ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Get Muscle Mass With Strength Training

Updated on December 13, 2018

Women and men both lose lean muscle mass with age. But since women generally have less muscle mass to start with, it's especially important for them to maintain what they have and perhaps even increase muscle mass somewhat with resistance training.

Many women worry that weight training will produce big, bulky, masculine muscles. But in fact, women don't have enough testosterone for such muscle growth. The huge muscles seen on female bodybuilders are the result of an extreme training program and often, some form of anabolic supplement. For most women, a sensible resistance training program will tone and strengthen muscles, increase bone density, improve balance and flexibility, build stamina, and decrease body fat.

Get Strong Arms

Major muscle groups for men
Major muscle groups for men

Getting Started

Plan to do resistance training for 30 to 60 minutes, two to three times a week, leaving a day or two between workouts so your body can recover. ‘Resistance' can take many forms, from exercise machines to dumbbells, elastic bands or tubing, medicine or stability balls, or your own body weight. Choose the equipment that works best for you.

If you enjoy going to a fitness center, ask a trainer to show you how to use the weight machine circuit. If you prefer working out at home, consider investing in some tubing. But no matter what you do, it's important to learn the proper form for every exercise to gain the maximum benefits and avoid injury.

Your routine should include exercises that target each major muscle group-chest, back, abdominals, hips, legs, and arms (see box at left). Using your own body weight can be a good way to start. Squats give many of the benefits of a gym's leg press, leg extension, and leg flexion machines all in one, by strengthening the large muscles in the front and back of the legs, as well as the buttocks. Pushups give the benefits of chest presses, bicep curls, and tricep extensions; they increase upper body strength, particularly in the chest, the front of the shoulders, and the arms, and they also work the abdominal muscles and hip flexors.

Resistance bands are also a good option. For example, you can use a resistance band to do lat pulldowns, which strengthen the mid-back muscles, or chest presses to strengthen the pectoral muscles and front of the shoulders.

Eat Right

It's also important to follow a healthful diet. A study presented in November 2009 showed that eating foods rich in vitamins C and E, such as citrus fruits, nuts, and seeds, was positively associated with preserving muscle strength in older adults. The authors say the findings are one more reason to eat foods that contain antioxidants, but they advise against taking supplements, which may provide doses that are too high and could cause problems.

What you can do

• Before exercising, warm up for five minutes by doing an easy walk or jog while swinging your arms.
• Work your way up to eight to 12 repetitions of an exercise before increasing weight or adjusting a band's resistance upward; the last two repetitions of the set should feel somewhat difficult but not impossible to do.  
• Alternate body parts; for example, follow a leg exercise with an arm exercise.
• Learn and use proper form for every exercise to reap the most benefits and avoid injury.  

Woman of Strength

In this video, Aneta Florczyk from Russia is lifting 154lbs (70kg) of weight in each arm x 2 = 308lbs (140kg).


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)