Myth: “I can’t lift weights; I’ll get bulky.” –Every girl everywhere
This myth has been perpetuated for years by women who are afraid of looking like men, and by men who are afraid of strong women. But the pure art of lifting weights does not make make women bulky – and here’s why: men get bulkier when they lift because of testosterone; women don’t have nearly as much testosterone in their bodies and therefore do not bulk up when they regularly lift heavy weights. If you’re taking hormones and steroids on the other hand…then you might end up looking like the hulk in a skirt.
My sister and myself have been lifting weights for a few years now. She’s more committed to the practice than I, but I have noticed the benefits of regular weight training. She’s also a power-lifter and does not have a bulky look to her at all (you can check out her instagram account, college_girl_fitspiration). She’s never looked or felt better in all her life, and I’m so proud of her accomplishments!
As for myself, I lost 35 pounds after graduating from college by healthy eating and regular exercise that included two to three days of weight training with a personal trainer. I still don’t particularly enjoy weight training, and I’ve been slacking off for the past few months in my transition from grad school to adult life. But I’m slowly getting back into it.
Women are often told and encouraged to stick to cardio workouts like running and aerobic classes. I actually enjoy these more than weight training, but they only get you so far in your weight loss/healthy life journey. If you want to tone your body, you have to weight train, plain and simple.
One of my favorite fitness sites, nerdfitness.com, says:
“YOU WILL NOT GET BULKY FROM PICKING UP HEAVY THINGS. You know those women bodybuilders who look really bulky? They eat, train, and take supplements specifically so they can look like that! They’ve probably been working towards that goal for years and years. Here’s the truth: when you pick up heavy things, your muscles get STRONGER (but not necessarily bigger). If you pump yourself full of testosterone and eat way more calories than you are burning every day, you will get bigger. If you pick up heavy things, and eat a caloric deficit (and eat the right kinds of food – actual healthy foods), your muscles will get stronger and denser; you will burn the fat on top of your muscle, and you will get that “toned” look that you’re after.”
My sister was afraid of getting bulky when she started training, but her coach assured her that wouldn’t happen unless she followed a specific diet with hormone and steroid supplements. As you see from her pictures, she’s not the least bit bulky. Lifting weights helps with weight-loss and will make a dramatic effect on your ultimate end product versus cardio alone. I’ve tried so many different methods of weightloss, and a combination of cardio and weight training is what works the best and the fastest! So next time you’re at the gym and you’re on the second hour of elliptical running or stair climbing, head for the weight rack. You’ll thank me after.