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Muscle Gain for Women – 6 Game-Changing Things to Try

If your main goal is muscle gain, for women it can be hard to see the results you want. Whether it’s toning up or building an enviable booty, it’s not as easy for women to gain muscle as it is for men. 

Sound familiar? Don’t worry, we’ve got the answers you want to hear on how to build muscle for women. Check out our list of reasons you may not be gaining muscle, make the right changes and you could see the difference you dream of. 

Guide to Muscle Gain for Women

You’re not pushing hard enough

This might not be the thing you want to hear but it might be the difference between where you are now and where you want to be. Ask yourself if you’re really breaking a sweat when you workout. Could you be lifting heavier or going faster?  If you think the answer could be yes, then it’s time to change your mindset.

Try approaching your workout with the attitude of going faster and working harder than you’ve ever done before. Aim to PR at least once every couple of weeks and you should start gaining muscle, women! 

Your intensity isn’t quite right

If you’re after muscle gain for women, then the situation needs to be just right. And that means ensuring your intensity is high in every workout. That means you need to look at either how many reps you’re performing, or how heavy you’re lifting. Everything you do should be challenging.

If you find you’re working fast but you’re not feeling the muscle burn, or you’re taking a five minute break between every set, your intensity is likely to be off. 

It might be that you could be adding an extra five reps to your usual sets, or you could be adding a few more kg’s to your bar, but if you find yourself doing the same workouts without any added intensity, you won’t see the progress you’re looking for. If you’re wondering how to gain muscle, women always need to keep an eye on the intensity. 

[Related Article: Is it Harder for Women to Gain Muscle Size? ]

You’re not hitting the gym consistently enough

muscle gain for women exercises

Muscle gain for women is all about consistency. If you’re going to the gym four or five times one week, then only twice the next, or you’re just training weights twice a week it’s unlikely you’ll see the results you’re dreaming of. Rather than go all out one week then spend the next recovering, take a look at your week and try to find something more consistent. 

If that’s going three or four times a week every week and leaving plenty of time for recovery, that should be way more beneficial for you than an up and down performance. Plan your weeks and your workout days in advance and stick to that and you should start to see amazing progress when it comes to muscle gain for women. 

[Related Article: Body Recomposition for Women: Lose Fat and Gain Muscle]

You’re not getting enough variety in your movements

If you think you’re ticking the above boxes but you’re not building muscle, women in the gym might want to take a look at their programming as you might be missing out on some key movements.

For example, if you want to build the perfect booty, doing lunges every legs day might not give you the results you’re looking for because you’re not working enough muscles. Maybe working in some clams with a strong resistance band could help to create a more rounded shape and work some key glute muscles you might be missing with lunges.

Do your research online or speak to your PT and you can often find key exercises to work into your routine that will help make all the difference when it comes to building muscle for women. 

The best choices for muscle gain for women is often a multi-joint movement as they recruit a lot more muscles. So think squats, deadlifts, lunges and presses as the base of your workouts, then add the accessory movements in to support them and really work those muscles. 

[Related article: Resistance Band Butt Workout for Women]

You need to look at your nutrition 

If you’re putting in all the work, you feel the burn and you’ve got a challenging programme and you’re still not seeing the best results, it might come back to what you’re eating. To achieve muscle gain for women, you need to be working out, eating more calories than you’re burning and taking on enough protein [1]

If you want to see a difference in your muscle building ability, try adding a few protein shakes to your normal daily menu for a few weeks and see what happens. This should up your calorie intake and your protein too, so your body has everything you need to build new muscle and repair properly after a hard workout. 

[Related Article: Whey Protein for Women – What is it and Do You Need it?]

You’re not thinking about recovery

Recovery is so important to gaining muscle for women. Whenever you work out you’re tearing your muscle fibers and breaking them down so they can be built back up again stronger and bigger than before. That’s how muscle gain for women works. 

So, with that in mind, it makes sense to take the recovery or ‘building’ time just as seriously as the working out or ‘breaking down’ section. 

To ensure you’re not overworking your body and giving it enough time to rebuild those muscles, you should factor in rest days regularly, consider taking two-three a week. On top of that, you should be nourishing your body with nutritious foods like veg, fruit and lean meat. 

Remember to drink plenty of water too, as this helps to keep you hydrated and helps to flush out toxins after a hard workout. 

[Related Article: AddsFit Mini Review – How Good Is the World’s Smallest Massage Gun?

Muscle gain for women – the final word

If you’re doing all this, muscle gain for women should be within your grasp. If any of these points sounds like it could be familiar, try incorporating the changes into your routine and see how it goes. 

If you start seeing new successes, let us know, we’d love to hear from you! 


gymgirlfit was created by health and fitness enthusiasts, with backgrounds in powerlifting and writing. We've written for a number of well-known fitness publishing companies.

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