of compound movements that get your entire body moving as well as targeted exercises to isolate specific muscle groups – this will help you get it all done and strengthen your body slowly, over time.
Choose healthy and nutritious
You know that old saying that you cannot outrun a bad diet? As well as the one that abs are made in the kitchen? Those are the two truths you should remember during your muscle-building pursuits. You might be slim already, so you feel that you don’t have to worry about food that much, but no matter where you are on the BMI scale, muscle-building requires a careful selection of healthy, nutrient-dense foods over high-calorie snacks with little to no nutritional value.
Every meal and every snack should consist of healthy and nutritious ingredients. Of course you should take care of your macros and your calories, but the quality of food is as relevant as its amount.
Don’t forget to rest
The final and most commonly omitted part of the muscle-building process is recovery. Your body will be under plenty of physical strain when you introduce resistance training, a new diet regime, and restrictions in terms of sweets. To curb the negative impact of that strain, you need to give your body and your mind a chance to rest and recover.
From getting a healthy massage to relax your muscles and boost circulation, all the way to those priceless eight hours of sleep every night paired with rest days, you should tailor your rest schedule to your needs.
None of these elements are negotiable if you’re looking to shed fat and replace it with lean, functional muscle mass. They all work together to help your body metabolize the right foods, produce energy, and avoid storing the extra calories as fat instead of muscle. So, if you’re eager to lead a healthier life and have more muscle on your lovely frame, all the more reason to stick to these fundamentals and start tailoring your goals to your needs.