Want to get stronger and build some sexy muscles? Lifting weights is excellent for your health and overall fitness but many women make common mistakes that end up wasting their time. Read on to learn how to avoid these common errors.
If your wanting to get stronger and build muscle, they say you need to eat big to get big. Sadly, although many women say they want to build muscle and strength, they also fear that weight gain is a sign of failure and losing weight means they’re getting fitter.
Building muscle requires sufficient protein and enough overall energy from food. It’s not uncommon to have to increase your calories in order to achieve muscle growth. We women are conditioned to be afraid of gaining weight and panic when the scale goes up. However, eating enough food for your muscle building workouts not only grows muscle but gives you energy to push hard in your training, reduces soreness, and increases recovery. No need to “bulk,” eating tons of food past fullness, but a -slightly higher than you think- amount.
- Not lifting heavy enough
You are stronger than you think. Have you lifted a weight so many times that your muscles fail to move it another inch? If not, maybe you need to push more next time you lift. Lifting to muscle failure isn’t always necessary (or safe) but challenging yourself to lift a heavy weight that tires you out is key to building muscle. You also need to progress with each week either by adding more weight, doing more reps and sets, or increasing your range of motion, otherwise you risk stalling progress.
- Quantity over Quality
This might be due to not lifting heavy enough. I see many beginners spent 2 hours or more in the gym doing 100 reps of 15 different exercises and wonder why they are not improving. Likely, many of those exercises are a waste of time. Instead pick 5-10 exercises that work the largest muscles of the body and focus of delivering high effort work at a heavy weight.
- Constant program switches
Consistency is key and although doing the same exercises week by week may seem boring, it’s the best way to measure progress and improve. Lifting weights is a skill and only practice makes progress. Changing programs can be needed to give some areas a rest, work on new areas to improve, and keep the body challenged, but only switch every 6-8 weeks at minimum and keep the basics (squats, press, deadlift etc.) in every program.
- Not prioritizing recovery
Muscle doesn’t grow in the gym, but when you’re resting. It takes around 48 hours for a muscle to fully recover, depending on your fitness level, and even the top athletes take at least one rest day. Be sure to work the major muscle groups no more than twice a week, if that’s not enough, add higher intensity work next time. In addition to rest days, prioritise sleep, treat yourself to a massage, and do fun and gentle activities such as walking along the river or going dancing at your favorite bar.
Unsure how to begin lifting or up your game? Superwomen training offers personal training, group classes, and nutrition classes for all women