One More Time, Ladies… Weight-Lifting Won’t Bulk You Up!

By: Stacia Naquin
By: Stacia Naquin

It's been said again and again. But it's worth repeating. Ladies, you won't get man-sized muscles from hitting the weight room. In fact, it will have quite the opposite effect.

Every time I pick up a women’s fitness magazine (Women’s Health, Oxygen, SHAPE, etc), I know I’m going to find great articles about all sorts of things… low-fat recipes, how to get more energy, moves for your abs, etc. These things are rotated in and out pretty well. But there is one article I know I’m guaranteed to find in each of those magazines (and others just like them) in every single issue. There is always a reminder for women that weight-lifting will NOT bulk them up.

So I thought I’d make sure we covered that concern in the KKTV blog too.
Here’s what seems to be the biggest fear: that your body will start looking like a dude if you start lifting. I’ve been lifting weights in some way or another since high school. And just for the record – I don’t think I look like a dude.
So if that’s your concern, fear not! Women lack the physical make up to bulk up like men. The female body-builders you’re thinking of are likely taking some sort of supplement to help them increase mass.
Actually, a trip to the weight room a couple of times a week will do your body good!
Laura Schaelling is a Certified Personal Trainer with the YMCA. She says she hears a lot of female gym-goers say they’ll start lifting weights once they lose some weight. But she says, “Lifting weights speeds up the metabolism helping you to lose weight faster. This is why you need to increase your lean muscle mass.”
The best way to do that is to start lifting weights.
Since everyone is different with their ability level, the best advice is to schedule an appointment with a trainer who can help you with proper form and appropriate weight, especially if you’re just starting out.
You should start today! Don’t wait, because you’ll be missing out on health benefits later in life.
“Women lose about 10lbs of muscle every decade,” says Schaelling. “One pound of muscle burns 6 calories a day where a pound of fat only burns 2 calories a day. This is why your metabolism slows down when you lose muscle and speeds up when you increase lean muscle tissue.”
And you know what? I just feel good after I lift weights. I feel STRONG! Yes, I might feel a little sore the next day. But I just look at it as a reminder that I worked HARD yesterday. And the results are fun too. The more I lift, the more lean muscle I build. The more lean muscle I build, the healthier I feel – inside and out!
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