You are currently viewing Your Guide To Female Muscle Growth – Do Men And Women Gain The Same?

Your Guide To Female Muscle Growth – Do Men And Women Gain The Same?

If you’re like most women, you aspire to have a certain body type.

The goal is to appear toned but not “bulky.”

You don’t want to be scrawny, but you do want to be slim.

You want all of the proper lines and curves in the right places, such as your legs, abs, and butt.
What if I told you, regardless of your current state, genetics, or workout history, you can have all of these things–the full package. 
And the best part?  You also don’t need to live in a gym or eat like a bird.

Sounds quite straightforward and fantastic, yeah? All you need to do now is…

  • Make sure you have adequate muscle in the proper places on your body.
  • Reduce your body fat percentage to 20%.

Yes mam, that is all there is to it.

If you follow these steps, you will have the body of your dreams. I can assure you of that. And in this article, we’ll concentrate on number one: muscle gain.

But first, let’s discuss if it is harder for women to build muscle?

Muscle Differences Between Men and Women

Contrary to popular opinion, there are not many differences between men and women’s rates of muscle protein synthesis. When we are at rest, we create muscle at the same rate. The same can be said for the time after a gym session or any form of physical activity. Our muscle protein synthesis is stimulated in a similar way by both training and protein-rich diets. 

The rate at which we grow muscle over time is not only determined by our basal muscle protein synthesis. What happens right after you lift weights or eat is neither of these things. There are no substantial sex differences in the quantity of new muscle tissue generated by a hard strength training session. 

Depending on your training goals, these findings could be either good or bad news.

girl doing chest fly exercise at gym for female muscle growth

Its a given that many girls do not wish to develop the same muscularity as guys. Oh, and don’t worry as you won’t appear to be a bodybuilder suddenly one day. Years of hard work and attention are required to do this. on top of that, female athletes are unable to build the same size muscles as male athletes.

After years of training, elite male bodybuilders’ biceps were twice as huge as those of competitive female bodybuilders, according to one research.

In addition, male bodybuilders had more muscle fibers, which meant they had more building material to begin with. When you lift weights, your muscle fibers grow in size rather than in quantity. That means that if all other factors are equal, girls will not be able to catch up with guys.

So there ya go girls, you won’t look like a female version of Arnold Schwarzenegger anytime soon (read ever).

You can grow a lot of muscular mass as a woman if you want to. At least if you’re genetically predisposed to it. What matters is your genetics and what you do inside and outside the gym, not your gender.

fit girl at swimming pool

To sum it up:

Strength training works just as effectively for women as it does for men, and they grow just as much muscle mass relative to their starting skeletal muscle mass.

To begin with, females have less muscle mass than males. This indicates that males grow more muscle mass through strength training in absolute terms, as measured in kilograms or pounds of body weight.

Testosterone is likely to account for a significant portion of any disparities in muscle mass growth. Even while the acute effects of strength exercise are unaffected by hormones, higher testosterone levels will result in more muscle building in the long run.

So now we know that the top 3 fitness myths related to female muscle growth are absolutely hogwash.

Myth #1: Women can’t build muscle as efficiently as males. – Busted

Myth #2: Women who lift weights get “bulky.” – Busted

Myth #3: women need to “tone” rather than “build” muscle.- Busted

How To Ensure Optimal Female Muscle Growth?

With a satisfied sigh of relief – let’s talk about the best way for women to grow muscle? Let’s look at the important aspects that influence your ability to gain muscle mass and affect your body composition.

Eat the Right Number of Calories

The single biggest mistake women make when it comes to muscle gain is eating too little food (calories).

If you continually consume less calories than you burn, your body’s capacity to grow muscle is severely hampered.

The biochemistry at work here is complicated, but the simple version is that restricting your energy intake causes your body to go into an “energy conservation” mode, in which certain bodily activities take precedence over others.

Building new muscle tissue isn’t necessary for survival and takes a lot of energy, so it’s not high on the priority list.

girl doing kettlebell swings exercise for female muscle growth

A calorie shortage lowers anabolic hormone levels while raising catabolic hormone levels, resulting in a systemic shift away from muscle development and toward muscle breakdown.

