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muscle building exercises for women

muscle building exercises for women

I am a huge advocate for building muscle. I love the way it looks on a female. For years I wanted people to notice that I worked out. Finally, after losing enough fat off my entire body, my muscle definition became visible.

Muscle is not just aesthetically pleasing, it is EXTREMELY important for these reasons:

Muscle will

  • make daily activities easier to perform,
  • burn more calories, making you burn WAY more calories throughout the day
  • build stronger bones, preventing osteoporosis (important for females)
  • improve flexibility and balance
  • improves strength and POSTURE
  • reduces loss of muscle mass due to inactivity (this is extremely common as we age)
  • improve body composition
Muscle can do one of two things:

  1. Grow larger and/or stronger
  2. Shrink and/or get weaker
The only way to create muscle tissue is by breaking down the muscle and rebuilding stronger and bigger cells. The most effective way to do this is through resistance training. With proper training, your muscles grow stronger and larger.

Importance of Muscle Balance

There is a right and wrong way to exercise. One key component when starting any exercise program is the focus on creating balance throughout the body by incorporating every muscle.  By targeting one muscle group more than another, you can create weak joints and weak muscles that will cause injury.

Take for example our quadriceps. If we worked only our quadriceps and left our the hamstrings and hip dominant exercises, we would end up with a pelvic tilt that will cause a tremendous amount of strain on the back.That said, the importance of working the entire core is just as important.

POP QUIZ: How many muscles make up our core?

a) 6
b) 10
c) over 2 dozen


There are a lot of muscles to consider when working your core. Your core includes your abdominal muscles, as well as lower back muscles, and hip muscles that stabilize your spine and keep you upright  .Your core allows you to:

  1. Bend forward and back
  2. Bend from side to side
  3. Rotate

Your program must include all three types of movements when working the core for optimal performance. Proper technique of each exercise is equally important to building muscle. If you don’t understand what a certain muscle does, how can you recruit it to tear it down and rebuild?

I will leave you with one final thought:

There is scientific evidence to show a decline in metabolism for every decade of aging after 25. There is additional research that shows a decline of muscle mass from the ages of 25-65. Since muscle uses energy, is it safe to assume the decline in muscle mass attributes to the decline in metabolism. I THINK SO!

TAKE HOME:No matter your age (as long as your bones are fully grown), start/keep resistance training!!!

Check out one of the very BEST muscle building programs below: MI40

MASS INTENSIONS 40 – 40 reps, 40 seconds rest for 40 days!

Happy resistance training!

Join the discussion 15 Comments

  • Jessica Romeo says:

    I’ve been using your dvds for the last few weeks, I absolutely love them but I have noticed that my clothes feel tighter than when I first started. Is this common? I was concerned and did some research and found that you will seem fatter than when you first start until you lose the same amount of body fat to water weight, is that true? I hate to feel this discouraged in the beginning while trying to stay motivated. Thanks for your help, inspiration and motivation! 🙂

    • Flavia says:

      Hey Jessica. Sometimes it is because you are building muscle (which is great). Holding onto water is totally common also. MAKE SURE to drink a ton of water to flush out your system. If you want to speed up the process, try keeping your heart rate high by moving through the exercises faster and taking less of a rest than you are currently. Also, if you were used to doing a lot of cardio before you started and you stopped to do FBL, that could also effect your results. Your body will begin to drop the fat when it regulates from the change from a lot of cardio, to barely any. AND, you can always speed up results by adding interval workouts-this is the absolute quickest way to lose fat. Start with 2- 20 minutes interval sessions where you are truly giving it your all.

  • D says:

    Hi Flavia,

    Congratulations on all the achievement, you’ve become my go-to for tips and advice on overall health, not just fitness – so thank you 🙂

    My goal is to lose 10 kg (approx 20 pounds) and I am not in a rush, because I don’t believe that quick diets truly bring results in the long-run. (Have tried and I just gained it all back). I am 26 and 5″6 tall. I used to be able to lose fat easily just by eating less when I was 20, but now it seems like it got a bit harder to do so. I am able to access the gym in my buiilding everyday and intend on taking on a regime to lose body fat and gain muscle. I have a couple of questions:

    (1) What is the main difference in results in fat loss, between a 30-min cardio work out on an elliptical machine versus the treadmill, other than of course, running/stepping?
    (2) Do you recommend a morning work out or an evening work out? Before or after meals?
    (3) When you say “interval training” do you mean high intensity periods in cardio followed by “rest” periods?

    Many thanks for your help and keep leading by example! 😀

    • Flavia says:

      Hey Donya. YOU CAN DO IT 100%

      1) There isn’t much difference, although going up steps, as in a stepmill is far more effective. If you want to see a difference use interval cardio strategies on ANY machine
      2) Cardio I like to do in the morning on an empty stomach (this is a working progress for people). Weights I find better at night because I have food in me for strength. If you are doing weights, go later on, but the main thing is to go! The time isn’t really that relevant.
      3) YES! So you can do sprints or eliptical intervals or even jumping jacks, lunges, skipping…intense then rest on/off

  • Sierra says:

    Hey Flavia,
    My midsection is not as thin as I would like, and I have heard that if your belly is not flat you should stay away from ab/core workouts so that your midsection doesn’t bulk up. I want to know if this is true, and if not what type of exercises do you recommend for abs/core? Thanks

    • Flavia says:

      I think that is false. The one thing to think about is not using heavy weights when working your obliques as this could make your waist look wider. I do believe you need to lose fat from all over your body with exercise and diet to see your abdominals but you should work your core especially for protecting your back. I recommend doing more rectus abdominis exercises than obligues and make sure to completely fatigue your core when you are working it. Hanging leg raises are my fav

  • Kendra Compton says:

    Good morning Flavia,

    Love all the articles on the benefits of weight training for women and am too a firm believer that women need to be doing weights. I was wondering how much cardio you do in your weekly workout program, and now long each cardio session lasts?



  • K says:

    As you rightfully said, it is important to keep doing resistance training. Scientific research shows that our metabolism slows down after a certain age. However, if exercise is part of our lifestyle it should not affect us that much. We can just change up our routine to work with our age.

  • oana says:

    Hi Flavia.Love this great.i do have a question.I want to gain same 10-15 the gym im doing like 15 min cardio then lifting think thats oki?im doing this for like a can see the results but i have the same pounds like when i start.

    thanks! oana

    • Flavia says:

      The cardio is fine, it sounds like it is more of a warm up. Don’t do high intensity before you train. In order to build muscle, have some sets that you only lift 6-8 reps, so lift heavy. ALSO– you have to make sure you eat enough calories to grow. Eat at least 2 carb meals post-workout. Thanks Oana and keep us updated on your success.

      • Oana says:

        Thanks Flavia for your quick answer.I’m doing cardio just to warm leafting havy and do 6-8 like 3/4 sets.right?my problem is that am not eating enough so I start to drink some protein shakes.thanks again for your tips and videos.I’ll let you know;)

  • Brian Brown says:

    I stumbled upon your site and am so very glad I did. You tell it like it is. More people need to know that muscles can be re built if done correctly. Too many give up too soon but with sites like your around maybe more will stick with it.

    I will have to come back as your recipes look like they need more investigation.

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