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If you’re not training hard at least twice per week, you’ll have a very hard time gaining lean mass, as your muscles won’t be being exposed to enough stimulation to grow.
Here’s how to work out your required calories – Take your bodyweight in pounds and multiply it by 18, 20 or 22 – Multiply by 18 if you have a sedentary job and train hard with weights two to three times per week.
In my experience, women gain muscle much more slowly than men, mainly due to having lower levels of muscle-building hormones like testosterone.
Therefore, going with the 18/20/22 figures would lead to excessive fat gain in all but the most active, genetically gifted females.
This enables you to gain muscle, albeit at a slightly slower rate, but with much less in the way of fat gain.
Using this approach (depending on your starting point) you could bulk for 12 to 24 months while still looking lean and without fear of gaining an uncomfortable or excessive amount of body fat.
To determine what your ideal intake should be, ask yourself what your favourite types of foods are.
Contrary to the cutting article, there will be no category for sedentary folks who do little to no exercise.
You’ll likely enjoy a diet far more (and therefore be much more likely to stick to it) if you have more room for your preferred higher-fat foods in your diet.
If, on the other hand, you’re more of a carb-o-holic, and crave bread, pasta, crisps and pretzels, aim for 0.3 to 0.4 grams per pound.
You need between 0.3 and 0.6 grams of fat per pound of bodyweight.
This should be largely based off personal preference, as provided you’re hitting a minimum of 0.3 and not exceeding 0.6, you’re okay.
Here’s what women should do Take your bodyweight in pounds and multiply it by 16, 17 or 18 – Multiply by 16 if you have a sedentary job and train hard with weights two to three times per week.