These days it seems like more females are drawn to the lure of bodybuilding than ever before. Maybe its because there’s a greater awareness of the benefits of bodybuilding for women or the fact that there’s a greater appeal for muscular women in this ‘woke’ era.
Whatever the case may be, women are hitting the gym at an ever rising rate. But to become a bodybuilder takes a lot of discipline, focus, commitment, courage, and willpower.
It takes a lot of sacrifice to wake up very early in the morning to a daily routine of meal prep, diering, cardio, weight training, and supplementation.
Whether your reason for bodybuilding is out of curiosity or you are determined to make a mark in the world of professional female bodybuilding, you should always seek out the best women bodybuilding plan that is ideally suited to meet your training, meal prepping, dieting, and supplementation needs.
This post highlights how you can start your bodybuilding journey, the best workout plan for women, and tips on bodybuilding nutrition. But first we begin with an overview of bodybuilding for women.
Women in Bodybuilding
The likes of Andrea Shaw, Melina Keltaniemi, Monique Jones, Andrulla Blanchette, Theresa Ivancik, and Elisa Pecini (to mention a few), are some of the top IFBB PRO female bodybuilders out there.
These women are on top of their game by dint of hard work, and a full commitment to the bodybuilding lifestyle. For them, bodybuilding is a way of life and not a hobby.
While bodybuilding in itself is a form of sport, like in most sports, it requires athletes to dedicate their entire life, time, and effort to the cause. It involves having a clearly defined training program that is drawn up along with a nutrition plan created to meet the energy demands of regular, intense workouts.
In truth, the best women’s bodybuilding plan is one that is specific to your peculiar bodybuilding needs and goals. While the elite female bodybuilders mentioned are into bodybuilding as a full-time sport, not everyone has the wherewithal to stay committed to bodybuilding as a profession.
Some women have specific goals that they want to achieve from their bodybuilding efforts. This could be to lose a certain amount of body fat and/or gain a certain level of muscle mass. Others may be interested in bodybuilding for improved body composition and to have a more sculpted physique.
Whatever your peculiar bodybuilding goals may be, you still need to plan, work, and aim towards it.
How to start Bodybuilding for Women?
As someone just starting out as a bodybuilder, you need to get as much information about bodybuilding as possible. Like in most endeavors in life, you should never jump in head first without having a clear understanding of what bodybuilding entails.
Here are some pointers to get you started as you decide to become a bodybuilder today.
#1. Get a personal trainer:
You need a mentor, a guide, a tutor, and an inspiration. Your personal trainer can be all this and more. He or she will help you from scratch to finish.
You will learn the rudimentary stuff from your coach like the proper technique and application for lifting different weights, cardio, nutrition, dieting, and so on.
Your coach will be that voice encouraging to keep going even when you’re at your wits end.
#2. Keep a training log:
Your coach will definitely instruct you on how to keep a training log. This is a crucial aspect of bodybuilding as you need to track your workout sessions, diet, nutrition, and supplementation.
Having a training log and knowing how to use it will go a long way in ensuring that you’ll be on course to achieving your bodybuilding goals.
#3. Weight training is key:
While cardio is great for cardio-vascular conditioning and improving stamina, you still need to engage in weight training if you want to build muscle mass.
Weight training will help to define your body composition and physique as you train different major skeletal muscle groups of your upper and lower body.
#4. Don’t be too hard on yourself:
When it comes to bodybuilding for women or men for that matter, patience is the key. You really shouldn’t be too hard on yourself if you think you are not progressing as fast as you may have hoped.
Everyone is different in their physiology and while some people may display bodybuilding gains early on in their bodybuilding careers, others need a bit more time to thrive.
You just need to keep up the daily grind, stay focused on your goals, and be dedicated to your training, diet, and supplements.
#5. Leave your comfort zone:
The best women’s bodybuilding plan is only as good as the person implementing it. And if you have such a plan drawn up by a qualified bodybuilding trainer, then it is most likely going to be progressive.
