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Thread: The best way for women to gain muscle/definition. page

  1. #1
    primalstar's Avatar
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    The best way for women to gain muscle/definition.

    Hi chaps,
    Still new to the forum but loving the knowledge, opinions and support.
    I am a 37 year old female who has been primal since summer last year.
    I am just after some opinions and ideas about how to gain some more muscle and definition.
    I currently train using the density principles 3x a week, with three sprint sessions chucked in (two on the treadmill and one on the bike). I am floating around 59-60kg at 160cm but I am not seeing the results I would have hoped for after 10 months.
    I follow the leangains style of eating (IFing between 16-20hr per day with 1 or 2 meals) and so use BCAAs for fasted training which seem to help a lot.
    I wondered if there are any primal ladies out there who had achieved good muscle definition and or growth without using creating or whey? Plus any opinions that the primal gents might have on how to proceed would be great.

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    Primal Fist's Avatar
    Primal Fist is offline Senior Member
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    Exactly the same as for men, lift heavy weights and get some short (as in no longer than 10min) high intensity conditioning sessions in. Doing it leangains style will also definitely help. Wifey and I are doing the 'Greyskull LP' (LP standing for linear progression) which is very good.


    extras: this is a brief description of the greyskull program, but there's an e-book available on the site that has more explanation and several program variations, including one for the ladies.

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    Thanks for the info primal fist man,
    Will give it a go
    When you say no longer than 10 minute for conditioning do you mean circuit stuff like burpees, press ups etc because I have been doing about 45 mins of this type of stuff or do you mean bicep curls, single leg squats etc
    I have been concentrating on whole body exercises to burn a bit more fat but I kinda figured I needed to start adding in some heavy lifting sessions.
    do you think I could do them back to back i.e density day 1/ rest day/ HL day 2/ rest day/ density day 3 etc or do you think this will damage my progress?
    Last edited by primalstar; 05-04-2011 at 07:07 AM.

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    You follow the Leangains style of eating, but I want to make sure that you're eating the right things.
    You lousy kids! Get off my savannah!

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    Try reducing frequency of high intensity weight lifting sessions. The body won't adapt musculature if you hammer it again before it has recovered. The more advanced you get usually the more rest you need. It helps to track performance with weightlifting. If your not progressing in reps or weight, it's often a good sign to reduce frequency or drop some exercises from your routine to see if you start improving again. I'm 1 in every 10 days right now for an 8 exercise HIT routing and I'm thinking of splitting it into two 4 move routines and alternating them every 7-10 days. Supplements are mostly pointless and can actually hold some people back. The body can have problems with supplements if not delivered the way nature intended(in food). Muscle is built by driving intensity into fight or flight energy stores and muscle fibers and then allowing the body ample time to fully recover. I admit though, it's hard to find the sweet spot and the sweet spot is often a moving target.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by primalstar View Post
    Thanks for the info primal fist man,
    Will give it a go
    When you say no longer than 10 minute for conditioning do you mean circuit stuff like burpees, press ups etc because I have been doing about 45 mins of this type of stuff or do you mean bicep curls, single leg squats etc
    I have been concentrating on whole body exercises to burn a bit more fat but I kinda figured I needed to start adding in some heavy lifting sessions.
    do you think I could do them back to back i.e density day 1/ rest day/ HL day 2/ rest day/ density day 3 etc or do you think this will damage my progress?
    I'm afraid I have no idea about density so I can't say either way on that. However, I'm a big believer in keeping things simple, and it doesn't get much more simple than three heavy lifting sessions* a week and a couple of intense conditioning sessions, sprinting being the most simple of these but the bodyweight exercises you mentioned would be great as well. And believe me, if you can do it for 45 minutes, you're not doing it at full intensity. Full intensity is horrible but thankfully brief, because you can't maintain it for more than around 10 minutes.


    *typically mon/wed/fri, and would be something like this over a two week period, then repeat:

    mon - overhead press/squat
    wed - bench press/deadlift
    fri - overhead press/squat
    mon - bench press/squat
    wed - overhead press/deadlift
    fri - bench press/squat


    with a good structure (excluding warmups) being something like 5,5,5+ (which means as many over five as you can do), except the deadlift which only needs one big 5+ set. Just start at a weight you can get 10-12 for your last set with for each lift, up the weight on the presses by 1kg each time and 2kg on the squats and deads each time, and when you can't hit five on the last set drop the weight by 10% and start again.

    There you go, a simple but very effective strength program that will get you to your goals (along with sprints etc and a good diet with enough protein) and which you can stick with for a few years. Easy as that. And as brutally hard as that .

    edit: oh, and add in assistance work if you want after the main lifts (like chins, for instance) but just a couple of sets or you'll bugger your recovery.
    Last edited by Primal Fist; 05-04-2011 at 09:02 AM.

  7. #7
    moo's Avatar
    moo
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    Since I haven't had access to a gym in over a month I began doing Simple Fit routines in the past 3 weeks and the improvement I see from that alone is remarkable. I also sprint 1-2 times a week (ok, mostly one). My belly button circumference is missing 3". I am 5'8.5 and was at 132 three weeks ago and now am at 137 but minus a lot of inches. My abs are sore most days just from these exercises. I would like to have a gym for dead-lifts etc but right now, I am getting by without it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Primal Fist View Post
    Exactly the same as for men, lift heavy weights and get some short (as in no longer than 10min) high intensity conditioning sessions in. Doing it leangains style will also definitely help.
    This

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    Are you doing the escalated density training?

  10. #10
    Kaytoo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moo View Post
    Since I haven't had access to a gym in over a month I began doing Simple Fit routines in the past 3 weeks and the improvement I see from that alone is remarkable. I also sprint 1-2 times a week (ok, mostly one). My belly button circumference is missing 3". I am 5'8.5 and was at 132 three weeks ago and now am at 137 but minus a lot of inches. My abs are sore most days just from these exercises. I would like to have a gym for dead-lifts etc but right now, I am getting by without it.
    Wow, that sounds fantastic! Congratulations on your progress! I've been wavering over the idea of giving up my gym membership when it runs out at the end of the month, but this is helping convince me that I should.

    If you don't mind sharing--what level of Simple Fit did you start at, and are you at the same level after three weeks?

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