Question from a reader. I am female with a skinny figure and would be considered by most people to be underweight. Will a women’s weight gain program work for me?
Yes! But it can only be achieved with sweat and hard work, regardless
of your age. The same principles for weight gain apply to both men and
women with only one major difference. Men and women were born with
different shapes and hormones. Therefore any muscle gain you get as a
result of diet and training will only serve to accentuate the feminine
shape you already have. You will look sexy and feel better about
Weight gain can come in the form of fat, water and muscle. By far,
muscle is the most attractive of the three. Since you are a female I can
understand any concern you might have about getting too muscular. Most
of the bodybuilding women you see have great genetics. They are not hard
gainers like the majority of women and are usually taking steroids
(male hormones). The only way a female could look this ripped is from
steroid usage. And let’s not forget that the female bodybuilders which
you see in bodybuilding magazines are professional athletes. Their diet
and training is a full time job for them. They dedicate their life to
building a better physique.
Regardless of what you may have read, it is possible for women to
gain weight without looking “bulky”. And even if you do become more
ripped then what you would have hoped, once you have reached your goal
or feel that you are looking too muscular for your own tastes you can
always modify the program a little to suit your needs.
Similar to weight gain for men, diet plays a key role for gaining
weight with women. You need to be consuming excess calories so that
instead of having a calorie deficit, the opposite is true. You are
consuming more calories then what your body requires, so it has to store
this energy somehow, and with a good training and diet program, it will
turn these calories into muscle instead of fat.
First of all, determine your weight gain caloric needs. Once this is
calculated, you want to consume 300-500 additional calories per day.
This is no different for women is a topic which is well covered on this
site. The main point which I wanted to discuss in this article, which
relates to muscle building for women, is the issue of hormones.
As you may already know several hormones play a key role in the
ability to gain muscle. Without going into too much detail, the “male
hormone” testosterone is the muscle building hormone. The amount of
testosterone in your body is a limitating factor because you can not
build more muscle if your testosterone levels are not high enough. This
is why you see female bodybuilders who use synthetic testosterone
(steroids) experience faster muscle gains as their limitating factor has
Testosterone is referred to as the “male hormone” because
testosterone levels are lower in women. Women need not be discouraged
though. Testosterone levels can be increased naturally through specific
natural training methods and diet.
Several studies have shown the positive effect that resistance
training has on increasing testosterone levels in the body, especially
directly after a workout. This is why it’s a good idea to drink a
protein shake post workout, to take advantage of the testosterone spike.
For the ladies: Don’t be afraid of the weights, get a gym partner and
don’t be intimidated by the guys in the gym. Attend a reputable gym
with a supportive staff that will assist you and give you proper
guidance on how to lift. Your weigh training program should be focused
on progressively increasing the resistance. Do special muscle building
workouts with the aim of gaining mass instead of building muscular
endurance, which includes doing fewer reps and lifting heavy.