As popular as fitness is today, the word ‘Bodybuilding’ for women can get intimidating – especially for those who are new to exercise. Even the smallest of gyms with the industrial-looking equipment, protein shakes, and people who know their way around the weight and cardio section can be overwhelming for a female beginner. With so much happening in the world of fitness today, it is difficult to figure out where and how to begin. How can you muster the courage to get yourself to perform those awesome looking workouts with or without those stylish equipment?
Before you know it, you’re struggling with your workout routine and feeling like you’re failing with every single step you take. Sometimes, women tend to worry about becoming as bulky as men if they pursue weight training. In reality, women lack the large amounts of testosterone levels that are responsible for the increase in muscle mass. Women have about a fraction of testosterone in their body as compared to men, so they need not worry about looking way too bulky. Yes, women bodybuilders often have the masculine muscle mass, but achieving that look takes years of dedication, strict diet plans and a disciplined lifestyle.
Weight training will, however, increase the lean muscle mass, which means the more the muscle in the body, the more the calories the body will burn. The more the calories burned, the leaner the body looks. Increased muscle mass shaped the arms and the core while also adding definition to the hips, thighs and overall body shape.
Being a newbie to the world of fitness or bodybuilding is intimidating before it is exciting. So here’s a rundown of how to reach your goals, push your training a notch higher, regain your inner confidence and take on the world as a stronger, fitter you:
• Achieving Fitness Goals Efficiently
Think about your ultimate goals and how you want to achieve them. Set a time-table, pick out your workout clothes, hire a trainer and choose a comfortable place for your workouts. It could be you terrace, your living room or your gym. Just make sure that when you’re in, you go all in and commit yourself to your routine till you achieve your goals.
• Starting Small
The key to achieving any long-term goals is to start small. Slow and steady steps give way to sustainable growth. Set up a reasonably achievable fitness plan, pen down your goals, short term and long term, and don’t forget to remind yourself, day-in and day-out, that you are capable of reaching your goals. Set small, monthly or weekly goals and keep track of them.
• Finding the Right Kind of Motivation
Success only works if you do. When embarking on a journey, be it the road to fitness, work or career, it is important to find the right kind of motivation to keep you going. Hence, recognizing the kind of motivation that works for you is the key to gearing up. Signing up for a couples yoga class, group MMA sessions, or a guided, personal training session can help keep you from steering away from your goals. Furthermore, surround yourself with friends and family who support and stand by you, motivating you every step of the way.
• Setting Clear Goals
Being realistic about what what your body is actually capable of achieving in a short span of time can save you the pain of beating yourself up for not having tried hard enough. It is important to recognize that it takes a while for the body to adapt to a new form of workout regime. With that in mind, focus on improving your performance every single day. Aim at getting better and stronger by honing your weight lifting skills so the body is able to accomplish a little more each day. Setting realistic, specific and measurable goals will help you attain your long term fitness goals with strength, stability and confidence.
• Planning the Workout in Advance
Making and sticking to a schedule will help you stay consistent on your journey to achieving the new you. Consulting expert personal trainers or friends with similar goals can help you identify the kind of training you require to get to where you’re going. Balancing cardio and weight training sessions while keeping track of the daily calorie intake can help you get closer to your goals sooner than otherwise.
It is recommended you plan your workout sessions well in advance so the body is physically and mentally prepared for the workout that’s to come. If your daily schedule permits, set a specific time for the workout. If not, plan on dedicating at least an hour each day to your body.
Nutrition for Bodybuilding
The word “diet” is often misconstrued as consuming food substances that are low on nutrition. “Going on a diet” is often understood as gearing up to starve the body. What many people are completely oblivious of, is that the word “diet”, is far from what it is perceived to be today. It refers to the food that is included in the daily food intake and can vary from individual to individual, depending on their dietary needs. Every body is metabolically and physiologically unique. This means that any standard textbook diet will not work for everyone. Each body responds to a different diet in a different way.
