Building muscle is hard work for anyone. But women have to work harder than men to add lean mass to their frame. The reason is that you ladies have far less testosterone coursing through your veins. As a result, you need to work harder and smarter to get the same the results you want.
In this article, we uncover 8 key muscle building tips that need to be a part of your muscle building practice every time you hit the weights.
Tip #1: Mainly use Free Weights
Machines are great for teaching beginners good form and helping them to learn what it feels like to lift correctly. That’s because they ensure good form. They’re also excellent for isolating individual muscles and are the way to go for those who are recovering from injury.
On the other hand, machines are not as multi-functional as free weights. The frame of the machine doesn’t allow for ideal exercise position for all body types. Nor does it promote functional strength. In addition, machines cannot provide anything but an approximate match between a person’s strength curves and the machine’s resistance curves.
Tip #2: Overload
Your muscles need to be constantly stressed for them to respond. That means that you need to be pushing yourself to lift more weight, perform more reps, or increase the tempo of your workout.
Tip #3: Varied Rep Range
In order to build muscle, you need to have a variety of rep ranges. Build these into your sets by starting with very high reps, then slowly reducing them as you increase the weight each set. Here is an example:
- Set One – 30 reps
- Set Two – 15 reps
- Set Three – 10 reps
- Set Four – 8 reps
- Set 5 – 6 reps
Tip #4: Focus on the Eccentric Part of the Rep
There are two parts to each rep – the lifting (concentric) part and the lowering (eccentric) part. Research studies have shown that there is more muscle building benefit in the eccentric portion. For that reason, you should maximize this part of the rep. Take 1-2 seconds to raise the weight and 2-3 seconds to lower it.
Tip #5: Recuperate
You do not build muscle in the gym. That happens outside of the gym, when you rest and recuperate. So, don’t get into the habit of over training. Make sure that you get 48 hours rest before you work a muscle group again. Every night, you need to be getting 7-8 hours of sleep, as that is the prime time that your muscles recover and rebuild.
Tip #6: Develop Your Mind Muscle Connection
When you are in the gym, you need to be focused on the muscle being worked. Don’t allow yourself to be distracted by what is going on around you. And DO NOT take your phone onto the gym floor. Instead, get your mind into the muscle by concentrating on the feel as it squeezes and contracts through every single rep.
Tip #7: Compound Movements
Your workouts should be built around the exercises that give you the most bang for your buck. That means performing compound moves such as squats, deadlifts, presses and lunges. Do these first in your workout while you have the most energy.
Tip #8: Push the Intensity
Intensity relates to amount of effort that goes into your workout. When you are trying to build lean muscle tissue, you cannot afford to dial in your workout. You need to be pushing yourself to do more than you did last workout. No matter what the rep range, the last few reps should be extremely hard. If they aren’t, add more poundage to the bar.
Build these 8 tips into your workout practice and you will be setting yourself up for great gains.