Women's Summer Muscle-Building Plan!

With warm weather just around the corner, it's time to kick your lean-mass gains into high gear. Learn how to build your beach body with these tips from fitness model Jen Jewell!

Want to turn heads this summer? Cover model and highly sought fitness coach Jen Jewell has you covered with her game plan for building a show-stopping physique! Rather than focusing on dropping weight—a common trend among the bikini-clad crowd—she suggest you focus on building muscle to achieve your dream physique.

Muscle adds attractive curves to all the right places, giving you the fit look you desire. The increased muscle mass also revs up your metabolic rate, helping to burn any excess fat you may have in the process. The end result? A complete summer makeover!

Get to work on your desired beach body with Jewell's top muscle-building tips and workouts!

1

Start With Your Diet

While you might think the first change you should make has to do with pumping iron in the gym, that's not the case. When it comes to putting on lean mass, nutrition is everything.

"Embrace carbs and protein!" Jen explains. "More often than not, I hear about women skimping on carbs because they think adding too many of them will cause a sudden surge in body fat." It's time to bust that myth. Sure, overdoing anything isn't good, but carbs in moderation are OK—heck, they're even essential.

A big believer in simple, sustainable steps, Jen recommends you focus on including sufficient carbs and protein in your post-workout meal, since it aids recovery and muscle building the most.


A photo posted by Jen Jewell (@fitnessjewell) on



Carbs are important for performance, and protein is important for muscle growth. And no, supplementing with shakes won't make you bulky. So, how much should you aim for?

"As far as protein goes, I go for 1-1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight each day," Jen says. Aim for roughly 25 grams of protein after your workout, and spread the balance across your other meals.

Your overall carbohydrate and dietary fat intake will vary based on your total energy needs, exercise intensity, and exercise duration, but it's safe to aim for 30-50 grams of carbohydrates after your workouts to replenish your energy and jump-start recovery.

What's the best thing to eat before a sweat session? For your pre-workout meal, Jen recommends sticking with foods that are low in fat and contain easily digestible carbs—meaning carbs low in fiber. They'll provide a fast source of energy for the session at hand.

Jen also opts for a high-glycemic carb post-workout to help quickly replenish muscle glycogen (stored energy) levels. Some options include rice, bread, potatoes, and fruit. Have a sweet tooth? Fat-free candy like pixie sticks and gummy bears are another great option! Pair your carbs with a fast-digesting protein like Cellucor COR-Performance Whey for optimal results.

2

Ditch the Light Weights

"In order to build muscle, you're going to have to challenge your body and stimulate your muscle fibers in a new way," Jen says. "Kick those light weights to the curb, and get ready to really work it!"

Too many women coast through their workout routines and do the same thing over and over again, which leads to a lack of results. "In order to get results, you need to have a clear-cut plan of action each time you hit the gym," says Jen. "This means changing your weight, rep scheme, or exercises in order to keep stimulating the body."

"In order to get results, you need to have a clear-cut plan of action each time you hit the gym," says Jen.

One of Jen's favorite muscle-building techniques is the dropset, a technique where you choose a weight, do reps to failure, and then immediately continue with a lighter weight. You can drop multiple times for an increased effect. "Dropsets are my favorite way to build muscle or help bring up a lagging muscle group or body part," Jen adds.

As Jen explains, dropsets work so well because, in a given set, you are only recruiting a certain percentage of the muscle fibers. But when you do one full set at a higher weight, strip the weight down, and immediately pick up a lighter weight, you recruit untapped fibers. This creates more stimulus and encourages new growth. It also burns a lot of calories!

"Whatever rep range I'm using, I always focus on pushing my reps to failure," Jen emphasizes.

3

Take Recovery Seriously

Going hard in the gym seven days a week doesn't lead to exponential gains. To build maximum muscle, you must take rest seriously. You actually tear your muscles down while in the gym. In order for them to properly recover and build, they need to have weekly rest time.


A photo posted by Jen Jewell (@fitnessjewell) on



"I always take at least one day of full rest from my workouts each week," Jen says. "This means no weights or cardio. Sometimes it'll be an active rest day and I'll do a yoga class, but I definitely make sure to allow my body enough time to recover from lifting."

Recovery can also be aided by what you eat. "Proper supplementation and nutrition are key as well," Jen says. "During or at the end of every workout, I take Cellucor Alpha Amino. The amino acids in this product help not only with recovery, but growth as well."


