Here are some women muscle building tips to explain why women can build a good amount of muscle mass despite having certain biological limitations when compared to men.
Men and women can build significant muscle mass with frequent and high volume weight training. However, because of hormonal differences between genders, men are able to put on more overall muscle and at a faster rate. Women can partly combat their hormonal limitations by training at a higher intensity.
Muscle building occurs when your muscle fibers are consistently overloaded with weight training. After your workout sessions, your muscles are left damaged. They respond by adapting and healing back with an increase in size and amount of contractile proteins, which eventually leads to an increase in size of muscle fibers.
Differences in Testosterone
Testosterone is a male sex hormone that offers an anabolic, or muscle building, effect. According to Dr. Len Kravitz at the University of New Mexico, it increases protein synthesis, which contributes to muscle building. Men and women possess testosterone, but males have significantly higher levels. According to the National Strength and Conditioning's 1989 position paper on strength training in females, men produce five to 10 mg per day of testosterone, while women produce less than 0.1 mg per day. This difference causes males to have more significant muscle mass increases than women even after the same intensity of training.
Training to Build Muscle Mass
Although they may not seem as quick or as significant muscle mass results, women can still increase their lean muscle by consistently participating in a weight training program specifically designed to cause hypertrophy. Such a workout program consists of frequent training sessions, at least three days per week, with each session utilizing eight to 10 exercises. Exercises are completed at a relatively high volume, with each being done three to six sets of eight to 12 repetitions. If you want to aim for muscle tone without size, then you can use a program such as this women's training program.
If women are interested in building muscle mass, they could partly combat their hormonal differences by training at a higher intensity. You can split muscle groups into separate training sessions and work out more times per week. For example, lift six days per week, with Mondays and Thursdays dedicated to the chest and shoulders, Tuesdays and Fridays used to develop back and legs, and Wednesdays and Saturdays targeting the arms and abdominal. This allows each session to consist of a greater number of exercises targeting each muscle group.