Most women; looking down at the 25 lb dumbbells….”but I don’t want to get bulky.”
As a trainer, we’ve all heard it. As a female, maybe a lot of us have thought it. But what’s true? Can a female lift heavy weights and not get bulky? And what is “bulky” anyway? Truthfully, it is up to each individual to decide what level of muscularity they want on their body. The one common theme of “bulk” when it comes to women and lifting weights, is that it is usually identified as an undesirable appearance of muscles.
Many women are afraid to lift heavy weights (or even medium weights) for the fear of putting on too much muscle and losing their feminine look. BUT did you know that lifting weights means you will burn more calories? Resistance training (weight-lifting) gives your metabolism a boost, and also helps you increase lean body mass. Lean body mass (muscle) increases the number of calories you burn during the day. The more muscle you have over fat, the more fat burning your body will become.
Lifting weights helps re-shape your body, not necessarily make it any bigger. The secret to a lean, toned body isn’t found on the elliptical. In fact, building a more solid base to your body, re shaping and building the muscles is what causes you to appear slimmer. After all, we’ve all heard the fact that fat takes up more space than muscle. By eliminating some of the fat on your body, and growing your muscles up more, you will start to create that lean look that so many desire.
Doing the same exercises over and over every week with 3 lb dumbbells isn’t going to get you very far. The human body is so adaptable, that after doing that same workout with those same 3 lb weights, you will stop making progress. This causes many people to just give up in the weight room. Instead of giving up on the weights, maybe you could try picking up the 5's. Heck, maybe even the 10s! You won’t just pick up the barbell one day, and wake up the next with bulging muscles. The human body doesn’t work like that. It is incredibly hard for a woman with an in-check diet to put on a ton of muscle.