Blog by Amanda C! A Horizon CT Certified Personal Trainer!
Debunking Myths On Women Getting “Bulky”
A common fear that female clients tell us they have when they come into the gym is “I don’t want to look bulky from lifting.” This fear often leads women to stay away from weights and stick to mostly cardio which can be affecting you getting the results you’re looking for. The truth is that the amount of muscle mass you would need to add for that look doesn’t come from lifting weights for an hour in the gym a few days a week.
The addition of large quantities of muscle mass comes from a combination of factors, the biggest one being from testosterone. Physiologically, men have much greater amounts of testosterone and other genetic factors that lead to them gaining muscle mass easier than women. With the exception of steroids, nothing females do will increase the testosterone levels in your body to the levels necessary for so called “bulk” to appear. The picture of body builders that come to mind with lifting is not the general population, but takes years of training and supplements in order to make these gains. In addition to that, there’s a surplus of calories that need to be taken in at specific timing with your training. While you may find yourself hungrier from your increase in exercise and physical activity, the number of calories needed is far greater than what you will be taking in.
The biggest issue with this myth is that there are so many health benefits to strength training and using heavier weights that they are missing out on by staying away. Not only do you build strength and add definition to your body, you are increasing your resting metabolic rate which allows you to burn more calories throughout the day even after you’re done working out. On top of that, weights will help increase bone density that decreases in all of us as we age. While lifting can’t completely reverse this, it does slow down the process and help to decrease your risk of injury.
It also gives you better balance, coordination and joint mobility that will help you with everyday tasks like taking the stairs and carrying a load of groceries. Outside of the numerous physical benefits that go far beyond the ones mentioned above, there are mental benefits as well. Exercise causes a release of endorphins in your brain that help to put you in a better mood, reduce stress and even help improve your quality of sleep. Above all other mental affects, the confidence you gain from lifting weights is unmatched. You are able to push yourself past the limits you thought you had, and seeing your progress will give you a new outlook to take on all other aspects of life. As far as I’m concerned, the benefits here clearly outweigh any negatives so we can finally put the fears of getting bulky muscles as women to rest and start getting strong and powerful.
Amanda is a leading success coach and personal trainer at Horizon Personal Training in CT. She is a certified Performance Enhancement Specialist through the National Academy of Sports Medicine and a Certified Speed Specialist by the National Association of Speed and Explosion! To learn more about Amanda and our other trainers here at Horizon, please go to www.horizonpersonaltraining.com.