Deliver a pure protein that packs more protein, and better flavors, into each and every scoop. Go Now!


4

Add Cardio to the Picture

You may have a picturesque physique in mind, but your overall health is always important. "In an effort to achieve optimal health, cardio should be done year round," Jen says. "Including cardio as a key component to your workouts is essential in order to stay at a healthy, lean level while adding muscle."

All too often, Jen says she sees people make the mistake of cutting cardio out completely during a muscle-building cycle. Ultimately, she says, this means putting on too much fat mass and then having to "cut" that off. Over time, this cycle can lead to a repetitive loss of hard-earned muscle and very small net gains.


A photo posted by Jen Jewell (@fitnessjewell) on



"Bulking/cutting is a vicious cycle that I see many competitors go through, and it's not the best way to make overall improvements to your physique," Jen states. "If you can maintain a healthy level of body fat the entire year, adding muscle—and being able to hold on to your muscle—is definitely doable."

Jewell recommends that you opt for high-intensity interval training (HIIT) rather than steady-state cardio training. HIIT workouts are based on alternating intervals of all-out work and slower, recovery work. For example, you can sprint on the treadmill or outdoors for 15-20 seconds, walk for 40-45 seconds, and then repeat.

"Adding these more intense bouts of exercise combined with brief stints of recovery can help aid fat loss while helping preserve hard-earned muscle," Jen says. For optimal benefits, she recommends 3-4 sessions of 20 minute each per week.

5

Keep Your Motivation Constant

Nearly everyone struggles with lagging motivation occasionally. As the summer weather starts to heat up, it's not abnormal at all to find yourself wanting to forgo the gym to soak in some sun.

Jen has an easy solution for this: "Skip the gym!" Staying out of the gym doesn't mean skipping out on your workout; it just means embracing the outdoors. "I take my workouts outdoors whenever I can," Jen says. "I'm all about having fun with fitness."

"Don't be afraid to take a day off from the weights and head out into the local park, track, or beach to mix up your usual routine," she adds.

Staying out of the gym doesn't mean skipping out on your workout; it just means embracing the outdoors.

While you might not be able to do quite everything outside that you'd do in a brick-and-mortar gym, you can certainly do a lot to keep your muscles stimulated. Bodyweight exercises, sprints, or resistance-band work in the park will all transform your body and keep your muscles stimulated sans weight-room equipment.

As with all fitness endeavors, variation is key with outdoor workouts in order to prevent a progress plateau. "Aside from bodyweight exercises, try doing cardio by running the stairs or sprinting on the track, or grab some friends for a game of volleyball or softball," Jen suggests.

Jen's Muscle-Building Workout

Now that you know Jewell's top tips for muscle-building success, it's time to dive into her workout. With this workout, you'll have two days off per week. Add them into the program wherever they fit best with your schedule—preferably one midweek and another on the weekend.

Note: the dropsets should only be implemented occassionally—not every workout. When you don't do a dropset, perform a regular set.

Workout 1: Lower Body/Booty
Superset
1

Wide-stance squat

4 sets of 12 reps, dropset on final set
Wide Stance Barbell Squat Wide Stance Barbell Squat

Single-leg deadlift

4 sets of 12 reps
Single-leg deadlift Single-leg deadlift

Superset
2

Glute cable kick-back

4 sets of 12 reps per leg, dropset on final set
Glute cable kick-back Glute cable kick-back

Plie squat

4 sets of 20 reps
Plie squat Plie squat

Superset
3

Reverse barbell lunge

4 sets of 12 reps
Reverse barbell lunge Reverse barbell lunge

Step-up to kick-back

4 sets of 12 reps per leg, dropset on final set
Step-up to kick-back Step-up to kick-back
Exercise note: Perform a step-up as you normally would, then perform a kick-back with the other leg. Squeeze your glute.

4
Walking lunge with kick-back in between lunge Walking lunge with kick-back in between lunge
Exercise note: Kick your back leg up and squeeze your working glute.

