Top Signs You're Gaining Muscle for Females

Building muscle can be a challenge for many women. Some reasons include societal pressures, hormonal differences, and even workout myths. For those reasons, it can be discouraging for a woman. The good news is it's always a good idea to put in the hard work at the gym and properly fuel your body.

That's always been the framework to follow, regardless if you are male or female. What are the signs of gaining muscle as a female? This guide will go over each one so you can know your answer. Getting those hard-earned gains is easier than ever with the proper exercise and nutrition. Let's dive in to show you the following signs that you could gain muscle as a female who is training regularly.

RAW athlete training in the gym


The Scale Situation

Yes, it's normal to have weight fluctuations. However, if the number on the scale gradually creeps up while your clothes feel tighter, this is a sign that you are gaining a bit of muscle mass - especially in your upper body. So don't worry; the good news is that it's muscle over body fat - always. So, as a female weightlifter, this is one of those signs that you are gaining muscle, and yes, weight can also be achieved.

If your weight is holding steady, but you notice your measurements are shrinking, then that's also a win. So have faith, knowing that you're going in the right direction. Even though workouts are essential, so is nutrition. Chris Bumstead, The Raw Nutrition team, highly recommends that you check out their whey protein powders, including the Vegan Protein Powder. These are excellent sources for getting the protein your muscles need to grow.

Yes, You Also Get Increased Strength, Too

One of the signs of female lean muscle growth is strength gains. Of course, the telltale sign is that you feel stronger during your workouts. If you increase your weight loads, bust more reps, or master new skills, you're building your strength correctly, and the hard work is paying off.

 It's important to remember that increasing the resistance incrementally is normal. Your muscles love the challenge, so they will be able to continue growing accordingly. To support these strength and muscle gains, we highly recommend that you try a pre-workout supplement such as Raw Nutrition's Pump Formula.

We recommend the non-stim version if you're uncomfortable with the high caffeine level. It provides excellent energy boosters and nitric oxide enhancers, enabling you to achieve that muscle pump that many fitness enthusiasts love while reducing muscle soreness after those intense days at the gym.

A woman on a bike in the gym

Mirror Musings 

Looking at yourself in the mirror, you might notice a more defined and toned version of yourself while trying out your new gym clothes. What if those aren't definite signs of gaining muscle in female lifters? You can consider that a massive win, especially when achieving your fitness goals, such as strength training or muscle building. The areas that you want to pay close attention to are your shoulders, arms, and legs. 

You could also notice some cuts and curves you didn't have before, which can be your confidence booster. It's another sign that hard work is paying off more times over. It's always nice knowing that your job is paying off and you're enjoying the benefits of a newly built physique, as well as the confidence knowing that you look good, feel stronger, and feel like taking on more challenging fitness goals with training programs that fit you best.

A woman doing squats in the gym


Plenty of Stamina 

Well, building muscles to become stronger and denser is one thing; you also notice an increase in something else. Your overall stamina and endurance levels will be higher than ever. Think about it: When's the last time everyday tasks left you winded, such as climbing stairs or even heavy loads? Guess what—those tasks will seem easier than ever before.

That's because you have more stamina and endurance than ever before, and this can be an even more powerful sign that you are gaining muscle as a female. That is something to be proud of. So, you've reached the ultimate peak of your fitness goals.

Just because you've reached that point doesn't mean you have to give up the gym or regular workouts. You can maintain your physique and overall health just by working out and continuing to maintain a healthy diet.

With all that stamina, what could you do other than not get tired from regular tasks? You might run a marathon or triathlon if you're up to it. Or you can stay busy without feeling drained at the end of the day.

RAW athlete putting on headphones in the gym


Even Better Recovery

As you gain muscle, your recovery times are much faster between challenging workouts. That's because your body is adapting to the training stimulus. The aches and pains will become less intense, and you can bounce back faster. As such, the accelerated recovery will prove that your muscles are growing in strength and resilience.

