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Exercise Myths: “Lifting Will Make Me Big & Bulky”

August 23, 2016 / exercise, fitness, resistance training
Exercise Myths: “Lifting Will Make Me Big & Bulky”

“I don’t want to get bulky. Lifting weights makes you big, and I don’t want to look like a man.”

This myth is repeated far more often than it should be. A quick look at any social media platform shows you this just isn’t true! If you are seriously concerned about building too much muscle or having an undesirable physique, worry no more.  With a little information, we can hopefully put this thing to rest once and for all.

These are my answers to the two most common questions I get from people with concerns about resistance training.

1 – Can a resistance training program make me bigger? Yes, but this is not a guarantee. While many start lifting with the intent to get bigger, there are three very important things to keep in mind:

1) A caloric surplus causes weight gain. Building muscle, and gaining weight in general, requires you to eat more. The quality and quantity of your nutrition affects your appearance and physical performance. Don’t want to get bigger? Keep your nutrition in check. Honestly, it is that simple.

2) There are ways to train without putting on size. Nutrition aside, there are other factors that go into a resistance training program – frequency (number of training sessions per week), training volume (amount of work per session), and training intensity (percentage of your maximum capacity).  All of these factors can be adjusted to improve fitness, speed, power, strength and conditioning WITHOUT putting on size. This approach is used by weight class athletes like boxers, martial artists, wrestlers, and others that need the benefits of strength training without gaining additional weight.

Yes, you can get stronger without getting bigger!

Yes, you can lift, get stronger and get leaner without getting bigger!

3) Women are at a disadvantage when it comes to building muscle. Testosterone, the primary muscle building hormone, is less present in women than men. This doesn’t mean women cannot build muscle, it just requires more work. Which takes us to question number two…

2 – Can you get “big and bulky” casually training  a few times week? If only it were that easy! Unless you’re blessed with perfect weight room genes, nope. Even under the most ideal conditions, it takes A LOT of work. Gaining serious muscle takes hours upon hours of training, precise and often restricted nutrition, a schedule built around exercise, and anabolic steroids in many cases. A few hours a week in the gym isn’t enough to make this a possibility.

For women afraid of “looking like a man” or “getting bigger”,  you can lift, get stronger, get leaner, and enjoy the many benefits of resistance training with no worry of this outdated myth based on false assumptions.

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  1. Booty Workouts: The latest fitness trend. – JH Training August 9, 2017 (3:39 pm)

    […] 1.Are you going to build impressive levels of strength or a killer physique with “band only workouts”? Nope, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Band exercises make a great addition to a training program and are handy while traveling, but they aren’t a replacement for it. Lift, add some resistance, and focus on basic movements like squats, lunges, bridges and their variations. I promise you won’t end up looking like a man. […]