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10 Mistakes Women Make in the Gym

1. Fear of Appearing Butch

You’ve heard this one before, but it doesn’t look like it’s sinking in. You need to evolve beyond using rubber-coated dumbbells that have a clump of iron the size of a baby’s fist on either side. In other words, you need to use heavier weights. Stop with the delicate little flower thing. Your muscles won’t grow – won’t get curvy – if you’re pressing, squatting, or curling with weights that have roughly the same heft as your iPhone. Say hello to the 20 and 30-pound dumbbells, aspire to the 40 and 50-pound ones. Use weights that allow you to do between 8 and 15 repetitions.

And don’t play the age-old, “I don’t want to get too big” card. Unless you’re the one woman in a million that has such high Testosterone levels that female horses start to whinny nervously when you walk by, you’re not going to suddenly sprout muscle from your ears and everywhere else. Neither will your muscles grow beyond your aesthetic ideal unless you start feeding them a lot more. Muscles don’t grow out of thin air; you’ve got to supply them with protein and carbs. That’s why men who lift weights eat barnyards of fowl, ranches of cattle, rivers of fish, barrels of protein powder, and vats of Cocoa Puffs. If you don’t eat that way, you won’t get “too big.” (See mistake #9 for advice on when you should eat big.)

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