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Home > The Cutting crew if the goal is muscle definition



The word once struck fear in the hearts of women worldwide, women afraid of "getting too big" and "looking bulky." But those of us who have been training for any significant amount of time know just how difficult it is to develop lean, quality muscle tissue, that moldable material that protects us as we age, increases our metabolism and makes us look terrific in shorts and tank tops

But just what is the elusive recipe for muscle-building success? Unfortunately the answer is as simple as quantum physics, and pretty much anything and everything could have an effect on how we gain--and don't gain--muscle. Our nutritional regimens, lifting routines, cardio programs, stress levels, genetics and feminine hormones all play a role in whether we're successful at building muscle.

Yet despite all these formidable influences, it can be done! Our lineup of four fitness pros proves it. Each of these women has had trouble gaining lean muscle in the past, and they share some winning strategies they used to break out of their problematic plateaus and set a course for sizable change.

be a heavy hitter with lisa lowe

Former IFBB pro fitness competitor Lisa Lowe has always had trouble gaining weight. "I was a dancer, so I was a total stick figure before I got into weight training," she laughs. "Lifting finally gave me some shape and curves, especially in my lower body. But it was a fight to add that muscle, and what worked for me was using really, really heavy weights."

Some women still fear lifting heavy, afraid of looking masculine, but our hormones work against us in that respect. Actually, women have to work much harder than men to add quality muscle to their frames. "When you say you want to 'tone up,' what you really want is to add muscle," says Lisa. "Remember: You can't tone fat. But you can shape your muscle, and if you're a hardgainer like me, using heavy weights is the only way to achieve that."

Choose a weight with which you can get only 8-10 reps per set, and perform 3-4 sets per exercise. Train only one or two bodyparts each day, always working a small part with a larger one, such as biceps with back and triceps with chest. If bodyfat isn't a problem for you, limit your cardio to 30 minutes four times a week at the most. "A lot of women tend to overtrain, and end up negating the gains they want to make," Lisa explains. "Limit your workouts to four days a week, and get plenty of rest on your days off. That downtime is when your body will recuperate and build your muscles, so total rest on those days is essential."

Implement a heavy training regimen for three months and see where it gets you. "If you're still not seeing results, something is off--maybe your diet is weak, or maybe you're doing too much cardio," Lisa states. "Keep a training and nutrition journal so you can go back and see where you need to tighten up or change your program.


lisa's trainign split

Day  Bodyparts Trained

 1   Chest, triceps
 2   Back, biceps
 3   Off
 4   Shoulders, abs
 5   Legs
 6   Off
 7   Off

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