How to Build Muscle as a Woman: The Ultimate Guide for Gaining Weight the Right Way

Staci's life has been transformed by her quest to growth muscle.
If you are interested in learning how to gain weight the right way, you have come to the right place! 

My name is Staci Ardison.

I overcame an eating disorder, discovered a love for heavy strength training, and now I help women like you get stronger for a living.

Believe it or not, I’m 50 pounds heavier in the photo on the right (and WAY stronger, and healthier, and happier!).

I’m currently a lead coach here in the Nerd Fitness Coaching Program, where we train women to pick up heavy weights, get strong, and build confidence.

Speaking of picking up heavy weights, here I am deadlifting 455 pounds:

Staci showing you how to deadlift 455 pouds.

This is what I LOVE to do.

In this Ultimate Guide to Building Muscle as a Woman, I’m going to be covering:

Alright, let’s do this.

How to Exercise With Your Kids (Work out as a Family!)

This picture shows a LEGO on a bike with a stroller attached.

So you’ve got kids running around the house… 

And you need to work out, but can’t seem to distract the little monsters any longer?

No problem!

Many of our coaching clients have to train at home with their kids around. Today, we’ll show you how to get them involved!

Here’s what we’ll cover:

How to Find a Good Personal Trainer or Coach: 5 Mistakes to Avoid!

Two Legos about to workout together.

Before you fork out some cash for a personal trainer, read this guide!

It’ll help you spot the difference between a bad personal trainer and an AMAZING trainer. 

And trust us, having the right trainer can make ALL the difference in the world.

There’s nothing worse than spending 6+ months in a gym (and thousands of dollars) with a trainer, only to step on the scale and realize that you haven’t made any progress.

It’s…

someone singing "The Worst"

I’ve worked with good trainers and bad trainers over the past 16 years, have worked with the same online personal trainer since 2014, and we have a team of 15 personal trainers on Team Nerd Fitness.

Long story short, we know our stuff, and we’ll give it to you straight.

Whether or not you want to check out our 1-on-1 Online Training Program, this guide is going to help you with all the details.

In this guide we’ll cover the good, the bad, and the ugly when it comes to personal trainers – both in-person and online:

How to Get in Shape Quickly and Safely: 4-Step Beginner Guide

This Stormtrooper is ready to get in shape!

This step-by-step strategy guide will tell you everything you need to do to lose weight and get healthy starting today.

I know you have lots of questions, and I promise I’ll answer every single one of them (yes, even that one).

These are the exact strategies we tailor to each 1-on-1 Online Coaching Clients, and I’m excited to share them with you today.

In this guide we’ll discuss:

Four easy steps to obtain the Nerd Fitness “Triforce of Winning!”

“But Steve, ‘tri’ means three…”

…don’t worry about that, because Triforce!

Nerd Fitness Triforce of Winning

Either way, you got this.

You can read our overall philosophy below (which has helped hundreds of thousands of people), and help you get started today!

“Why Can’t I Lose Weight?” 8 Uncomfortable Truths Holding You Back

This lego wants to know why he can't lose weight.

“Why can’t I lose weight, Steve?”

This question breaks my heart every time I hear it. And I hear it multiple times per day from frustrated people like yourself.

Some of those people are our 1-on-1 coaching clients, who we work closely with to uncover the truth.

And that’s what we’re after: the truth on why weight loss is so tough to achieve.

Why “eat less and move more” sounds nice in theory, but is insulting to those who KNOW this, try their best, and still can’t lose weight.

We’ll tackle today’s topic with statistics, science, and plenty of Harry Potter analogies. This is Nerd Fitness after all.

We’ll go over:

Let’s jump in, Scuba Steve style, so you can start seeing results!

If you’re somebody that wants a Yoda in your corner to coach you through the ups and downs of your fitness journey, we’re here for you with our Online Coaching Program!

