Strong is the new sexy. That’s what I think, anyway. It’s become a lot more common and popular (for females especially) to lift weights in the gym and build strength - which I f*cking love because that’s what I’m all about. I’m here for the strong women who want to get strong AF and be able to carry all their groceries in one trip from their car to the door.
As women, we wouldn’t build as much muscle as men and wouldn’t look anything like Arnold Schwarzenegger, but a girl can dream, right? We're women and it's a lot harder to build muscle. If you want to get stronger and build lean muscle mass, here are 3 things to stop doing now.
To get stronger, you need to give your body the right amount of stimulus to challenge it . Your muscles don’t know what exercises you do, only how hard you work. Hence, it’s important to be training with intent (i.e., working hard) and working close to failure to maximise results and recruit as many muscle fibres as possible for hypertrophy.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll repeat it: following a structured training program that’s specific to your goals puts you ahead. Then each week, you want to apply progressive overload to do a little bit more each week to continue challenging your muscles and training with enough intensity. If you keep doing the same weight, reps or sets the same week and it always feels the same, you need to do more.
How often have you gone to the gym and trained the same muscles, only to find your training on day 2 to be subpar?
Rest and recovery are just as important as training with enough intensity for muscle growth, as this is the time your body uses to repair muscle fibres to grow. When you’re fatigued, it could lead to poor performance.
Did you know that dieting stresses your body? If your goal is weight loss, sure. But if it’s getting stronger, it may not be ideal.
It’s a lot harder to build muscle while you’re dieting because you’re in a calorie deficit, so you’re eating fewer calories than you need, so it’s harder to progress and recover well from your training.
At the end of the day, having a structured program, training with intent, prioritising your rest and recovery, and fuelling your body with the right food will get you further than you think.