Of course, proper rest and nutrition are critical for recovery and muscle growth. So be sure to prioritize your post-workout nutrition with a quality protein shake or recovery supplement. Raw Nutrition has you covered in that department, so be sure to check out what we have for you.

How Long Does It Take To See Signs Of Gaining Muscle as A Female? 

One of the questions as often asked is how long it can take for a female to see signs of gaining muscle. The answer is that it may depend on several factors. Not every female is created equal regarding their body composition, fitness needs, and other factors. However, the average time frame for seeing gains can range from 4 to 8 weeks.

Be mindful that this is due to consistent strength training and proper nutrition. Other factors to consider include training experience, diet, genetics, and recovery.

Two women working out in the gym together


Will Gaining Muscle as a Female Make Me Look Masculine?

This is often a common concern for females who train regularly. The short answer is no. Gaining a reasonable amount of muscle through strength training won't make most women look bulky or masculine. Females have naturally lower testosterone levels compared to males.

For this reason, it will be challenging for a female to get bulky and masculine when it comes to her physique without vigorously training for that goal. Of course, anabolic steroids could be one of the factors in making a female look masculine because of the muscle growth involved. Not to mention, anabolic steroids are hazardous to your health regardless of gender.

So, if you feel discouraged about building muscle because you think you'll look like a man, shed that fear as soon as you can. You'll have a more toned and noticeable physique than ever before. I don't think gaining muscle is only a man's thing. 

Chris Bumstead has seen females compete in bodybuilding competitions. He knows men and women have worked hard to create excellent physiques, especially when competing for bodybuilding titles. He should know this because he is the five-time Mr. Olympia champion.

A woman riding a road bike in the mountains


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Now that we have given you plenty of details about gaining muscle as a female, I will cover some frequently asked questions that we normally get here at Raw Nutrition. Let's take a look at the following, and we'll answer them as best we can: 

Should I do cardio if I want to gain muscle?

For females, doing moderate cardio can benefit overall fitness and fat loss. However, too much of it can impair muscle gain. That's why you should aim for at least two to three cardio sessions per week at max while trying to build muscle. Alternatively, you can consider performing cardio on periods of rest from weight lifting sessions.

How much protein do I need to build muscle?

If you aim for muscle growth, most women need at least 0.6 to 0.8 grams of protein per pound of body weight daily. For example, a 130-lb woman must eat 80 to 100 g of protein daily from food and supplements. Protein is one of the best nutrients from food you can depend on for muscle growth. 

What are the best exercises for building muscle as a woman?

Try compound movements like squats, presses, deadlifts, and rows. These will all be effective in building overall muscle. Bench presses and overhead presses can also be great to include in your fitness routine as well. To increase muscle definition, consider accessory isolation exercises. Bodyweight exercises can also be beneficial for you as well regardless of your fitness level. 

How often should I switch up my workout routine?

If you want to continue gaining muscle, change your routine every six to eight weeks to prevent plateaus. This includes changing your exercises and intensity techniques, rep ranges, and more.

Is it more challenging to gain muscle after a certain age?

Yes, gaining muscle as you age can be challenging. However, it is still possible for women to build muscle even later on in life. So long as they follow the framework of proper training and nutrition, they can do so.

Final Thoughts

Females can gain muscle for as long as possible if they follow a proper training and nutrition plan. We appreciate the females who go out there and regularly give it their all at the gym. Plenty of females on our Raw Nutrition team will be more than happy to share stories with you about their strength and muscle training success. In the meantime, we invite you to check out our incredible lineup of supplements that will help you conquer those fitness goals, such as gaining muscle.


The information being presented in this blog is intended to be used as educational or resource information only. It is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice from your healthcare provider. This content should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. If you have any questions or concerns about your health, please contact your healthcare provider. You should call 911 for all medical emergencies. Raw Nutrition is not liable for any advice or information provided on this blog, which advice or information is provided on an “as-is” basis, and assumes no liability for diagnosis, treatment, decisions, or actions made in reliance upon any advice or information contained on this blog. No warranties, express or implied, are made on the information that is provided.

June 12, 2024 — Briana Gonzalez
Tags: Training Women

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