How Women Bulk Up With Weight Training

Building some muscle and smiling
Lifting weights alone will not make you bulk up. (Image: Antonio_Diaz/iStock/Getty Images)

Women do not gain muscle as easily as men. Muscles are essential for your strength, stamina and for weight maintenance. Exercising is essential for gaining muscle mass. Generally, the more you perform weight lifting exercises and the more intense they are, you will have bigger muscles. However, it is a misconception that working out will make you look bulky. Cardiovascular exercise and a sensible diet plan are essential for your overall health and for highlighting your muscles.

Strength Training

Strength training is a form of exercise that includes weight training as well as resistance exercises. According to Berkeley Wellness, strength training exercises help women prevent bone loss. By lifting weights on a regular basis, you will gradually increase muscle mass. Muscles help you naturally burn calories throughout the day, increase your metabolism and give you more energy to complete intense workout sessions. Weight maintenance relies on muscle mass.

Recommendations

You will not achieve a large muscle mass just from one easy weight lifting session a week. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends a minimum of two sessions a week with eight to 12 repetitions for each type of exercise. You might increase the number of sessions, but do not work out the same muscle group two days in a row. Instead of increasing the number of repetitions, increase the amount of weight if you feel unchallenged. You know you are lifting the correct amount if you start to tire by the end of each set. Try a mix of bicep curls, triceps extensions, dumbbell squats, lateral raises and upright rows.

Anabolic Steroids

Anabolic steroids are made from synthetic male sex hormones. They are used by doctors to treat hormonal conditions in men. Athletes and bodybuilders sometimes illegally use anabolic steroids in an effort to quickly build muscle mass. Such individuals use steroids on a regular basis to avoid losing the muscle. Female users can experience side effects such as a deep voice, body hair growth, cysts, acne, liver disease and heart attack. Given the risks of anabolic steroids, they are not a sensible solution for muscle growth.

Considerations

According to the American College of Sports Medicine, women naturally have high estrogen levels that prevent bulky muscles. This is why men are more likely to have bulky muscles than women. This does not mean that you should use synthetic male sex hormones in an effort to gain bulk. Not only is this dangerous, but you will lose the effects once you stop using steroids. Instead, focus on an exercise plan to safely and gradually build muscle mass. Keep in mind that the older you get, the more susceptible you are to losing muscle mass. Building muscles also aids bone health. The University of Maryland Medical Center says that women are more susceptible to osteoporosis than men.

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