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Women’s New Fountain of Youth: Building Muscle by Dr. Asa Andrew

Is it good for women to build muscle? Many women say they don’t want to be masculine and look like a bodybuilder. However, to take your physique to that level takes a high level of work. To simply build muscle can reap amazing health benefits. These range from dealing with high blood pressure, high blood sugar, hormones, and fat loss. The key to building muscle the right way is found in knowing how to use the correct exercise methods. There are timeless principles that will work to get you fit, healthy, and turn your body into a hormone regulating and fat burning machine. The great news is that once you begin building a healthy body physically, then other amazing health benefits will follow. Let’s look at some of the essentials that it takes to build a strong physique. Our new inShape system of nutrition, fitness and lifestyle planning can help elevate you to where you want to be, Here are some keys areas to focus on to build the body that you desire.

1.How Often?
Weight training has a productive frequency when you stick to 4-5 days per week. Only advanced lifters will go for 6 days. Choose a routine that will work your entire body over these 4-5 days. The consistency week in and week out will yield the best results for your health.

2.Heavy or Light?
Many women will pick up light dumbbells and think they will get more “ripped” and cut if they go lighter. Nothing could be further from the truth. Heavy weight will yield more muscle. Don’t worry; your body doesn’t have enough testosterone to make you look like a large bodybuilder. Choose an exercise routine that makes you push yourself a little harder each time. 

3.How Many Sets and Reps?
It really varies with each individual. Usually it is good to have one workout go for 6-10 repetitions and the next workout 8-12. Varying the reps can be helpful and keep the body guessing. Just don’t get into the habit of doing 25 reps and thinking that will help you lose fat and gain muscle.

4.What Type of Exercises?
Although the machines may look easier, they are usually not better. The free weight movements can yield the best results. Most experts agree that the basic movements like squats, deadlifts, rows, and bench press, will build a great foundation. Maybe even look into a functional fitness type of class like cross fit or other system. If your entire body is working, and it’s difficult, and you are breathing hard, then it’s working. If you can talk on your cell phone and do it, just go eat some bon-bons and go back to the house.

Cardio is great like the treadmill and the elliptical. However, make your short rest intervals during your weight training sessions your cardio. Studies have proven that shorter rest periods coupled with heavier weight training sessions will melt the body fat like butter and help you attain a leaner look. And the less body fat we have, the more balanced our hormones and health has the potential to be.



Known as America’s Health Coach, Dr. Asa Andrew is a national best-selling author and host of the #1 Health Talk Radio Show in North America. In addition to his hit television series, Dr. Asa is a regular contributor to NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, and FOX and regarded as a healthcare leader in the field of lifestyle medicine.


*Exercise is Medicine is a campaign of the American College of Sports Medicine for health care professionals to encourage exercise for improving overall health.