Developing a hard body is essential for many women athletes and bodybuilders. However, building muscle can be more problematic for women than for men. The average man maintains a steady testosterone quantity of 300 to 1,000 nanograms per deciliter, compared to the 15 to 70 found in women. Since testosterone is one of the crucial hormones used in muscle growth, women often have to work harder and longer to receive results comparable to their male counterparts. Fortunately, most women can expect to see results within one to three months of a steady exercise routine.
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The fastest route to a woman’s hard body is to combine both cardiovascular exercise and strength-training exercises into a comprehensive workout system. If you have fat covering your muscles, you will need to burn enough calories with your daily physical fitness routine to remove the extra padding, according to the American Council on Exercise. Since your body burns fat evenly throughout your body parts, the best method is to adopt a general aerobic workout that involves at least 30 to 60 minutes a day of intensive cardiovascular exercise. Follow this up with a basic strength-training regimen that alternates the body parts you exercise per day – e.g. arms on Monday, legs on Tuesday and so on. Like men, women are advised to let each muscle group rest for at least two days before working it again.
Aerobic routines are exercises designed to burn a high amount of calories per hour. The intensity of an aerobic exercise depends on how much it accelerates your heart rate for a prolonged period of time. While treadmills and elliptical trainers are staples for aerobic workouts, you can also opt for a daily brisk walk or jogging routine. For quick results, an article in The New York Times advises taking short, sporadic breaks while running. This lets you run farther and burn more calories throughout the length of your aerobic routine. Additionally, try to increase the difficulty of your aerobic activity over time by adding elevation, speed or additional time to your workout.
Strength training is the most crucial element for a woman to develop a hard body. While you won’t gain as much bulk as a man would, you will be able to cultivate toned, lean muscles as a result of a daily strength-training exercise. If you’ve never lifted weights before, you may want to start with natural resistance exercises such as pushups, situps or chinups for the first few weeks. Once you feel strong enough to lift a 10- to 15-pound dumbbell, begin performing basic free-weight exercises such as the dumbbell biceps curl, triceps extension and shoulder press. Diversify your workouts with the help of a dumbbell circuit that combines multiple sets of different workouts that target various muscle groups on the body. Select a very heavy weight that you can perform one to five repetitions with per set.
Always talk to your doctor before starting a rigorous exercise regimen if you are inactive or sedentary. Begin each workout session with five to 10 minutes of stretching to help warm up your muscles before exercise. Enlist a personal trainer or friend to spot you while lifting weights, and only perform dumbbell exercises after receiving instruction from a personal trainer or other fitness professional.