The Ultimate Guide to Female Muscle Growth

You’ve probably heard them all: Training will make women bulky. Spot reduction works. Eat whatever you want as long as you exercise. Read on to separate fact from fiction. There are so many self-appointed experts with unreliable information online that it’s no wonder people, especially women, feel confused about whether resistance training is the best thing in the world—or the worst.

Key Takeaways:

  • Research shows that women can gain muscle more or less as effective as men, thanks in large part to their bodies’ greater production of growth hormone and estrogen
  • a rule of thumb for women that want to be lean, toned, and defined: The more muscle you have, the leaner you have to be to avoid looking “bulky.”
  • most women need to gain around 10 to 20 pounds of muscle and reduce their body fat percentage to the 18 to 20% range to achieve their desired look

“Women start out with about half as much total muscle as men and can’t gain as much whole-body muscle as men can, thanks mainly to the differences in hormones and anatomy.”