Will weight training make me bulky?

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This is a common question and even though I'm a man, I get it.

It's a perfectly reasonable thing to worry about. We've all seen those super muscular bodybuilders on movies and shows etc. Hey there's quite a few guys who say they don't want to get too big when they FIRST step in the gym. I say first as this leads me to my first point. 

1. Getting 'big and bulky' doesn't happen over night

Whether you're male or female it takes YEARS of hard training, lots of eating and if you're a pro bodybuilder who looks way bigger than normal, it takes some drugs.  

If it was that easy to get big literally 90% of men in the gym would be big and muscular. They aren't.

I think a lot of ladies can 'feel' bulky due to the fact they've gained muscle and fat at the same time. This is more to do with nutrition than the actual lifting of weights. If you lift and eat at a calorie surplus you will most likely gain fat and muscle. 

The good thing is with a few fixes to your diet it's not hard to lose a bit of fat and with the new muscle you have gained you will look more toned and like you probably want to. 1kg of fat takes up a lot more space than 1kg of muscle does!

Have you ever commented to a friend you like a certain female's physique and they're responded "No I wouldn't want to be so muscly"?

Men do this too and disagree on how they would like to look.  

 And this leads me to point number two.

2. What does big and bulky mean? 

Everyone has a different opinion on what bulky looks like. It's massively subjective. Do you think Kate Upton is bulky? She trains with a famous coach and lifts seriously heavy weights. Do you consider Barbara Fialho to be bulky? She trains hard too. They're both still very feminine I think you will agree?  

Whether you're male or female each of us respond differently to training. Try to note how you respond to certain training styles. If you gain muscle really easily you might need to watch your calorie intake in order to not gain too much size. You could maybe add in a bit more LISS (low intensity steady state cardio). 

 A very positive way of training which I use (I took from Tony Gentilcore) is to train for PERFORMANCE as opposed to a 'look' or 'leanness'. 

I have a client right now who is training to complete her first push up. This is a great example of a performance goal and with this type of goal it comes with a much more 'positive self talk' and focus for a woman (I took this from girls gone strong). 

 

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So what are the positives of lifting weights apart from looking better naked?

  • Stronger bones - Lifting weights increases your bone density. And as a woman you're more prone to osteoporosis as you age so resistance training is definitely for you if you want great health for life. 
  • Better metabolism - Muscle is metabolically active so having more muscle means you burn more calories, even at rest! So you can see why this can help keep you lean and at a healthy weight.
  • More confidence - Whether you're male or female getting stronger almost always makes people more confident. It happened to me and I've seen it with many of my clients. This can help you in your job, relationships and life in general. 
  • Anti ageing - Okay so you might be in your 30s or 40s but as we age we lose muscle and eventually independence. If you want a longer life you should invest in your health NOW. Lifting weights has been shown to help prevent falls at home and keeping muscle mass keeps you looking younger. 
  • Easier life - When you can lift heavy shit off the ground or above your head etc, normal things in life like carrying shopping or lifting a buggy become MUCH easier. This makes you feel like a superhero and is really empowering. 

  • Better sleep and stress relief - Exercise improves sleep which is a real problem for a lot of folks now. The endorphins you get from exercise improve your mood and for me (and many others) lifting weights is a great way to release the stress we go through each day and helps keep you calm. Lift weights for world peace!
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So, I think you will see that the benefits of doing resistance training are pretty amazing? Don't worry about getting bulky and if you feel like you are ask a professional to look at your nutrition, training or lifestyle. 

Any questions feel free to email me at ed@bvoy.fitness.

Strength & Salud

Remember you can download my free E-Book 'Slim Behaviours' @ www.bvoy.fitness