Is muscle mass good or bad for women? There are many misconception that are prevalent in the world of fitness these days. They vary from being ‘potentially plausible’ to being ‘absolutely bonkers’. Many of these misconception are related to women’s fitness. One such misconception is related to lean muscle mass. The idea is that muscle mass is something that is meant for the male gender only. Another misconception is that if women lift weight, they’ll instantly transform into muscular beasts! In this article, I would like to clarify such misconceptions and point the advantages lean muscle mass can have on the ladies.
First things first, gaining lean muscle mass is the hardest thing to do. There are many factors involved that help the body gain lean muscle mass. The posing bodybuilders we often see on our TV screens have years of experience lifting huge amount of weights (Not to mention their ravenous appetite and the supplements they take). So, ladies, lifting weights isn’t going to instantaneously transform into a female version of Jay Cutler. Secondly, a very important ingredient for packing on muscle mass is testosterone, a male hormone that is absent (Or present in negligible amounts) in women. The result is that women are unable to gain high volume of muscle mass no matter how hard they try. This brings us to yet another question? Why should women consider gaining lean muscle mass after all?
To answer this, let’s take a brief look at the concept of body composition. You may weigh 130 lb but have a fat percentage of15% or you may weigh exactly 130 lb with a fat percentage of 35%! The latter category puts you in the obese column whereas the former makes you underweight! Your weight and your body composition are equally important. The secret lies in the calorie expenditure. Fat requires no calories for maintenance. This means that you’ll be burning no extra calories if you have extra fat in your body. On the other hand, lean mass requires calories for maintenance. For example, the 130 lb, 15% Fat percentage may burn up to 200 more calories than its 35% body fat counterpart, by doing absolutely nothing! This means that lean mass gives a free pass to consume extra calories daily, as a result, it prevents you to gain weight in the form of fat. You basal metabolic rate is also dependent on the percentage of lean mass our body has. Greater your BMR, greater the number of calories you burn by doing absolutely nothing!
Considering all the arguments stated above, muscle mass is an essentiality even for women. The obvious benefits of muscle mass include greater strength and the ability for greater physical endurance and performance. Another important benefit is that muscle mass gives your body, a great shape. For example, nicely toned thighs; every women wants them. Muscle mass can greatly improve your outlook while keeping you healthy from inside.
Lastly comes the question, how to gain muscle mass? The basic idea is simple – create a muscle overload by lifting weights. Consider including weight training in your exercise routine 3 times a week. During these weight training sessions, try to lift heavy weights that keep you in the 8 – 12 repetitions’ range. Alternate between the muscle groups you work out and stick to a healthy diet during your exercise regimen. This is however a simplified version of ‘What you should do?’. All of this discussion leads us to the conclusion that muscle mass is very beneficial for women.