Mass gaining training is also very popular with women today. And for cause! Beyond improving physical condition and maintaining optimal health, this sport also allows you to develop your physique and feel better in your shoes. Here is a complete program on how to gain muscle mass in women.
Before we get into the “how to” of this program, let’s take a look at some important principles and dispel some misconceptions.
1. Lifting heavy loads
To stimulate muscle growth, or hypertrophy, you have to place a stimulus on the muscle. As mentioned above, women tend to stick to the weights they are comfortable with for three full sets. However, a stronger stimulus must be placed on the muscles to see a real change. You need to get out of your comfort zone and put more pressure on your muscles physiologically. Once you have made this paradigm shift in your mind, you will be able to make substantial progress in both your strength and your muscle gains, and therefore your mass gain.
2. Choose the right bodybuilding weights
Women often underestimate their strength and, by default, choose the lightest weights. This is a mistake. Instead, choose a weight that can be lifted ten times, with the last two reps being a big challenge. It is important to stay in good shape when exercising. As soon as you notice that your form begins to falter, drop the amount of weight that you have to lift or rest. The goal is to lift heavy, well-placed loads, not lift heavy loads and injure yourself. Make sure you have a partner when doing exercises like the back squat, bench press, and shoulder press, especially when gaining weight.
3. Series and repetitions
The classic recommendation for building muscle is to perform three or four sets of eight to twelve repetitions of an exercise. If you choose a heavier weight and do fewer reps (say 3-6), you are more likely to gain muscle strength, while lighter weights and higher reps lead to greater muscular endurance. If you are looking for greater strength, take more time off between sets. If you want to increase the size of your muscles, reduce the amount of rest between sets.
One of the most important things for building muscle mass is consistency, so try to exercise four to five days a week, if possible. Logging your exercises and weights in a journal is a great way to keep track of your muscle gains. You may have the best intentions to lift weights, but the only way to know if you’re getting stronger is to write down the sets, reps, and weights used during each workout. Another thing to consider is the layout of your weight training sessions. Will you do full-body workouts or will you focus exclusively on upper or lower body exercises? Or maybe two body parts per workout? Regardless of how you train, the key is consistency and overload.
5. Choose your exercises well
There are countless ways to create a workout for optimal muscle mass gain. It’s best to do exercises that require larger muscle groups first, such as squat variations, bench press, deadlift, pull-up bars, and press. This allows you to put more energy into these movements, while also allowing you to perform smaller movements towards the end of your workout. Choose six to eight exercises to do each day. You can divide them into circuits or do them separately, keeping your rest time between each set of exercises for about 60 seconds.
Examples of strength training exercises
As mentioned earlier, muscle growth stimulation occurs when muscles are pushed beyond their comfort zone. Be sure to include some of these movements in your workout to maximize muscle hypertrophy.
Whether you choose heavy weights, a barbell, or the squat rack, this exercise is ideal for shaping and building your quadriceps and glutes. Staying in good physical condition is essential, so gradually increase the weight as you exercise while maintaining good posture. Ideally, when you look in the mirror, you should pretend that you are sitting in a chair at the bottom of the squat, with your heels on the floor and your hips back.
There are a number of variations of the shoulder press, including the dumbbell press, the Arnold press, and the behind-the-neck press. These exercises are great for the shoulders, trapezius, and upper body. Don’t be afraid to gain weight, and make sure you have a partner if you are pushing very heavy weights.
Whether you choose the single leg deadlift or the traditional deadlift, whether you use discs or dumbbells, this versatile exercise relies on the muscles of the hamstrings, glutes, and back. Good body position is essential for this exercise, so be sure to keep your back straight and slightly bend your knees. If you feel like your back is rounding off, drop the weight and focus on your training position.
There are many ways to bench press, including on an incline bench, decline, flat bench, or on the floor, allowing you to target your chest from multiple angles. Dumbbells or a dumbbell can be used, and if you are really pushing your upper limit, make sure you have someone with you.
Although it is a smaller muscle group, the biceps can lift some weight when pushed. Incorporate a few curl variations into your routine, such as barbell curls, seated dumbbell curls, hammer curls, or rope curls. Be careful not to sway from the momentum and if you feel your back beginning to arch, it is probably time to drop the weight.
For this exercise, you will need a pulley and an accessory such as a straight bar, rope, or V-bar. Start with your arms at 90 degrees and press down until your arms are perpendicular to the floor. On your way up, stop at 90 degrees. Remember to ignore the urge to truly isolate your triceps and build your arms well.