Tuesday Tip: Weights won’t make you bulky 💪🏼
Many female clients often tell me they don’t want to lift weights because they’re afraid of getting too big or bulky. What they mean when they say this is that they don’t want to put on too much muscle mass – they have visions of chunky thighs, thick necks, huge biceps, heavy set shoulders etc.
The reality is that it’s actually extremely hard to put on significant muscle mass. To get to a bulky or body-builder level of muscularity, you’d not only have to train and diet in an extreme fashion, but you’d have to keep at it for years. I’ve got clients actively trying to ‘bulk’ and it’s a slow process that requires dedication to weight training and to eating … a lot! Body builders and those types of athletes work extremely hard to look the way they do; you won’t end up there by accident, I promise. If you want to gain significant amounts of muscle mass, you’re looking at five to six days of heavy lifting a week, every week for months and months. Doing a few weights workouts a week, or a few pump classes will not make you bulky.
As I always, say you don’t lose weight/fat from exercise – it’s from a calorie deficit. In the same way you can’t put on significant muscle mass without eating a calorie surplus – and a large one at that! Gaining muscle mass comes from a combination of heavy weight training and an excess in calories.
So if you are aiming to lose fat and are at a calorie deficit (or even maintenance/ slight surplus ) then doing weights workouts 3-4 times a week won’t result in large amounts of muscle growth. What it will do though is increase your lean body mass. This has two benefits – it increases your metabolic rate which means you’ll burn more calories at rest. It will also help provide the ‘sculpted’ or ‘toned’ look many people want. By working those muscles you’ll create a solid muscular base so that as you lose fat you’ll start to see the shape you’re looking for. It will also make you feel strong – and that’s a great feeling!
So don’t be afraid of lifting weights – they’re an important component of any fitness program. They’re also vital – especially for women as we age – as a way to help protect against osteoporosis.
Happy Tuesday 🤗xx