Weight training and bodybuilding are often seen as very macho pursuits. And many people still think working with weights means bulking up. But building muscle does not have to mean supersizing your body. In fact building muscle is one of the fastest ways to lose fat and change your shape. Plus there are numerous other benefits.
For men and women building the perfect body is a common goal but obvious differences in anatomy and perhaps less obvious differences in metabolism requires a different emphasis on training and nutrition.
In purely physiological terms the female body is not suited to developing the same bulk and massiveness of male bodybuilders without chemical assistance. Female bodybuilders need the same degree of commitment but for building muscle women have different needs.
Gaining muscle through a good workout program can boost your health as well as your confidence. Building muscle is a better way of losing fat because it gives you a hard toned body rather than a soft thin one.
For women there are a number of real health benefits. Strength training helps build stronger bones and prevent osteoporosis. It's great for reducing cholesterol, burning fat and regulating blood pressure.
Just like the guys, musclewomen still have to put in the hours, lifting the weights, carefully planning their high protein meals, and adding those all important natural supplements into the mix. The results speak for themselves with amazing conditioning, well-defined musculature and the much sought after 'six-pack'.
However, with the emphasis on quality not quantity the ladies achieve their goals without necessarily generating the muscle size and bulk associated with their male counterparts.
In the early days of women's competition a smooth yet shapely figure was seen as the ideal. Then the fashion changed as widespread use of male growth hormones and anabolic steroids led to massive, some might even say excessive muscular development in some female bodybuilders. Not surprisingly some of those women became so huge and muscular that they looked more and more like men!
Today the trend for women bodybuilders has veered toward achieving a more natural look. A greater emphasis on metabolic resistance training exercises tend to deliver great definition and muscularity while retaining femininity. This is a look attained by focusing more intentionally on maintaining muscle length.
So, to build muscle women begin with weight and resistance training, and every muscle group is working to the point of exhaustion at least once a week. But because of the obvious differences from men in terms of upper and lower body shape building musclewomen requires an alternative approach to exercise.
The ultimate goal is to combine strength and flexibility with grace as opposed to heading towards the all out power of the men's bulk and mass.