Building Lean Muscle Tissue

Written on 02/13/2020
Jamie Gilliam

Throughout 20 years of training women, this is probably the #1 fear expressed to me by women wanting to change their bodies:  " don't want to lift weights because I don't want to get bulky or look like a man."

Response to specific types of exercise actually depend on your genetics, body type and other factors. But....to get big, bulky muscles you have to have high levels of testosterone (like a man), take supplements and follow a diet to support muscle growth, and lift heavy with low reps. It takes a lot of work and focus to get big muscles! 

With that said, your goals impact the type of training plan you should follow. So, you can get results you don’t want like more muscle mass than you’d like or even more lean than you’d like. If your goal is to look like a sprinter, your training is different than if you want to look like a marathon runner. If you want to look like a body builder, your training is different than if you want to look like the sprinter or the marathon runner. 

If you have a significant amount of weight to lose, training for overall fat loss with a combination of conditioning with compound exercises, isolated strength training, endurance and some HIIT is what I’ve found to be most beneficial for my female clients. Some clients need modifications or alternatives based on conditions or injuries. HIIT is still HIIT even if it is extremely modified. Clients with chornic health issues and other conditions can achieve incredible results with simple movements and nutrition.  it doesn't have to be extreme and it doesn't have to be exhausting. 

Once a certain body composition/lean body mass goal is achieved, training evolves to focus on more specific body composition results. Think of evolving your body over time with training that evolves with each goal that is achieved. 

What does this mean? You can’t focus on a 6 pack or trimming fat accumulation around your hips and thighs if you have a a high bodyfat percentage. So many women will ask for targeted booty workouts or ab workouts when they want to lose 50+ pounds. TargetIng specific areas to “tone” when you have a high bodyfat percentage is a big waste of time. You can’t spot reduce areas. Fat accumulates where it wants to based on genetics. You can reshape your body and you can target specific areas with training, but you cannot spot reduce and choose where fat is burned on your body. 

So get to lifting and get to working for your body goals!