Slim Girl's Guide to Getting Strong

Just as a foreword to this blog post I want to say that there is nothing wrong with being slim, or any healthy body composition, embrace and be happy with your body type, this is just a post to give some advice to people who like me, are of a slim build and want to add more muscle as it can be hard. Having an ectomorph body type blesses you with a lean build but means it can be difficult getting that extra bit of mass on you, so here are a few key points you need to consider...


Weights Weights Weights 

Do not be afraid of weights, if you want to add muscle then they are going to be your best friend. The old myth that weights make up bulky is a thing of the past, that only happens with lots of food, and I mean lots. By lifting weights it works your muscles and gives them the chance to grow the harder you push them. Depending on you goal depends on how many reps you do, if you're into your long distance exercise then doing 15+ reps will work best for you as it builds your muscle endurance so that you can last longer for events such as a marathon. If you're looking to condition your body and want to add muscle whilst remaining in overall good health then 8-12 reps will probably work well for you. If you're looking for pure strength and want to focus on the ultimate strength of your body then you want to be going no higher than 6 reps, right down to a 1 rep max. Whether you're a beginner or you've been going to the gym for a while and want to get training yourself, start with large compound exercises such as squats, bench press and deadlifts to get results. 

Eat your Protein 

Again, there has been a lot of talk about protein only being for bodybuilders to get 'hench' but it's another myth. Protein is one of 3 macronutrients, along with fats and carbohydrates which are ESSENTIAL for our body. Protein is made up of amino acids which are the building blocks of our body, they build and repair muscles, create enzymes that aid digestion and are also the base for our skin, hair and nails. If you're exercising then you need to have a sufficient amount so that your muscles can grow properly, that means around 1 gram per 1 pound of bodyweight when you're exercising regularly. Good sources of protein include chicken, turkey, red meat, eggs, greek yoghurt, pulses and tofu. 

Train 3-5 times a week 

Now this is your resistance training on top of any cardio you do, which includes, walking, running, cycling etc. These can be anything from 30 minutes a session and should involve weighted and bodyweight exercises to give your muscles some resistance to work against. Even if you don't always have access to a gym you can do a home bodyweight workout with exercises such as squats, press ups and burpees. 


Get plenty of rest

Rest is another essential part of physical exercise, as well as being physically exhausted without enough sleep, it can be detrimental to your progress. When you sleep your body is in the best position for recovery, meaning your muscles are repairing and growing at night, without a sufficient amount you're not giving your muscles the time they need to grow. Furthermore, if you're lacking energy a lot of the time then you won't be able to but 110% into your workouts and will be left feeling deflated even more once you've trained. 

Don't let anyone tell you you look like a boy

F**k the haters, there is nothing wrong with being strong and becoming a healthier version of you. The only reason people will be say things like this is because they are jealous and either wish they could look like you or had the courage to do what you've done. Embrace the muscle, not only will you look flipping fabulous but you'll be fitter and healthier, you'll be able to do everyday actions much easier and carrying the food shopping or lifting something up will no longer be a problem. 

Cya!
Eryn 

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