Listen up ladies, here’s the truth about gaining muscle…. it’s awesome! Stop. I can already hear the chorus “…but I don’t want to look manly!” First of all, how can you look manly? You’re a woman, and just because you have muscles doesn’t make you any less so. All it does it make you strong and capable of lifting heavy things… and a bunch of other cool stuff, too!
Second, it is extremely difficult to build large amounts of muscle for women. There are so many genetic differences between males and females that dictate how we grow. One of the main things separating males apart from females is the difference in hormones. For muscles to build and grow you need testosterone. Men naturally have large amounts of testosterone, women do not. In fact, we have extremely minimal amounts. So, unless you are supplementing with testosterone you will have to work exceedingly hard for years and years to really build muscle in a substantial amount- shout out to all the female bodybuilders who dedicate that much time and effort, you are amazing!
Third, gaining muscle is the best way to help you burn extra calories! Muscles require more energy to move and use than fat, and the more muscle you have the more energy (or calories) you will expend to do simple daily activities such as grocery shopping, doing laundry, working out, or even going for a walk.
Gaining muscle is the best way to accentuate the natural curves of your body. If you want to be lean and toned, guess what? You need to build muscle! Just to get that “toned” look you’ll need to work hard, and by hard I mean lift heavy and find the correct balance between cardio and lifting.
We all need to remember one thing: Muscles are not the enemy of a “feminine” physique. When you deny yourself the opportunity to gain strength and independence you deny yourself the opportunity to feel confident and strong in your own body. Remember that you are beautiful, and if you want that lean, toned look you’re going to need to work for it. Don’t be afraid- be bold, be excited, and start focusing on loving yourself enough to take care of your body and get strong! Dedicating time and energy to your health and fitness will naturally result in strength and confidence, a toned body is just the bonus!
So, get after it ladies (and gents)! Eat well, lift heavy things, train hard, and love your self enough to take pride in taking care of yourself. You got this!