Some women choose not to lift weights for fear of getting muscular and bulky. This is a common misconception. Generally, when we think of weightlifting or “weightlifters” we envision bodybuilders. Bodybuilding is a very particular and all-encompassing lifestyle that requires specific dieting and hours of weight training. This is done to achieve a bulking effect with prominent muscle size and definition being the main goal (sharecare).
More moderate weight training and a healthy diet is actually one of the very best ways to maintain a healthy body that is fit, trim, and strong. Women need not fear that weight lifting will result in a bulky or muscular figure. In fact, most women’s hormone profile is such that allowing for extreme muscle growth is nearly impossible. Never fear, we are here to show you the ways of weight training for women!
Muscle Gain in Women
Can women gain muscle mass? Of course! And moderate muscle gain through strength training is absolutely desirable even for women. Strength training not only strengthens muscles, it strengthens bones, increases balance and stability, and helps to burn fat at a significantly higher rate than purely cardio training. Generally, women who transition from cardio-focused exercise routines to strength training find that they reach their fitness goals faster, enjoy their bodies more, and have more success maintaining a healthy body weight (Share Care).
Things to Keep in Mind
Regardless of gender, we all react differently to workouts. Genetic composition, body characteristics, preferences in workout style, and level of effort, are all factors that can change the dynamic for muscle gain. Finding a routine that gets you all the gains you want and none of the ones you don’t is ideal. Try starting off light and slowly building in both weight you can lift and number of lifts you can do. The style of training is hugely important. You can even strength train with no weights at all, using only the weight of your own body and antagonistic movements to strengthen your body (Nerd Fitness).
Body fat is another important factor that goes unnoticed when discussing the potential of getting bulky from weight training. Generally, if your body has fat to lose, weight training workouts are one of the best ways to work toward trimming this excess fat. If you are at a healthy weight and wanting to focus on strength training, you’ll need to ensure that your diet maintains the trim figure you enjoy while allowing for strength and tone to grow (Nerd Fitness).
The simple truth is that big muscles don’t happen overnight. It takes months to years to form large “bulky” muscles. That being said, maintaining your muscle mass while not actively gaining large amounts of muscle tissue is entirely possible and highly desirable. Again, moderate weight training and a balanced diet is the best way to maintain a healthy and strong body (Aaptiv).