I hit the genetic jackpot in a number of ways, but the one I'm writing about today concerns muscle mass. I am one of the relatively uncommon women who can gain muscle quickly, and relatively easily.
Certainly, my activity level helps with this. Also certainly, my fairly high-protein diet helps. But a big part of it is just a gift. I suspect I have a higher-than-average level of androgens, and if I had wanted to be a Mother Goddess, this might have been detrimental. Since I didn't, however, it's 100% a good thing. (Also, of course, if I do have higher-than-average androgens, that might account, to some extent at least, for my lifelong disinterest in childbearing. This is one of those things that's not worth getting tested since there are no associated health risks.)
Anyway, this personalized TMI lead-in is simply to set up a look at incremental gains. Telling you up front that I gain muscle easily is just my way of saying, your mileage may vary. In fact, your mileage almost certainly will vary.
With easy muscle gain comes faster muscle response. If I increase the amount of weight I'm lifting (or supporting) I see and feel results very quickly. And because I have a fairly low level of body fat, I really do see the results.
Just because you don't see something happening, however, is no reason to assume that nothing is happening.
A lot goes on in the body that is completely invisible, and it's all important.
If you have an average or above-average level of body fat, moving weights is still going to potentiate muscle gain and fat loss. It's just going to take a little longer for you to see it. If you have significant fat to lose or if you are severely deconditioned, there is a certain amount of work, and time, that's going to be needed in order to reach a point where your body is prepared to start re-shaping itself.
That's what muscle does: it provides the shape, as well as the functionality, of the body. The more of your muscle mass you can see, the more defined your shape is. That's why they call it "definition." That's why a female athlete has upper arms that are not smoothly cylindrical.
Anyway, my point - and I do have one - is that people like me, who gain muscle and definition easily, are not doing it entirely through genetic advantage.
I would still be a shapeless spooge if all I did was sit on the couch.
I use my genetic advantage to accelerate the response that anyone can gain by shifting weights.
If you really want to re-shape your body, re-tune your metabolism, and re-design your physical life, I strongly recommend picking up a pair of dumbbells. They don't have to be big ones.
I use a wimpy little pair of 5-pounders. If I wanted to gain more muscle mass, I would shift up to 10-pounders and increase the proportion of protein in my diet. I also do yoga and calisthenics, which may not be commonly thought of as "weight lifting" but when you are supporting and moving your body weight, that counts.
Women should not be afraid of "bulking up." It's hard to do.
You cannot gain muscle by accident. You have to overload your muscles, and you have to eat a lot more, and "more" has to include pure nutrition including high levels of protein.
Lift some weights! Starting a weights program requires minimal investment of money and time. My 5-pound dumbbells cost me probably $30 and I've had them for ten years. They will never "wear out." My workout, which is a toning workout and not a mass-building workout, takes less than ten minutes. I do it two or three times a week.
When you start working with weights, you may discover that you like it. It's pretty cool to feel yourself getting stronger. And you may find that you, too, can see results more quickly than you'd imagined.
Sometimes your body is just waiting for you to give it a chance.