… When a women lifts like a man, they get all big and bulky. On some occasions, some women will even grow facial hair and in rare cases, they start peeing with the toilet seat up! The more they train with weights, it gets worse…
In all fairness, we now have loads of scientific proof that says none of the above is true. Let alone, we have local proof that has discarded the MYTHS that when gals lift weights, they get bulky.
There are many reasons as to why one might think this. I’m guessing by saying the gals that repeat this sort of “excuse” don’t have any personal experiences that backs up their claim, but it’s what they heard… or choose to believe.
But consider this, do you think there is a little more to attaining SIZE or bulk than simply “LIFTING WEIGHTS?”
When you enter a big box gym or rec center, do you see just as many (if not more), overweight, not so bulky guys?
Some of which are lifting weights, some could be right beside you on the treadmill or stair climber.
I’m guessing you also see “some bulky guys” lifting weights, however, you might also see them on a treadmill or stair climber as well. So now what?
It should be pretty clear that if it were really as simple as… “lift weights get bulky”, we wouldn’t see so many overweight guys, let alone guys that are in need of a little BULK. In short, it’s just not that easy.
Before we get into the “debate” on gals lifting weights, lets first identify ones potential GOALS.
SOME GALS SAY: “I JUST WANT TO TONE UP!”
What Is Toning?
When most gals say that they want to “tone up,” what they usually mean is that they want to become leaner. Basically, they want to lose fat and add muscle definition— not so much muscle mass so they look like a bodybuilder (much more on that later).
In the fitness world, there is no real definition for toning that is greatly recognized. Rather, toning is a term used to describe the end goal, which usually results from a combination of weight-lifting, conditioning along with balanced nutrition.
When it comes to lifting weights, most women have heard the myth that they will become BULKIER.
What Is Bulky?
: relatively large and cumbersome; very large and massive;
So, with this definition of bulky, could eating cupcakes make you bulky? What about fast food? Chocolate, Cookies, Cake, Brownies, Potato Chips, Crackers, Pretzels, Donuts, Pop, etc. We already know by eating sugary, salty, high calorie, high carb junk foods make you gain fat, which would of course make you appear BULKY (by definition).
Now this section might sound harsh… So brace yourself!
Myth: Building muscle and bulking up are one in the same.
Skinnier guys “LIFT WEIGHTS” in order to gain more muscle mass so they can appear bulky. Lifting weights by using a certain protocol will help them a little bit.
In order to really capitalize off their efforts, they must match up a balanced meal plan along with proper rest and recovery to aid their muscles to grow.
And this takes a lot of time and effort. Just ask someone who is trying!
Let’s talk about hormones. Primarily just one for now: TESTOSTERONE.
Testosterone is the primary muscle-building hormone in the body. Since women have significantly less of this “Hercules Hormone,” than guys, they cannot put on muscle mass as easily based on genetics. Combining weightlifting and eating cupcakes, drinking beer (or a box of wine) on the weekends, enjoying taco bell, potato chips, etc. will easily make one appear to be getting BIGGER. In fact, ANY human being will see similar changes. The difference is, your getting FATTER, not more muscular. Gaining bulk has little to do with testosterone or lifting weights or guys or gals. It has to do with what your putting in your mouth daily/nightly.
When it comes to training with weights, you should be doing it in order to increase your strength, make you body faster, more flexible with better balance. Now guys have a distinct advantage when it comes to getting bigger because of testosterone. When done right, lifting weights along with balanced meals will also assist guys to lose body fat faster as well. Sounds unfair but it’s true.
Take for example the GAL that is very lean, perhaps too lean and would like to get a little more size on her arms, shoulders, legs, hips, etc. The program would include lifting weights both heavy and high rep compound movements along with a balanced nutrition plan.
When it comes to a GAL that is looking to TONE UP and drop some body fat… the program would be similar when it comes to lifting heavier weights, but adding some savvy conditioning would also be in order, along with a balanced meal plan.
To cap things off, let’s talk a little about weightlifting in general. There is another myth out there and this one could be the WORST one of them all.
LIFTING HEAVY WEIGHTS make you bulky. Gals should do HIGH reps with lighter weights.
There are so many things wrong with that statement that I don’t know what to really say, but I’ll give it a shot.
Let’s start with saying your body has over 600 muscles. All of which are capable of getting stronger. The only way known to man and some women to gain strength is to LIFT HEAVY WEIGHTS often. Using compound movements such as squats, deadlifts, over head presses, etc. I don’t know about you, but there is something about being strong. As a coach, I encourage women to challenge themselves and discover what their bodies are capable of doing.
How strong you are will transition to loads of other benefits OUTSIDE of the gym. Not to mention the health benefits.
Back to the LIFTING HEAVY protocol.
It’s easily re-searchable as to how bodybuilders both male and female get BIGGER. For professionals, they do this by working extremely hard and they spend quite a bit of time training. Much more than 3-4 hours a week. Most pros are taking illegal supplements and use some form of periodization. Meaning for xyz number of weeks they lift heavy weights with low reps, then transition over to xyz number of weeks working with lighter weights and higher reps. Their meal planning is adjusted along the way as well. The difference mainly being the reason WHY they switch.
Are you ready for this….
Lifting HEAVY weights with low reps (2-8) promotes PRIMARILY strength. aka STRONGER muscle to move bigger loads.
Lifting LIGHTER weights with HIGHER reps (8-15) promotes PRIMARILY muscular GROWTH. aka SIZE – BULK. Bigger, more conditioned muscles to move loads faster and longer.
It’s safe to say that most guys are totally guessing on “how much” they should do or “how many” times along with “where to begin.”
The best advice is that a WOMAN should learn how to lift like a WOMAN. For whatever your goals may be, building muscle, getting stronger and challenging yourself will never be something you’ll regret. Eat better more often and you’ll drop body fat and get stronger faster.
#tspc / #crossfitmassillon