We all know that strong is, officially, the new skinny. However, building that strong, sexy, fit body that’s become so popular all over social media takes plenty of hard work, and an approach to health and fitness that may be radically different to what you’re used to. Rest assured – even a total fitness newbie can get into the weights room and start strength training their way to a killer physique with the right beginner’s tips.

  1. Know your nutrition. The way you approach food as a strength-training fitness-focused woman looking to build muscle and tone your physique is totally different to the approach you’d take if you were purely looking to shed fat and drop a dress size. While cutting calories may have helped you make progress in those cardio bunny days, lifting weights and building muscle requires good quality food and plenty of protein. Bulk Powders can be a great tool if you want to make protein-packed, calorie-dense smoothes to re-fuel after a workout, but don’t neglect that all-around balanced, nutritious diet if you want to build a stronger, healthier body.
  2. Don’t fear the weights. Many women stay away from the weights room out of a fear that lifting weights and building muscle will leave them looking ‘bulky’ rather than sleek and toned. This is a myth that needs to die. Thankfully, there are plenty of fitness models on social media these days that can show you through their results that it’s totally possible to have a gorgeous, feminine body, along with serious strength and fitness. Building muscle takes time and plenty of effort, so you certainly won’t walk out of the gym after 2 weeks looking like a pumped-up bodybuilder.
  3. Ignore the scale.Your scale is not your friend when you’re aiming to make changes to your physique through strength training. If your nutrition is right and you’re consistently progressing with a weight training program, you’re bound to lose fat and gain muscle That may show up on the scale as weight gain, which can leave you feeling discouraged and uncomfortable. Focus on measurements and the weights you’re lifting if you need numbers to measure your progress, but keep your sense of wellbeing and self-love as the top priority, rather than an arbitrary number on a scale.
  4. Understand form. Using improper form while you lift is a common error that can lead to pain, injuries, and a frustrating lack of progress in the gym. It may be worth hiring an experienced trainer to get you started so you know you’re using proper form with every movement, but if budget is an issue you can always watch demonstration videos online to help you get your movements right.
  5. Master the basics first. There are certain weight training moves known as compound lifts. These include squats, deadlifts, and the bench press, as well as several other simple exercises that help strengthen multiple areas of your body. If you can master the form and basics of these strength-training tools first, they make a great foundation for a simple program that’ll help you gradually make progress. Once you’ve got those down, you can add in isolation exercises that focus on particular areas of your body where you want to see more curves and muscle mass.