Posted on 22 November 2017
If you’re female and a seasoned lifter, you’ll probably roll your eyes at statements like ‘lifting weights makes you bulky’ or ‘don’t lift weights; you’ll look like a man’.
We can’t tell you how many times we hear, ‘Oh, I don’t want to lift too heavy. I don’t want to look bulky.’ Man, oh man! It’s ironic, because that’s exactly what you won’t look like! So, we’re dispelling the myth that lifting weights will make you look bulky or masculine.
Unless you’re a competitive bodybuilder, you will only look leaner and get stronger if you lift weights, and if you don’t start building some muscle through fear of your body changing, you’ll probably stay ‘skinny fat’ – which, to be honest – is worse.
Why Do You Weigh More if You Lift Weights?
Inch for inch, muscle weighs more than fat, which means it takes up less mass in the body, so giiiiirl, you may weigh more, but you will look leaner. And, most importantly, you’ll be healthier.
Yes, it can be difficult to accept the numbers on the scales going up, but this is yet another reason not to get caught up by how much you weigh. Fat and muscle density differ, so even if you’ve developed muscle from lifting weights, chances are your clothes are looser and you look leaner, but the number on the scales has gone up. We’d definitely prefer to weigh more, but look leaner and be stronger.
In fact, while we’re on the subject, throw the scales out – they do not help anyone. They merely measure your gravitational pull, not your worth.
Why Do Men Get Bulky When They Workout but Women Don’t?
You’ll probably need to read this section a few times so it sticks. Maybe even write it down somewhere or repeat it daily as part of your affirmations: lifting weights will not make you look ‘manly’.
Okay, okay – but wait. If men lift weights and become big and bulky, how can that not happen to women? Testosterone is the answer. This hormone is the difference that means men can grow into big bros.
This is where the lines become blurry because you see shirtless bros in the weight session every day bulging those biceps. So, if you do the same exercise, then the same will surely happen to you, right? Still wrong.
Yes, you get female bodybuilders who may aesthetically differ from what you like, but you’re not going to be lifting weights for your profession, living in the gym or changing your diet and taking supplements to achieve this look. You will be doing strength training, which will see you develop muscles that help you burn fat.
Quite simply, your testosterone levels are not high enough to change your body to look like a man. And they never will be, naturally. Think about it – those guys wouldn’t be in the gym day and night, downing supplements to help them reach their goal otherwise. It’s not even easy for a guy to get bulky, let alone you.
Right, off you go. Back to the top to reread this section.
What Results Can You Expect from Weightlifting?
There are some pretty awesome benefits to strength training.
Not only will you gain lean muscle, increase your strength and lose fat; you’ll also see improvements in your posture, which we think is partly down to lifting and partly down to holding yourself better, thanks to your new-found confidence courtesy of strength training.
Not to mention that most weightlifting moves require the use of more than one muscle group. So, even if you’re up in the gym for leg day, you’ll be increasing your core and arm strength too, just by the very nature of lifting weights.
Why Do I Feel Bulky Now I’ve Started Lifting?
Truthfully, here’s the deal:
Lifting weights can grow your muscles quickly, particularly muscles you’ve perhaps never used before – especially if you’re a cardio bunny. That means you may find that you build muscle more quickly than you burn fat, so for a little while you will have both. This instance is the only time that you may feel ‘bulkier’ than before. However, once your metabolism increases and unlocks fat burn for energy, you’ll be a lean, mean, weightlifting machine in no time.
If this is you, all you can do is continue as you are and push through – you will eventually see the results you want.
So, go lift your weights, girls!
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