On the other hand, eating slightly more calories than you expend on a regular basis has the opposite impact, promoting muscle building.

It boosts your gym performance and ability to recover from workouts by increasing anabolic hormone production, enhancing your body’s muscle-building mechanism, and increasing anabolic hormone production.

“But won’t overeating lead me to gain weight as well?” you might wonder.

Yes, it will, and it is all part of the overall game. It’s super hard to grow muscle quickly and effectively without adding fat as well.

You may anticipate to gain muscle and fat at about the same rate if you’re like most people (for every pound of muscle you gain, you’ll gain a pound of fat).

Fortunately, you can keep your weight increase under strict supervision (and easily eliminate unwanted body fat when the time comes).

Let me make it simple for you, all you have to do is:

  • Maintain a moderate calorie surplus of 5 to 10%

This would enable you to gain 0.25 to 0.5 pounds per week.

  • For the love of God, DO NOT screw up your cheat days with massive meals

Overeating is one of the most common mistakes I see people make when trying to grow muscle.

While bulking, a handful of days of binge eating per week is enough to cause you to gain fat at double or even treble the regular rate.

  • In case you’re over 25% body fat, diet down to 20% before concentrating on muscle development.

Ok, this is ideal due to many reasons. For instance, insulin sensitivity and hormonal balance are preserved. It also helps you to keep a calorie excess for several months before reducing body fat levels. Plus, it protects you from long, arduous cuts.

  • Once you’ve reached a body fat percentage of 25 to 27 percent, stop bulking and start shedding pounds.

Also, don’t fall for fad diets or shortcuts, Make every effort to drop weight as scientifically as possible so that you remain safe and healthy.

  • Alternate between “gaining” and “cutting” phases until you’re satisfied with your appearance.

If you’re like the majority of individuals, you’ll eventually be satisfied with your general muscle tone and development.

The goal then is to gain and stay lean while still working hard and improving in your lifts, as well as addressing weak places in your physique.

Eat the Right Amount of Protein, Carbs, and Fat

When you have certain athletic goals in mind, what you eat is just as important – if not more important – than what you do in the gym. Nutrition is critical if you want to gain muscle. When striving to gain muscle, the quality of your meals, not simply the amount, will have a greater impact on your body composition than ever before.

Carbohydrates, protein, and fat are the three macronutrient categories that contribute to muscle building. Here’s why you’ll need all of them:

Protein aids in the healing of muscular tissues that have been injured during workouts. When you lift weights, you’re putting resistance on your muscles, which causes microscopic tears.

You’ll need a lot of high-quality protein to repair and develop your muscles after each workout. Meat, eggs, dairy, legumes, whole grains, and protein powder are all good sources of this macronutrient.

Carbohydrates provide you with long-lasting energy, which fuels your workouts. Some female athletes will eat largely simple carbs before and after workouts, then primarily complex carbs in between workouts.

This strategy prioritizes more slow-digesting carbs during rest periods and offers the most immediate energy boost when needed most.

Fat is commonly vilified in the fitness world, although it is necessary for muscular building. Healthy fats aid in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D, E, and K.

You need all of those vitamins to grow powerful muscles, and without adequate fat in your diet, your body won’t be able to handle or use them.

For muscle gain, many athletes aim for 15 to 30 percent of their daily calories to come from fat.

Work Every Muscle Group

For muscular growth, you’ll need well-balanced workouts in addition to well-balanced diets. While it may be tempting to merely work out your upper or lower body based on what is most convenient for you, you must always challenge yourself when you go to the gym.
Compound workouts are one of the simplest ways to work out various muscle groups. Squats, deadlifts, bench presses, and other exercises that target numerous muscular groups at once are among the most beneficial maneuvers in a bodybuilder’s repertoire.
If you want to gain as much muscle as possible, you should focus on compound exercises rather than isolated ones.

Keep in mind your rest days.

Getting proper rest is critical while trying to grow muscle.

