Ideas for Girls To Assist Overcome Hormonal Hurdles In Constructing Muscle

Let’s face it, when it comes to building muscle, men pack it on faster than women. t only that, they shed fat at high speed as well. (I know, it’s not fair.) The answer to why men reap faster fitness results compared to women isn’t hard to figure out: hormones.

“While testosterone is hailed as the primary muscle builder, women typically have lower concentrations, around 15-20% less than men,” explains Marlyne Perez, RD, CPT, NASM.

“Additionally, females have higher levels of estrogen and progesterone, which can affect muscle growth and recovery in different ways than testosterone,” she adds, hence, creating these hormonal hurdles that can make building muscle and shedding fat a bit of a struggle for females.
The good news is, there are simple strategies for women to overcome these hormonal hurdles to pack on muscle and shed unwanted fat. With a little patience and understanding of how the female body works, you’ll be on your way to meeting your goals

Two Hormones That Play an Important Role in Building Muscle

“Effective bodybuilding relies on optimal levels of anabolic hormones, a necessity that extends to female athletes,” explains Perez. “Alongside resistance training, these hormones, including insulin, testosterone, and growth hormone (GH), drive bone and muscle growth, enhance strength, and promote leanness.”

Here is a quick overview of these important hormones.

  • Insulin: Its role in carbohydrate metabolism is pivotal, facilitating the infusion of sugars into muscle cells and aiding in post-workout recovery.
  • GH (Growth Hormone): t only contributes to muscle building and fat burning but also expedites healing after injury and repairs muscle tissue post-exercise. GH also stimulates protein synthesis, which promotes muscle growth and fat metabolism.

Fun Fact: Females inherently boast higher GH levels than males, an asset considering the decline in GH levels with age.


Top Tips To Overcome The Female Hormonal Hurdles

Despite variances in biology, Perez explains women can successfully develop and maintain muscle mass through sound nutrition and strength training. “It’s essential to highlight the importance of a well-rounded, nutrient-dense diet and incorporating strength exercises that work for all major muscle groups.”

Therefore, by emphasizing nutrition, exercise, and recovery, women can optimize their muscle-building capabilities and reach their fitness goals effectively.

Address Your Stress

Cortisol, a hormone released in response to stress, can trigger muscle breakdown when it accumulates excessively. Prolonged elevation of cortisol levels from chronic stress can result in muscle loss and disrupt muscle tone. To mitigate or prevent this, implementing stress management techniques is critical. These include:

  • Deep breathing
  • Meditation or Prayer
  • Walking in nature
  • Relaxation techniques like Tai chi, yoga, stretching, biofeedback, music and art therapy, aromatherapy, or hydrotherapy.
  • Journaling

Don’t Be Afraid to Lift Heavy

To stimulate muscle growth, resistance training is essential, providing the necessary mechanical tension and metabolic stress. This concept, known as “progressive overload,” involves consistently challenging muscles with increased loads to drive adaptation and growth. Research indicates that even just three 13-minute sessions per week over eight weeks can significantly enhance strength and endurance. However, muscle hypertrophy is influenced by training volume, with higher volumes yielding greater gains.

Perform a Bit of HIIT

High-intensity exercise triggers GH release from the anterior pituitary gland, aiding muscle repair. The more muscles are fatigued, the more GH is released.

Eat Clean and Get Enough Calories

To support muscle growth effectively, it’s crucial to ensure that the extra calories come from the right sources, primarily protein—the building blocks of muscle. Skeletal muscle size hinges on the equilibrium between muscle protein synthesis (MPS) and breakdown (MPB), both influenced by exercise and amino acid intake.

MPS is particularly sensitive to the quantity and quality of amino acids, especially leucine, whereas MPB is regulated in part by dietary protein. While excessive protein consumption offers no added benefits, aiming for at least 1g per pound of body weight helps maintain a positive nitrogen balance. Besides protein, incorporating healthy fats, abundant fruits and vegetables for phytonutrients, and minimizing refined and processed foods is crucial.

Get Adequate Sleep

Growth hormone release coincides with deep sleep, and its levels correlate with the duration of this sleep stage. Inadequate deep sleep means less growth hormone, impacting muscle recovery and growth. Moreover, insufficient sleep disrupts hunger hormones, affecting appetite regulation. It lowers leptin levels while increasing ghrelin, leading to heightened hunger and food intake.

Therefore, quality sleep isn’t just crucial for muscle health but also for appetite control and weight management.

Sleep Tip

To ensure proper rest, Perez suggests aiming for seven to nine hours of uninterrupted sleep and adopting sleep hygiene practices like limiting screen time before bed, maintaining a cool environment, avoiding late caffeine consumption, ensuring darkness in the bedroom, wearing light clothing, and practicing relaxation techniques.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *