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10 Reasons Why Females Should Be OBSESSED With Gaining Muscle…

By May 13, 2012April 16th, 201439 Comments

I am a huge advocate for gaining muscle… it’s my secret obsession! I love the way it looks on a female. And the best news is that females only need to add a few pounds of quality muscle, unlike guys who need to add much, much more to stand out.  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 and people noticed!  Muscle is not just aesthetically pleasing, it is EXTREMELY important for a wide range of benefits you may not know.

female fitness tips

Here are ten reasons women should be obsessed with gaining muscle:

1. Muscle helps you live longer! According to Tufts University, the more muscle mass you have, the better chance you have of living longer. Guess the top biomarker for increased life span? Muscle! It’s been shown to estimate a longer life even more than total cholesterol or blood pressure!

2. The more muscle you have the more calories you burn at rest. It is estimated that for every pound of muscle you gain you burn an extra 50 calories a day. Add 5 pounds of muscle and you’ll burn an extra 1,750 calories a week! That’s the equivalent of going on the treadmill five times a week for 40 minutes!

3. Muscle makes life and everyday activities easier. The more muscle you have, the more strength you have. Researchers at Tufts University determined that strength is the number two predictor for longevity!

4. Muscle improves body composition. According to world renowned strength coach Charles Poliquin, for every kilo of lean muscle you gain, there is an equal loss of weight in body fat! Look at this way, if you gained 4 kg of muscle during a 12 week program, in the same 12 weeks you would drop 4 kg of fat! So if you started at 20% body fat and 60 kg of bodyweight, your body fat would now be 13%! These body composition changes will make you look absolutely amazing and feel very empowered.

5. Muscle empowers women because of the new sense of strength and power that muscle gives!

6. The more muscle you have the more insulin receptor sites you have, and the more sensitive they will be. This means it’s easier to stay leaner and keep the fat off!

7. Muscle builds stronger bones, preventing osteoporosis.

8. Muscle improves flexibility and balance.

9. Muscle can improve the postural muscles to enhance your posture.

10. And most importantly, muscle makes you look great naked! Want a sexier butt? Add some muscle, strip the fat and VOILA! Want your waist to look tinier? Shape your shoulders and WOW! Want to make your legs look longer? Strip some fat and add some muscle and SHAZAM!

Now that you understand why women should be obsessed about gaining muscle, here is what you need to know about muscle tissue. It can do one of two things:

  1. Grow larger and/or stronger
  2. Shrink and/or get weaker

So how do you gain lean, sexy and hard looking muscle safely?

If you want to be toned, sexy and defined curves, don’t be afraid of training with weights

A desirable female physique is one that can only be achieved by moving some serious iron in the weight room! But what about all the talk about weight training making women big and bulky? First, it is physiologically impossible for you as a woman to put on large amounts of muscle mass; you’re body’s hormonal makeup is not one that will allow you to do so. God never intended for women to look like men (go figure), so he made the chemistry of each gender’s respective bodies different. Regardless of how you train, how often you train, how much protein you eat, etc, you’re not going to even come close to the big, bulky physique of a female bodybuilder. It will not happen. That look is only obtainable by one means: steroids. Because their natural hormonal profiles would never allow them to get that “big,” they resort to changing their body’s chemistry through the use of illegal drugs. Secondly, if the right training method is chosen, the hypertrophic (growth) response to resistance training can be even further reduced. This brings us to our next point.

If you want to be toned, sexy and defined curves, you should train HEAVY with weights.

Training with heavy loads and low volume (sets x reps) is the best way to get hard and strong, but not big. Muscular hypertrophy is generally a response to a high volume work output; therefore, by keeping the sets and reps low with heavy training, you won’t have to fear getting overly big (this really isn’t even an issue due to the physiological reasons mentioned earlier). Why then is it commonly recommended that women train with lighter loads? Well, there are a couple reasons.

First, there is the typical stereotype that women are weak, fragile creatures who can’t handle anything more than pushups on their knees and bicep curls with pink dumbbells. Give me a break.

Secondly, the belief that high-rep training increases muscle tone is 100% myth. Losing fat is the only thing that can reveal the status of your “tone” and high rep training does very little for improving your “tone”.

If you want to be toned, sexy and defined curves, you should train with compound, multi-joint movements.

If you want to sport a hard body, you better start training heavy. Big, compound movements such as the deadlift, squats, presses, chin ups and rows are superior to machine, isolation-type movements for toning up your thighs, butt and upper body as they allow you to use challenging weight while training a number of muscle groups simultaneously. Another benefit obtained by performing multi-joint compound movements is increased confidence. With strength comes confidence.

Getting skinny and soft is the easiest task in the world – starve yourself and avoid weights. But once you stop starving yourself all the weight will come right back and you’ll be fat and soft. Not exactly what we want!

Instead, tapering your calories down gradually (without doing anything extreme), while adding metabolic resistance training workouts to strip the fat to reveal your muscle tone and adding heavier weights and lower reps will help you reveal a sexier, athletic and fit body!

What is sexier to you, fit and athletic, or skinny and weak?  Let me know below!


P.S. If you’re excited and interested about learning how to create toned, defined and sexy curves then get ready for the release of my CURVALICIOUS Body Sculpting System going live May 21!



Join the discussion 39 Comments

  • Ana says:

    I always thought it was best to do lots of reps with light weights. Thanks for clearing that up for me!! I’m now ready to go HEAVIER! 🙂

  • Casey says:

    Fit and athletic for sure! Look forward to your new program Flavia!

  • Michelle says:

    Hi Flavia – I’m a huge fan of yours and continue to read everything you put out! This is a great article. It will always be helpful if when you (and Ryan) are making training videos that you tell us what weight you use. I cannot wait for Curvalicious!!

  • Elizabeth says:

    I personally think muscles are sexy but I know people who don’t. It’s all about opinion. I like training with heavier weights too, being strong gives me confidence. I like being able to do everything for myself 🙂

  • Anna says:

    I have been following you and Vince for a while now so I know that I need to use heavy weights, but I used to not think so. I can tell that I look soooo much better now that I pump some serious iron! This was a wonderful article, women should not be scared to use heavy weights! Weights are a woman’s best friend!

    Yay! May 21st, 7 more days! I can’t wait!!!!

  • Tami C says:

    Yay!! Can’t wait for CURVALICIOUS!! Its so true about lifting the heavier weights. I have been lifting heavy now for a little while and although I have only lost about 3-5 lbs, my body is totally different and I’m two sizes smaller. Crazy how that works. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Tina says:

    I’m thinking that there’s an in between veiny and wide shouldered fit & athletic and skinny and soft to strive for.

    I find the Maria Menounos look more attractive than say, the Kim Lyons look. Nothing wrong with Kim’s look, it’s just not for everyone. Muscle can be plenty strong and not be big and veiny. Heck, big muscles can be soft and weak as I’m sure you know, Flavia.

    That said, Flavia, you look really great and you have lots of great information on here. I don’t mean to offend. You did say ‘Speak Your Mind’ ;~).

  • John says:

    Hey Flavia,

    Fantastic advice and knowledge. I found you through John Romaniello who’s work I really love. I did John’s SUPERHERO workout a couple times and over the past few months I’ve gotten my girlfriend (a DIE HARD yogi and still is) to start lifting weights with me, she’s really been enjoying it. We’ve used the SUPERHEO for Women as a basis and I’ve kept our workouts to big, compound, multijoint movements, push-ups, bodyweight, core, planks, etc, typically 8-12, sometimes 15reps. We’re doing full body sessions, two days a week right now and have consistently since late Jan ’12. My question is, it seems she might be holding excess water, maybe bloating some, I thought it might be excess glycogen retention, I’m certainly no expert. She’ll share a protein smoothie with me probably 4-5x’s a week, she eats well, mostly vegetarian, but fish 3-4x’s a week, lots of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, keep in mind this is the first type of resistance training she’s done in several years and by far the most intense, she’s 31. She’s noticed some weight gain too, but she acknowledges it’s muscle and she’s gotten noticeably stronger, hell she was doing spiderman pushups this weekend, two months ago, she was barely doing 6 push-ups from her knees! What do you think? Do you think the bloat might just be from the shock of the new exercise? Water intake seems to be decent, although I bet sometimes during the day, it’s not as much as it probably should be? Appreciate any thoughts, and thanks again for giving the RIGHT advice about exercise and nutrition. Thank you.

    • Flavia says:

      Could be a food sensitivity, maybe dairy or gluten? New muscle will hold some water for sure but often times it is diet related.

      • John says:

        Hmm….ok, dairy is out, she eats almost none, we use almond milk regularly, etc. Possibly gluten related.

        • Flavia says:

          Dandelion root is a natural diruetic…have her take that for a couple weeks to see if that helps.

  • Susie says:

    Hi Flavia! Great article! I am so excited about Curvalicious!! I hope that the program will include actual DVDs like Full-Body-Licious! Love them!

  • Howard says:

    Hi Flavia

    Great post and I really hope the ladies that read it take your advice.

    I train all my female clients with heavy weights and apart from their initial doubt and skepticism and cries of “I don´t want to get bulky” they all love watching their body firm up and get lean defined muscles.

    Keep up the god work Flavia


  • Shafin says:

    Yeah of course. I think woman with a straight rectangle plain arm looks boring. The muscle adds more curves and not just a straight cylinder arm which is very boring to look at.

  • Raquel says:

    Hey, great article, got a question.. what is the main difference between FULL-BODY-LICIOUS and Curvalicious. Thanks!

    • Flavia says:

      Curvalicious has targeted workouts for each muscle group rather than full body workouts. It also has some low reps and weights mixed in with higher resp with lower weights.

  • I’d like to add something to your item #2. Once you have that pound lean muscle built, it will always be there burning that 50 calories/day, provided you maintain it. It’s like you’re carrying around a personal non-stop fat burner.

    With regards to the treadmill exercise, you have to keep an elevated heart rate to burn calories and once you get off the treadmill, the calorie burning stops.

    Plus, resistance training is fast vs. the time spent with cardio trying to burn the same amount of calories.

  • Sandra says:

    Can’t wait for CURVALICIOUS!!

  • Karen says:

    how will the curvalicious workout compare to flavilicious?

    • Flavia says:

      The Curvalicious program still has metabolic style workout that cause a big afterburn long after the workout is done. The difference is with Curvalicious we will be targetting muscles specifically rather than doing full body workouts each day.

  • Fya says:

    Hi Flavia,

    I have gained muscle tone but I still need to lose fat esp. in my mid-section area (front and back). Will curvalicious be suitable for me? Is it metablic enough to burn serious fat? If I am right, curvalicious will focus more on shaping the body?

    • Flavia says:

      It is still geared to lose fat with the metabolic style circuits. Adding cardio will help too if you want to lose weight faster.

  • MEMORY says:

    Hey Flavia,
    yes i can’t wait for your curvalicious program….lets do it…

  • leah says:

    I have believed in women doing “heavy” weights for years. I am 53 yrs old, have one child, weigh 55kg and am 1.63cm tall, so am not skinny at all, but am toned, firm and strong. Just this last week I was told by a very buff 24 year old male trainer that I had a body of a 30 year old…….haha, isn’t that what we ALL want to hear?

  • Trelle says:

    I understand the difference between the two programs now, I have two questions…1( Will you let us know how we can implement the two programs? Do they compliment each other,or should we transition from Bodilicious to Curvilicious? And 2( will there be an at home version for those of us who HAVE to work out at home to fit it into our day? Thanks in advance for your answers, time and dedication. You are truely a great find for me. Bodilicious has changed my body.

    • Flavia says:

      Hey Trelle, there is a complete home version as well as the gym version. The two can be done together but I would just stick to one or the other program until you do at least 6 weeks of each and then you can switch between the programs from week to week.

  • Sue neil says:

    Great article Flavia. I have.been lifting heavy weights for 6 months now doing crossfit and I have never been as defined and lean as I am now and at 53 never been so fit. Keep up the great articles Flavia they are always informative. Love your work!

