“I Don’t Want to Look Bulky”

This one’s for the ladies… sorry fellas!

When I first started getting into fitness, the only thing I was focused on was losing weight and being thin. Then once I lost the amount of weight I wanted to, I wanted to “tone” everything and lose that last 10 pounds. I figured I would just increase the intensity of my cardio and that would solve it, sounds about right? My trainer suggested I begin incorporating weight lifting into my routine and so it began. After the weights I started with became easier, I started increasing the weight, but then I became a little worried. I thought to myself, “I don’t want to lift too heavy because I don’t want to get bulky.” So, I stuck to what I knew and never pushed myself further, so I plateaued.

Fast forward to becoming a fitness professional and learning more about strength training, I know that that phrase doesn’t even make sense for a number of reasons:

Reason #1: Women are not biologically designed to have insane muscle mass. We don’t have the hormones to produce that type of muscular bulkiness. Your training and dieting would need to be so extreme to even achieve a portion of those results. Which means, you can lift heavy weights all you want and the only things that are going to happen you’ll start showing muscle tone, become insanely strong and will likely get about a dozen head turns when you rip those heavy reps.. So go on my sisters, pick up those iron dumbbells and be the show stopper you are.

Reason #2: For women, “Heavy weights,” and “Bulk” are not synonyms: Instead try relating heavy weights with strength, much cooler right? The only way to become stronger (which is essential for daily function and overall health) is to ditch the small weights and go for the heavier ones. Think about routine activities we do that require strength, for example: moving, rearranging your furniture, lifting up heavy boxes at work, etc. Make your daily life much easier by opting for those heavier weights in your routine, it will make a huge (not bulky) difference!

Reason #3: Osteoporosis is a real thing, and it’s very serious: Ladies, we are at greater risk for developing osteoporosis than men, why? Bringing it back to biology, we have smaller and thinner bones than men do and we also lose bone mass more quickly as we age. What does this mean? It means once we hit a certain age, our bones basically start to disintegrate on us which increases our chances of bone fractures… not cool and very painful. What is one way we actively prevent this from occurring you ask? Load bearing exercises and heavy weights, challenge your bones. Take good care of yourselves, it’s the most important thing.

Reason #4: Bragging rights: Let’s be honest here, almost anyone you talk to in this world would be so amazed by the amount of weight you can (properly) lift. How cool is it to say, “Yeah, today I hit 1.5x my body weight on my deadlift,” or what have you? Like I said in my first reason, there is no better feeling than getting a couple (or even dozen) head turns when you rip out heavy reps. People are genuinely impressed and amazed at how strong you are. GIRL POWER!

Whether you are new to fitness or you have been doing this for a while but never dove into heavier weights because you are scared of getting too big, rest assured… it’s a huge myth. There are only benefits to this type of training, physically and mentally. Take this information and transform into something you and your body will absolutely love.

Totally motivated to do it now, but don’t know where to start? There is nothing I love more than teaching women about strength training, ask me about where and when to get started.

Michaela Youngberg,
CSC Personal Trainer
Read my bio here >>