No shame or judgments – just a supportive person who works hard to help you succeed 🙂

Our Online Coaching Program changes lives

15 Circuit Training Routines: Try These Fast Workouts Anywhere!

circuit training is awesome, even dinosaurs love it

This circuit training guide is gonna give you EVERYTHING you need to do your first kickass circuit training workout today.

I mean come on, it has dinosaurs in it.

These workouts are similar to the custom programs we build for our Online Coaching Clients who work out at home, on the road, and in outer space.

Okay, FINE we don’t have any clients in space (yet). But we do have clients in Antarctica, and multiple aerospace engineers. Close enough?

If you’re hoping circuit training will maximize your results in a minimum amount of time, one of the 15 circuits below will do the trick:

Let’s jump right in.

3 HIIT Workouts for Beginners: Start Interval Training and Sprint Running!

This biker loves interval training.

This High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) guide is probably the best interval training guide in the galaxy.

My justification for such a bold claim?

We’re really good at this stuff, AND we have dinosaurs and Muppets.

Plus, lots of great gifs:

This runner can't do interval training.

We build custom interval training programs just like the ones in this guide for our 1-on-1 Online Coaching Clients, including workouts for at home, the gym, or even while traveling.

In this Ultimate Guide to Interval Training, we’ll cover:

If you’re interested in starting a HIIT practice (which you are, ’cause you’re here), you may want to try our new app! It contains a fun adventure that will take you from sitting on your couch to a full HIIT workout – with plenty of benchmarks in between for you to find your groove. No guesswork needed, just jump into the app and follow it’s next steps.

You can sign-up for a free trial right here:

Alright, let’s do this thang.

A Beginner’s Guide to Hiking: Everything You Need For Your First Hike!

A great place to hike.

Before you step foot in the great outdoors, read this guide!

There’s nothing more embarrassing than a city slicker getting lost in the woods, so let’s make sure you know where you’re going, what to wear, and what to bring.

That way your first hike will be fun, adventurous, and more importantly safe!

Today we will cover:

I’m happy you’re excited about hiking and I can’t wait for you to get started!

I took the above picture while hiking through Killarney National Park in Ireland many years ago, and every time I look at it, I can’t help but think of Tolkien’s Middle-earth masterpiece, so I apologize (not really) for all of the Lord of the Rings nerdery running throughout this post!

Our community members love hiking too. In fact, one of our recent success stories specifically cited hiking as one of the fun activities she loved to do to help her lose 50 pounds:

Christina started rocking pull-ups after Nerd Fitness Coaching

By the end of today’s post, my goal is to have you pick a trail, pick a date, and identify a fella or gal to join your fellowship (galship?).

Before we jump in, are you here because you’re learning to hike to lose weight? Did you hear it’s a fun way to exercise and get your body moving?

If so, you’ve come to the right place!

As I mentioned, some clients in our uber-popular 1-on-1 Online Coaching Program used hiking as part of their weight loss training. These folks would rather head outside than jump on a treadmill, and our coaches designed a program so they could do just that!

Here’s how it works: your NF Coach will build a custom workout plan based on your experience level and goals. Training to climb up a literal mountain? Maybe you need to get rid of an old ring? We’ll create a plan to get you to the top!

Alright, let’s get you hiking!

40 Fun Ways to Exercise (Without Realizing It)

Have fun while exercising!

I know plenty of people who hate exercise but WANT to find a way to like it.

And that’s what today’s post is all about:

Exercising in a way where life doesn’t suck AND helps you reach your goals.

Luckily, this is exactly what we do for a living!

I know what it’s like to hate exercise, and ALSO want to lose weight and see results. Ugh.

We’ve built an entire company and community around helping people overcome these obstacles – our Online Coaching Program helps people find exercises they love, and also how to make the right nutritional choices.

We are all on a unique journey and we’d love to help you with yours!

Should I Eat Fruit? The Ultimate Guide for Determining “Is Fruit Good for You?”

Should this LEGO eat berries? Daily? Let's find out!

Want to know how fruit fits into a healthy diet?

It’s a valid question! After all, it’s absolutely possible to lose weight eating fruit…and GAIN weight eating fruit! 