You are most likely going to have to gradually, but surely lift weights that are way beyond your comfort level. This is alright, as you need to test your physical capabilities to the limits under proper guidance of course.
So be prepared to leave your comfort zone if you want to be a bodybuilder. This means heavier weights, more sets, and more repetitions.
What about Bodybuilding Nutrition?
Nutrition is just as important to bodybuilding for women as any training program. In fact, the best women’s bodybuilding plan is designed in such a way that your daily nutritional requirements are structured according to your workout sessions. In other words, the type and amount of food you eat will be sufficient to provide you with your energy requirement for each training day.
Typically, your daily nutrition will consist of the three macronutrients of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. But depending on your bodybuilding goal, the amount of your daily consumption of each of these macros will vary.
For example, if you want to build significant muscle mass, then your protein consumption will be pretty high in comparison to the other macros.
Being able to adhere to a macro-counting diet or IIFYM is absolutely essential if you’re serious about bodybuilding.
There are several diets available, but once again your trainer and/or nutritionist can help streamline a dietary plan that will meet your bodybuilding goal by providing you with a daily nutritional requirement to meet your training needs.
Best Workouts Plans for Women
As mentioned before, the best bodybuilding plan is one that incorporates a clearly defined workout program plus nutrition, diet, and supplementation plan.
Women should typically train two times daily. This will normally involve anywhere from half an hour to 120 minutes of cardio followed by about 60 minutes of strength training.
It is not unusual to find female bodybuilders running a “split”. This is where they decide to train their arms, back, chest, legs, and shoulders on separate days rather than on the same day.
So a five-day split would be required to train each of the aforementioned body parts followed by two whole days of rest. Your workout plan could look like this:
- Day 1: Arms,
- Day 2: Back,
- Day 3: Chest,
- Day 4: Legs,
- Day 5: Shoulders,
- Day 6: Rest, and
- Day 7: Rest.
You could also structure your workout plan to have two or more days dedicated to training your upper body (arms, back, chest & shoulders) and two or more to training your lower body (legs).
It really all depends on your bodybuilding goals and what is recommended for you by your trainer based on your specific bodybuilding needs. Another way to look at your training is to plan for working specific muscle groups about two times per week.
Here you will alternate between push, pull and legs workout days with just one day dedicated to recovery as follows:
- Day 1: Push Day (training your chest, shoulders and triceps)
- Day 2: Pull Day (training your back and biceps)
- Day 3: Legs Day (training your calves, glutes and quads)
- Day 4: Push Day (training your chest, shoulders and triceps)
- Day 5: Pull Day (training your back and biceps)
- Day 6: Legs Day (training your calves, glutes and quads)
- Day 7: Rest Day.
Before you start training, you need to warm up with stretching exercises. Your upper or lower body workout sessions should consist of between 3 to 4 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions per set.
Beginning with compound workouts which require multiple joints to execute is always a wise decision. Exercises like deadlift, bench press, and squats fall under this category of workouts.
Once you are done with compound exercises, you can then proceed to engage in isolation workouts like leg extensions and bicep curls which make use of only one major joint.
By running compound exercises first, you will improve the dexterity of your joints making them better prepared to cope during an isolation exercise.
In terms of lifting weights, you need to determine your one repeat to maximum or 1RM. This is the weight in which you can normally just execute once before you need to rest.
So in executing 3 to 4 sets or 8 to 12 reps per exercise, you need to run the reps on a weight class of between 60 to 70 percent of your determined 1RM for the weight in question.
In summary, the best women bodybuilding plan is one that takes into cognizance your peculiar bodybuilding needs including your daily nutritional requirements, diet, and supplementation.
It is one that clearly states your workout days as well as the body part specified for training while also indicating days reserved for recovery. But you need to remember that the best workout plans do not guarantee success.
So you have to be patient and stay committed to your work ethic for long-term bodybuilding gains.
If you want to chat with an IFBB PRO on the best workout plan for your bodybuilding needs, you can do so here today.