A lot of women get confuse their muscles toning up, getting firmer and getting more shapely for GROWTH. Be sure you don't make the same mistake.
When your bicep goes from ten inches to thirteen inches and it's solid as a rock, that's growth. No mistake.
Testosterone is the muscle building hormone. Women only have about 1/10 of what men do, so unless you take drugs there will be a limit to how you can grow.
The theory of testosterone is only the tip of the iceberg, as they are discovering. Just because you have a chemical, condition, or gene in your body does not make it active or applicable. Despite all our modern discoveries, allopathic medicine hasn't really looked all that deeply into just how the human body works, predominantly because there is little funding for it from companies who want to know how they can market it to their advantage (read: get a return on all that research money). And unless the medical community can take a tally of every single human body on the planet, they don't have all the facts in yet. Truth be told, they tend to form their conclusions on rather biased observations of limited populations.
Just like only 3% of the female population is physically able to attain supermodel proportions, only 3% or less are natural bodybuilders, according to the current medical belief. I am one of those women and I think the numbers are actually higher. Being one of the "impossible" statistics has given me insight into the validity of certain widely held truths. It's inspired me to do my own research. The most important thing I've learned is that by the time you hear it broadcast on the health segment of the evening news, it's been heavily marketed. The evening news becomes the commercial for it. I also know why people with "normal" levels of testosterone can be impressive bodybuilders while others can't seem to grow even with injections of the stuff. Hint: it all starts from the neck up and I don't mean attitude.
I put on a lot of muscle very fast. Let me repeat that--I put on a lot of muscle very fast. I have been like this since childhood, beating all the boys and girls in the Presidential Fitness Program year after year. I have been courted by the armed forces, boxing gyms, and professional body building trainers. They all wanted me to train for them and represent them. At my old Denver gym, everyone walked up to me with their questions instead of going to the weight room manager. Most of the men in my current gym are intimidated by me; I have to hang out with the big dudes just to feel like a chick.
Chris and I were separated at birth. I have all her physical characteristics except my fingers are short. I have never taken drugs in my life other than antibiotics, am mostly a raw vegan, and I even run. Yet, I can still put on muscle so fast that it makes my head spin, and I've been doing it for 22 years. Chris, my advice to you is to experiment with raw vegan recipes and reduce your reps while upping your weights--basically try a form of power lifting. If you still get mass, just lift fewer times per week and/or in shorter segments. Do interval cardio instead of prolonged stuff and get outdoors for some good, deep breathing every chance you get.
You'll learn as you go, don't worry. You'll figure it out.