This is an area of focus for our 1-on-1 Coaching clients, but we’re gonna tell you everything you need to know below too.

Today we’ll help you determine how much fruit, and what kind of fruit, you should be eating. 

Here’s what we’ll cover to answer the question, “Is eating Fruit healthy?”

If you’re curious about where fruits and other foods such as potatoes fall on the “healthy eating” spectrum, you should check out the Nerd Fitness Diet guide and cheat sheet. It’s a level-up system designed for you to adopt new healthy habits that will stick, by slowly progressing you from a newbie to an expert.

You can check it out for free when you join the Rebellion!

Should You Do Couch to 5K? Don’t Make These 5 Mistakes

Has is Indy so quick to leave temples? He runs races on the weekends.

If you’re looking to run your first 5K, you’ve come to the right place. 

In today’s guide, we’ll cover common questions – and 5 mistakes – about the Couch to 5K program:

Before we jump in…

If you’re interested in running a 5k (which you are, ’cause you’re here) you may want to try our new app! It contains a fun adventure that will take you from sitting on your couch to running a full 5k – with plenty of benchmarks in between for you to find your groove. No guesswork needed, just tie your shoes and follow along with the app. 

You can sign-up for a free trial right here:

The Star Wars Workout: Begin Your Jedi Training!

It's Star Wars time!!!

It’s time to start training like a Jedi!

We love Star Wars around these parts (our site is literally called “Nerd Fitness”), so you’re in the perfect place to begin your training, my young Padawan. 

We specialize in creating nerdy themed workouts and today one of our coaches will walk you through an exercise routine that would make even Mace Windu proud. 

Here’s what we’ll cover in today’s guide:

Grab your lightsaber and let’s punch it!

How Much Water Do I Really Need? (A Guide for Proper Hydration)

I probably wouldn't drink that.

So you want to know, “How much water should I drink a day?”

The short answer: drink enough to not be thirsty (maybe slightly more).

The long answer: read this guide for that!

Proper water consumption is a must for health and fitness, which is why we discuss it with every single member of our 1-on-1 Online Coaching Program. We even assign them fun missions to make sure they’re adequately hydrated.

Here’s what we’ll cover to answer the question, “How much water do you really need?

Pour yourself a glass of water (duh), then let’s do this thing!

Warm Up Properly: The 15 Best Dynamic Warm Up Exercises & Routines To Prevent Injury

Today, you’re gonna learn the importance of warming up, and how to warm up with specific video routines…because I’m a nice person.

This is so critical for training safely that whenever we design a workout for our coaching clients, it always starts with a proper warm-up. So I’m excited to share these warm-up tips and tricks with you too.

In this guide we’ll cover the following (click to go to that section):

This stuff is so important because getting injured sucks.

And every single day I watch people wander into the gym, immediately lie down on a bench, and start cranking out their workout with a heavy weight within seconds.

This makes me weep for humanity.

These people are just WAITING to get injured. They’re essentially playing with dynamite (also not recommended).

Playing with dynamite is not recommended

So you’re reading the right article.

Also, if you’re interested in a program that tells you exactly how to warm up and work out, you may like our new app!

Nerd Fitness Journey will set you on an adventure that will tell you exactly when to workout, when to warm up, and when you should rest. No guesswork needed. 

You can sign-up for a free trial right here:

5 Best Strength Training Workout Routines For Beginners (Home & Gym)

These LEGOs are working the bench and doing some deadlifts. Nerd Fitness approves.

Want to get strong like these LEGO lifters but don’t how to start?

In this Beginner’s Guide to Strength Training (part of our Strength 101 series), you’ll have both the confidence to start getting strong with resistance training AND a plan to follow.

These are the exact strategies we use with our Online Coaching Clients to help them start strength training, and I’m excited to cover everything you need.

We’ll be digging into the following:

By the way, we’ve combined this article along with the rest of our strength articles into a “Strength Training 101: Everything You Need to Know” guide.

Grab it free when you join the Rebellion by putting your email in the box below.

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