Team MuscleTech's Lindsay Cappotelli presents seven tips to help women achieve their dream physique. Learn how to train, stay motivated and track your progress.

Lindsay CappotelliWritten by Lindsay Cappotelli, Team MuscleTech.

So you want that toned, lean physique you see on the covers of fitness magazines? Those round shoulders, tone arms, defined quads, and tight glutes? Whether your goal is to tone up or to lose fat, building muscle is the key to transforming your physique.

Hopefully most of us know by now that the myth of women getting huge and “manly” from lifting weights is just that-a myth.  Rather than turning women into big, bulky “hulks”, muscles create a lean and toned figure. They can transform your body from soft and flabby to tight and firm. What woman wouldn’t want that?

With that being said, building muscle is not always an easy task, especially for women.  You have to be committed and in it for the long haul if you truly want to have a toned, muscular physique that others envy. For those of you who are serious about gaining muscle, here of some of my tips from what I’ve learned over my 10 + years of training that have helped me build the muscle that I have today:

Don’t overdo the cardio

Women often make cardio the focus of their workout routine and the weights get pushed to the back burner, when it should actually be the opposite. If you don’t have extra body fat to lose, you could even consider eliminating cardio completely, or limiting it to just 1-2 short, high intensity interval type workouts a week.

Eat more!

Another mistake women make when trying to gain muscle is simply not eating enough. Eating nothing but salads all day just ain’t gonna cut it! In order to gain muscle, you must consume slightly more calories than you burn.

In addition to lean beef, chicken, turkey, and eggs, having a couple of protein shakes is one way to help you hit your protein and calorie requirements for the day. I like to have my NitroTech protein immediately after workouts and Phase8 before bed.

Lift heavier

Ladies, don’t be afraid to get out of the 12-15 repetition zone! When I started lifting heavier with reps in the 5-8 range was when I really began seeing results. Plus, lifting heavy and being strong is an amazing feeling!

Focus on getting stronger on the basic, compound lifts and try to keep adding more weight to the bar. Don’t be afraid to lift heavy! You may be surprised by how strong you really are.

Keep a workout journal

I think this is a crucial often overlooked component. Instead of just going to the gym and doing random things or whatever you feel like that day, it’s best to go in with a plan.

Keep track of your exercises, weights, repetitions, and rest time in between sets, so that you can try to improve upon that from week to week. I like to plan out my workouts ahead of time every 4-6 weeks and make sure that I am constantly improving in some way.

Lindsay Cappotelli

Train with intensity

Many women don't know what it really means to lift with intensity, so they never get the results out of weight training that they truly could. When you are performing an exercise, you should be extremely focused; not just going through the motions.

Focus on the muscle you're working. Put your mind into it. Feel it moving and contracting. Focus. Breathe.Strain. Make every rep count!

Take progress pictures

It's sometimes hard to see how your body is changing when you look at yourself every day. Taking progress pictures every few months is one of the best ways to see how your body is changing. Weighing and measuring is one way to keep track of results, but photos will tell the true story.

Have the right mindset

Results won’t come overnight, and there may be times when you feel that you’re not making any progress at all. Try not to get discouraged. It can take years to transform your physique, so don't give up!

If you’re doing the right things consistently, the results will come. Be patient, trust the process and don’t forget to enjoy the journey!

Posted on: Sat, 10/22/2016 - 10:52
Posted on: Fri, 02/26/2016 - 18:14

I want to lose 25-30 lbs and then add muscle. What's a good fat burner? I'm currently taking good protein.

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Posted on: Tue, 03/01/2016 - 09:07

Lifting weights and eating in a caloric deficit over time.

Posted on: Fri, 04/04/2014 - 19:41

I love this article. I want the fitness model body and My work out partner preached the same thing to me. Had me lifting 155 deadlifts and squats ( which as new and scary to me) but felt really good when i could bust them out and had guys in the gym couldn't do the same.I had good form and realized that i was a lot stronger than i think. I have incorporated NTC for at least 2-3 nights to get a good 30-45 min hiit workout. My body looks soo different. I look athletic and have been told i look really strong yet keeping curves. I stlll have a nice butt lol. I do not do long periods of cardio because i get bored easily. Everything you have written has proved to be true and it is good to see an article that makes me feel like i am on the right track because even though what my friend has told me has helped my body and fitness level a lot i still wonder if i am doing the right thing.

Posted on: Mon, 03/17/2014 - 11:33

In The article you talk about to gain muscle you need to eat more calories than you burn in a day. I don't have much fat to lose but I would like to lose a little more on my stomach. I've read over and over again that you should consume less calories than you burn in order to lose fat. my question is what should I be doing? I am about 5"4 and weigh about 123 lbs. I eat about 6 times a day and consume around 15-1600 calories a day.
Am I eating too much or not enough or is that about the right amount? I am not looking to get huge muscle gain but I would like to look more toned have a flat toned stomach. I lift weights 6 days a week and do HIIT at least 3 times a week with lower intensity cardio the days in between. Am I doing the right thing?

Posted on: Tue, 02/11/2014 - 22:59

I want to stay free of steroids but want to gain muscle and size

Posted on: Wed, 01/22/2014 - 09:57

Donna, you answered your own question "my protein/carb intake is where it should be for my body weight". Realize that to add muscle, you WILL/HAVE TO add a few pounds, but don't let that bother you. If you add a couple pounds of muscle, it will naturally help reduce any extra fat you may have and as such, improve your BMI. Up your protein and good, complex carbs a bit for a couple weeks and see what happens. 1 gram of protein per desired lbs of lean body weight, and the same for carbs, if you are not already there. if so, up each. If you weigh 125, then go with 135 grams per day. If you are working out 3 times or so a week and gain weight after at least 2-3 weeks, it could very well be new muscle.

Posted on: Tue, 01/21/2014 - 19:04

Question.. I want to stay free of steroids but want to gain muscle and size. Is there a supplement for women to enhance my muscle growth? My protein/carb intake is where it should be for my body weight.