Many females workout in an attempt to be skinny and thin. But there are some rare females who intentionally want to be muscular and lean. It is these people who will go on to find out that the sport of bodybuilding is best suited for them.
At first sight, female bodybuilding may seem completely different to male bodybuilding. But at the same time, it’s very similar. The truth is that there are some things which should be done differently as a female bodybuilder but the foundations to succeed in the sport remains the same.
Testosterone is the hormone which is responsible for muscle growth in both males and females. Even though both sexes produce testosterone, production in males is far greater than in females. This is one of the reasons why females will have a hard time trying to emulate male bodybuilders. Females will also tend to find growing muscle harder and slower than their male counterparts.
Since females lack the advantage in hormonal production, certain factors in muscle growth have to be stricter and be given more attention. Good and optimal nutrition, sleep and supplementation are vital for muscle growth.
You should strive to have at least 7 hours of sleep a day and eat cleanly most of the time. Nutrition and supplementation that increases testosterone production will also help tremendously. Diets high in protein and fat will increase testosterone production as well.
Training for female bodybuilders is surprisingly, not very different from male bodybuilders. Although you will not be able to lift as heavy, you will find yourself having the ability to cope with higher reps of heavy weights more than males can. This is because females can withstand lactate pain much better than males.
If you are a beginner, start off with basic compound movements such as the squat, deadlift and bench press for high repetitions to practice your technique. Add in exercises which you think needs extra work and train 3-4 times a week. You can also attempt to search for tried and true programs and give them a shot.
Now if you are not a beginner, you should decide whether if you should put on more muscle mass or lose fat first. This is often a hugely debated question but I recommend that you lose the fat first and slowly put on muscle mass without gaining fat in excess. As far as training goes, you’ll have to find out what works best for you.
Natural or not?
To be natural or not to be? That’s entirely up to you. Natural means not using drugs and steroids to increase potential muscle mass and fat loss. The use of steroids and other drugs should not scare you if you plan to compete in higher levels of competition. Although there are natural bodybuilding competitions, note that even top competitors will find it hard to look as impressive looking as competitors who compete with drugs.
Don’t be mistaken though, drug use is mostly to help the body increase its ability to recover from the workout. It gives them the pass to train harder and longer than natural bodybuilders. So as you can see, you still have to train extremely hard and intensely even if you are using steroids and drugs.
Bodybuilding is a sport which will teach an individual many life lessons and qualities. The dedication and consistency which bodybuilding demands is unparalleled. With enough hard work and dedication, you will succeed in bodybuilding even if you are a female.
- Female Hormones : Male Hormones
- How Lifestyle influences T levels – Part 2