  • Jim says:

    There are still too many women who mistakenly avoid lifting weights. They just don’t realize that weight lifting is the best way to develop the strong, firm, athletic looking body that so many women want.

    Keep up the good work Flavia, as articles like this one will help convince more women to start lifting weights.

  • Catherine says:

    I love you Flavia! I was doing cardio for a few years before hitting the weights again and I’ve seen WAY more results in the last 7 months than in the years of cardio only, and that’s with injuring my knee (unrelated to weight training) just after Christmas and having to take it easy. I’ve had the younger people at the gym (i’m 40) watch with their mouths open when I’ve been doing my heavy weight, low reps cycles. Hahaha. Love it! Love weight training. Sometimes I borrow your saying “no one ever got ripped training like a girl”. That always gets a smile. I seriously LOVE where I’m gaining curves and so does my husband. And that’s with lifting heavy weights! My girls are perky again, my arms don’t flap away (I love having guns), still working on the last bit o’ belly but, J.Lo better watch out cuz my butts never looked better with the deadlifts I’ve been doing! Woop woop! I love reading your articles, watching your video clips, they have helped me sooo much. You’re inspiring!

    • Flavia says:

      Thanks Catherine, good job girl….doesn’t it feel great to workout? I was in my office getting everything done for the release of Curvalicious and I missed 2 workouts…I took Friday to Sunday off and I was so bummed out on Monday….I was running to the gym to get my head in a good space again. Love the endorphin release that comes from exercise, sounds like you got it!

  • Nadz says:

    Hey Flavia, just came across your site and love it so far, very inspiring!

    Just had a quick question.. What happens if you’re someone who wants to lose a good 30 pounds? Ive been doing 5 sets of 15-20 (heavy weights) for the longest time ever.. I was told that high reps wouldnt cause “bulking” (considering I needed to lose weight and feared that) even if the weights were high… I also run every time I’m at the gym (high intensity interval training).. I’m just so confused now.. I have broad shoulders unfortunately, and not the most curvacious butt AT ALL, lol.. I want to lose the weight and have that hard defined body, should I be doing cardio first, lose the “30 pounds then start doing heavy lifting? Or both at the same time? Confused, would appreciate your help!


    • Flavia says:

      Hey Nadz, a mixture of both! I would only do 15-20 reps maybe for one set especially if you are used to doing it. Try some heavy sets but in circuits to keep your heart rate high. Diet is super important also and one without the other won’t give you the results you desire.

      • Nadz says:

        Thanks a lot!

        Another question.. I read somewhere on your site that it drives u nuts seeing a woman workout with her bf at the gym doing the same thing and complaining of not wanting to “bulk”… but you’ve also stated that we should be going heavier because we wont ever bulk like men.. Can you please explain this? .. I’ve been lifiting heavier with 6-8 reps for a week now (after reading that) but I feel so thick everywhere 🙁 lol.. Will lunges/squats do this? Apparently squats “make you bulky”


        • Flavia says:

          Hey Nadz, no I don’t think you can be bulky and a female unless you trying to do so (and I don’t mean just with heavy weights).

          In the context, I was talking more about a fat loss program, Full-body-licious and also, it is important that if we want to lose fat, you can’t just be doing the same thinks in the gym that guys do when trying to bulk up. If we do that, we’ll have to do a lot more cardio to lose weight unfortunaltly. I do workout like a guy if I am trying to add muscle however!

          By thick you mean you have muscle underneith fat I am assuming – which would be great btw! Building muscle is much harder than losing fat. Lunges and squats burn a lot of calories and certainly will help to build the muscles in your legs. If you want more of a calorie burner, just don’t use a lot of weight.

  • Nadz says:

    You also mentioned something about doing a set of heavy weights for your chest, then the rest was regluar weights.. was this to prevent shrinkage? I’m average on my chest but fear I may lose a lotta that too because its the only thing I got going for me at the moment! 🙁

    • Flavia says:

      It is actually for muscle balance. If your back is stronger than your chest it will overcompensate so you want to make sure all muscles are strong. Usually boobs will shrink with weight loss but chest exercises help lift but doesn’t do much for keeping the size 🙁

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