You’ll start to experience muscle breakdown if you don’t get enough rest, which will undo all of your hard work at the gym.
As counterintuitive as it may seem, post-exercise recuperation is just as vital as the workout itself. When your body doesn’t get the rest it needs to prepare for the following session, it’s tough to gain muscle growth.

You don’t have to forgo any physical activity the day after a tough workout, but it’s usually a good idea to avoid using the same muscle groups on consecutive days. Cycling through your muscle areas — legs, back, shoulders, chest, abs, and more – can help you stay energised and avoid feeling tired.

You may also help your muscles recuperate by adding some low-impact aerobics to your rest days in addition to cycling through muscle groups. On your off days, even a brief walk may keep you active without placing too much strain on your body.

Dietary Supplements

Supplementing your food can assist you in achieving your muscle-building objectives. Creatine, a naturally created material by your muscles, is one of the most popular post-workout supplements in the bodybuilding field.

Creatine supplementation has been linked to increased testosterone levels as well as an increase in the growth hormone IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor 1). Because women produce less testosterone than men and testosterone is necessary for muscle building, taking three to five grams of creatine each day can be quite beneficial.

Got it, Now Tell Me The Best Way For A Woman To Work Out When Muscle Growth Is The Goal?

Outside of the gym, you can be the epitome of elegance and grace, but if you want a great body, you need to get down and dirty in the gym.

Are you looking for statuesque legs, a butt that “melts the Internet,” and chiselled arms and abs?

Then get rid of the lazy ass BOSU lunges, side bends, yoga positions and Swiss ball crunches ASAP

This slacker training will just turn you into a waif.

Your new best buddies are squats, deadlifts, hip thrusts, and overhead presses.

These are the things that will transform you into a goddess.

Now, the best types of workout routines for women should:

  • Focus on heavy weightlifting.
  • Emphasize compound movements.
  • Emphasize the lower body more than the upper body.
  • Keep cardio to a minimum.

Thanks, So What Exercises Will Help Build Muscle?

We got you covered here, if working out at home you may go for bodyweight exercises

Bodyweight Excercises

Without the need of any workout equipment, bodyweight exercises can be done at home.

If you travel frequently or don’t have place in your budget for a gym membership, these workouts are a wonderful option.

Resistance Machines

Resistance machines may be found at your local gym and are invaluable tools for any aspiring bodybuilder. These machines are designed to assist you in working out safely and successfully while also allowing you to quickly modify the level of resistance you’re working against.
Resistance machines are very useful for isolating and targeting certain muscle groups. While complex exercises are typically recommended for rapid muscular growth, individual training using a resistance machine can help strengthen and stabilise your weakest muscles.

Resistance Bands

Fans of at-home workouts will appreciate resistance bands. They’re inexpensive, adaptable, lightweight, and simple to transport wherever you go.
Furthermore, resistance bands provide the ideal starting point for newbies to weightlifting. They’re regarded for being extremely safe and exerting as little stress on your joints as possible.

Lifting Weights

Lifting weights is a great technique to gain muscle while also providing a hard and enjoyable workout.

You can use weights to do compound and isolated workouts, focusing on certain muscle areas or working on many muscle groups at the same time. When it comes to growing muscle mass, a combination of compound and isolated exercises is a good place to start.

Compound lifts like squats, deadlifts, rows, and bench presses, on the other hand, will prove to be the most effective in the long run.

How Long Would It Take Me To Gain Muscle?

Even in the first few weeks of your muscle-building adventure, you may see a major difference in your physique. To ensure constant muscular growth, you’ll need to continually raise resistance as your body gains strength.
You’ll notice substantial changes in your body composition in a couple of months if you keep challenging yourself and lifting more as you develop. This is especially true if you get enough sleep, eat healthy, and exercise your complete body.


Rahul is a sports and performance consultant. Over the course of his 15-year career in the fitness sector, he has held positions as a strength and conditioning instructor, gym owner, and consultant. He is deeply committed to assisting people in finding happiness and feeling good about themselves. Rahul has a master's degree in exercise science and is a certified NSCA CSCS and CISSN.

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