Hence, it is imperative to understand how your body works so you can discover the nutritional needs that work for your individual body structure.
What are Calories?
As the definition states, a calorie is a unit of energy. Consumption of a particular number of calories refers to the amount of energy the body will get from consuming a particular food. The body requires a certain number of calories each day. These calories may vary depending on the fitness levels of an individual.
The three macro-nutrients are:
All food calories comprise of macro-nutrients. Each macro-nutrient has a different function in the body.
Contradictory to what people believe, carbohydrates are not the enemy. A certain amount of carb intake is essential, as carbs provide the body with lasting energy that keeps one from feeling drained out. Carbohydrates also provide a feeling of fullness, and so consuming certain carbohydrate-rich food helps in keeping hunger at bay.
There are two types of carbs – Simple Carbs and Complex Carbs.
Complex carbs are found in foods like: potatoes, oatmeal, broccoli and few vegetables, too. Since it takes longer to digest, this form of carbohydrates keeps the body full for a longer period of time, thus helping an individual abstain from reaching out for mid-meal snacks that will only lead to higher calorie intake. Foods with complex carbohydrates get their higher nutritional value from the vitamins, minerals and fiber present in them. In order to manage blood sugar levels and maintain weight gain, simple sugars should be limited.
Each gram of carbohydrates provides 4 calories.
A few good sources of carbohydrates are:
- Brown rice
- Low-fat milk
- Vegetables like green peas, spinach, potatoes and broccoli.
Protein is a key component in building lean muscle mass which helps the body achieve a toned look. Protein is made up of amino acids which help the body carry out various functions. This macro-nutrient helps heal the damaged muscle fiber, thus making the body stronger. While weightlifting causes some amount of stress on the muscles and minute tears within the muscle fibers, protein intake helps repair and heal the body. The recommended daily intake for an individual with an active lifestyle is, 1 g of protein per pound of body weight.
Just like carbohydrates, each gram of protein, too, provides the body with 4 calories.
A few good sources of protein are:
- Lean meat
- Nuts and seeds
- Lean meat
Fats are often deemed as evil and are cut out from every weight loss diet or even when people are aiming at getting healthier. Many a time, the protein intake is upped and the fat consumption is cut out from the diet during body building. While fats have been considered the bad guy for sometime now, a limited fat intake is essential for optimal health. Essential fatty acids like omega-3 and omega-6 help the body feel full for a longer period of time, assist with absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, improve brain cognition and development while also protecting vital organs. While all forms of fats have wrongfully earned the bad reputation, the only form of fat that should be avoided is trans fat. While dietary fats are a healthy necessity, trans fats are inessential and unnecessary.
Unlike protein and carbs, each gram of fat provides the body with 9 calories.
A few good sources of fat are:
- Olive oil
- Coconut oil
- Nuts and seeds
While a low-carb-high-protein diet is often recommended for weight loss and body building, it is not always the case. A very low-carb diet may have adverse effects in the long run. A diet low on carbohydrates could possibly mess with the hormonal system, leading to loss of bone density or chronic sleep deprivation.
But, as mentioned earlier, every body is unique and has different dietary needs.
Some women might find that a low-carb-high-protein diet works wonders for their body. Therefore, it is essential to monitor any new changes in the diet or exercise regime very closely. Every human body responds to activities and processes macro-nutrients differently.
Remember, success does not come easily. You have to dream big to achieve big.
• Make a plan and stick to it.
• Follow your fitness schedule religiously, but don’t be too hard on yourself.
• Keep your priorities in check.
• Get motivated and stay motivated.
• Make your routine fun. Mix it up, so you look forward to your training sessions.
If you’re not sure how to achieve your fitness goals, get in touch with us at Wellintra, and we assure you our male and female personal trainers will go out of their way to help you reach your goal to the best of their ability while helping you get fitter and stronger than you’ve ever been before.