Why Is it Difficult for Women to Build Big Muscles?
“I don’t want to workout lifting weights because I don’t want to build big muscles” or “I just do aerobics and sit ups to lose weight because if I lift weights, I may build muscle and looked like a man.”
Ladies. Have you made these comments before? Awww… c’mon ladies, if you have ever uttered these words, you have just done a terrible disservice to yourself and are missing out on many great benefits that working out with weights can give you. Have you ever pointed to your belly or butt and sweetly proclaimed, “I want lose weight here.” So managed to convince yourself that sweating profusely is the answer to a slim and beautiful body and you hit the gym day in and day out just to sweat off your tummy or butt fats!
So you peddle away on your stationary bike in the gym just like little hamsters or frantically stepping away on the step up machine and then you woefully do crunches after crunches in the hope of having a flat belly and a well rounded shapely butt not realising that there is no such thing as spot reduction.
You never even bother take a look at the weight lifting machines or the free weights lying everywhere in the gym not to say even touching those weights. Gosh, this terrible myth of building big muscles on women is creating so much fear in women causing them never to train with weights at their detriment.
Ladies! If you are listening, I want to say this loud and clear. There is no way women will build big huge muscles unless you are on special supplementation and specially designed training system. Some of those muscle bound ladies you have seen may even be taking steroids which are banned and obviously harmful. Never touch steroids to build msucles.
So the, why is it difficult for women to build big muscles? Well, it is simply because you do not have enough of testosterone, a male hormone that encourages your muscles to grow. In fact, women have ten to thirty times less of bodybuilding hormones, testosterone than their male counterparts. Women who accept the myth that they will build big muscles if they workout with weights will miss out on all of the benefits that weightlifting and bodybuilding can offer. This myth is so ingrained in women’s psyche that even after explaining the facts to my women clients, they are still afraid to lift weights. So will women who lift weights in their workouts build more muscle tissue? Yes, of course, but it will not be those big huge muscles like those of bodybuilders. Your muscles will just tone your body shape resulting in a tight, firm, healthy, attractive and desirable body. The body shape that is ever so sexy and healthy. Yes, you may have noticed an increase in weight when you step on a scale. This is because muscles weigh more than fat. Thus, as you increase your muscle tissue, your weight will increase but your fats will be reduced giving you a well toned sexy body which most women can only dream of.
Muscle burn calories naturally even when you are sleeping. In fact, research has shown that for each kilo of muscle you build, you will burn 70-100 more calories per day. So, if you gain 2 kilos of muscle and lose 2 kilos of fat, you will burn about 75 more calories per kilo, which equates to burning 150 additional calories per day, which translates into 4200 additional calories per month and ultimately results in a fat or weight loss of 7-8 kilos a year without doing anything! One kilo is 2.2 pounds. Doesn’t that sound great?
Another reason that women should do weightlifting is the benefit it can have on your bones. Weight training is a powerful preventive action against osteoporosis, a disease caused by porous bone and low bone density. Women has a much higher risk than men to suffer from osteoporosis. In fact, most women will suffer from this disease as they age. Those plagued with osteoporosis have an increased susceptibility to fractures. These fractures can even be fatal. So, women should exercise with weight to strengthen and increase bone density. Research has shown that six months of weightlifting may increase bone mineral density by as much as 15 percent. As you increase your muscle tissue, your bones must adapt to accommodate this increase in your muscle mass, your bones respond by increasing in density. The result? You will own a stronger skeletal structure and a reduced risk for osteoporosis.
So, don’t completely swear off weightlifting fearing that training with weights will build big muscles and turn you into an Incredible Hulk! You won’t and you can’t. Period.
OK girls, the weights are over there. Let’s lift them now! Have the last laugh when your girl friends tell you that they don’t want to lift weights and yet watching you transform your body that will make heads turn when you are in your bikini.
I am attempting to tone my body and firm it up. This article was helpful.
A lot of your article is right on the money, but there are some things on there that should have stayed out. If I read this article 10 years ago, I would have been extremely angry with you today after the results I have seen with myself (IF I DIDN'T WANT TO BUILD MUSCLE). You state that women couldn't possibly build a lot of muscle without steroids because they simply don't have enough testosterone to do so. First of all, (and not to be rude) have you measured every womens testosterone levels? Secondly, the amount of muscle an individual builds also has to do with genetics, other hormone levels, body type, and training style. About 8 years back, I weighed in at 185 lbs and was 10% body fat. I have never touched a steroid, and if I had, I would admit to it because I feel at safe dosages it is not harmful. Today I weigh in at 150 lbs and I am about 12% bodyfat. I am toned, but quite large. I am sure that being a mesomorph, and my genetics has played a definite role in my muscle gains. Telling women they will not gain large amounts of muscle is a bold comment. I do train harder than the average woman, but I will tell you that even with the lightest weights, I put on a lot of muscle fast. It also depends on how you trained in your teens and early twenties. The more conditioned you are then, predetermines how you will grow as an adult.
On another note, this should not deter anyone from lifting with weights. This is perhaps the best thing you can do to ensure a better more in shape you. How do you expect to get that round butt or shapely arm muscles if you don't condition them with weights? Cardio may burn fat, but it doesn't shape your muscles unless, you are doing sprints and uphill exercise all the time. Still, this is not nearly as effective. If you spend everyday killing yourself with cardio and not weights, then you are defeating your purpose. Cardio burns muscle too, and without muscle, like stated above, you will not burn nearly as many calories. Women with toned lean muscle are beautiful. There is a point where enough is enough, but muscle is not something to frown at. If anything, men are jelous, and unable to handle it when a woman is more in shape then he is. Secretly, most men find toned lean muscle to be attractive. Don't let anyone deter you from your fitness goals, and don't be suprised if you put on some muscle in the process. There is nothing wrong with a strong and healthy woman. Smile….its a good thing!
"So the, why is it difficult for women to nuild big muscles?" Typo "NUILD" is that a new word? or was it supposed to be "BUILD".
Admin: Thank you for the note.
Within an individual, more testosterone means more muscle mass. There is little doubt about that. Between genders, however, the relation becomes much weaker. In their study of elite athletes, Healy et al. concluded that “The difference in lean body mass is sufficient to account for the observed differences in strength and aerobic performance seen between the sexes without the need to hypothesize that performance is in any way determined by the differences in testosterone levels.”
How can this be? Testosterone functions differently in men and women, as I explained in my BioSignature review. In animals we have a good understanding of why testosterone is not needed for muscle development in women. It seems growth factors like IGF-1 and growth hormone take over the anabolic role that testosterone has in men. Growth factors are more important for strength and muscle mass in women than in men. Since women have just as much IGF-1 as men and women produce ~3 times as much growth hormone as men, this explains in part why having less testosterone does not limit how much muscle they can build. To make matters more complex, the sex hormones and growth factors interact and all these hormones also interact with your genes.
In short, saying women have less potential to build muscle mass because they don’t have as much testosterone as men is shortsighted.
Great article! What you wrote is very true. Surprising there seems to be a lot of women and men that are still very ignorant to the role testosterone plays in the body. I guess there is that RARE woman that can put on muscle easily judging by the comment below. But for the majority of us it is not an easy task.
This passage is both informational and motivational!