5

Side lunge

4 sets of 12 reps per leg, dropset on final set
Side lunge Side lunge

Workout 2: Back/Triceps/Abs
Triset
1

Lat pull-down

4 sets of 12 reps
Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown
Overhead triceps rope extension Overhead triceps rope extension

Plank up/down

4 sets of 30 sec.
Plank up/down Plank up/down

Triset
2
Seated row with handlebar-grip cable attachment Seated row with handlebar-grip cable attachment

Triceps kick-back

4 sets of 15 reps
Triceps kick-back Triceps kick-back

Overhead medicine ball slam

4 sets of 15 reps
Overhead medicine ball slam Overhead medicine ball slam

Triset
3

Bent-over barbell row

4 sets of 15 reps
Bent-over barbell row Bent-over barbell row

Stability-ball knee tuck

4 sets of 25 reps
Stability-ball knee tuck Stability-ball knee tuck

Side plank with dip

4 sets of 15 reps per side
Side plank with dip Side plank with dip
Exercise note: On bent-over rows, your overhand grip should be slightly wider than shoulder-width. On the knee tucks, keep your feet on the ball and tuck your knees to your chest.

Triset
4

Straight-bar push-down

3 sets of 20 reps
Straight-bar push-down Straight-bar push-down
Straight-bar reverse-grip pull-down Straight-bar reverse-grip pull-down

Triceps push-down

3 sets of 15 reps
Triceps push-down Triceps push-down

5

Plank hold

3 sets of 30 sec. elevated, 30 sec. plank on your forearms/elbows
Plank hold Plank hold

Workout 3: Lower Body
Warm-up circuit: Repeat 3 times
1

Incline treadmill walk

5 min. at 15 incline
Incline treadmill walk Incline treadmill walk

Lateral shuffle

30 sec. right, 30 sec. left
Lateral shuffle Lateral shuffle
Treadmill walk Treadmill walk

Superset
2

Hack squat

4 sets of 12 reps, dropset on final set
Hack Squat Hack Squat

Forward lunge

4 sets of 12 reps per leg
Forward lunge Forward lunge

Superset
3

Curtsy lunge

4 sets of 12-15 reps per leg
Curtsy lunge Curtsy lunge

Barbell deadlift

4 sets of 12 reps, dropset on final set
Barbell Deadlift Barbell Deadlift

Superset
4

Sumo deadlift

4 sets of 12-15 reps
Sumo Deadlift Sumo Deadlift

Leg extension

4 sets of 12 reps, dropset on final set
Leg Extensions Leg Extensions

Superset
5

Leg curl

4 sets of 12-15 reps, dropset on final set
Seated Leg Curl Seated Leg Curl

Barbell hip thruster

4 sets of 12-15 reps
Barbell hip thruster Barbell hip thruster
Exercise note: On leg curls, squeeze at the top and contract your hams and glutes.

Workout 4: Shoulders/Biceps
Circuit
1

Single-arm lateral raise

4 sets of 10-12 reps per arm, dropset on final set
Single-arm lateral raise Single-arm lateral raise

Standing hammer curl

4 sets of 12-15 reps
Standing hammer curl Standing hammer curl

Bent-over rear-delt raise

4 sets of 10-12 reps, dropset on final set
Bent-over rear-delt raise Bent-over rear-delt raise

Plank up/down

4 sets of 30 sec
Plank up/down Plank up/down

Circuit
2

Standing shoulder press

4 sets of 10-12 reps, dropset on final set
Standing shoulder press Standing shoulder press

Incline-bench biceps curl

4 sets of 15 reps
Incline-bench biceps curl Incline-bench biceps curl

Front raise

4 sets of 10-12 reps per arm, dropset on final set
Front raise Front raise

Kettlebell swing-through

4 sets of 15 reps
Kettlebell swing-through Kettlebell swing-through
Exercise note: On kettlebell swing-through, bring the kettlebell up to shoulder level and squeeze your glutes.

Workout 5: Chest/Biceps
Triset
1

Spiderman push-up

12-15 reps
Spiderman push-up Spiderman push-up

Standing hammer curl

12 reps, dropset on final set
Standing hammer curl Standing hammer curl

Burpee

12 reps
Burpee Burpee

Triset
2

Incline chest press

10-12 reps, dropset on final set
Incline chest press Incline chest press
Incline-bench biceps curl Incline-bench biceps curl

Jump rope

30 sec.
Jump rope Jump rope

Triset
3

Cable fly

4 sets of 15 reps
Cable fly Cable fly

Single-arm biceps curl on cables

4 sets of 15 reps per arm
Single-arm biceps curl on cables Single-arm biceps curl on cables

Ball pike/knee tuck

4 sets of 20 reps
Ball pike/knee tuck Ball pike/knee tuck


Check out Cellucor's complete supplement lineup! Go Now!