It’s probably the number one concern I hear from my female clients when I tell them we’re going to lift heavier weights: “But I don’t want to bulk up!” I came across an article on Bodybuilding.com written by Shannon Clark that sums up the reasons women won’t look like a bodybuilder from weight training and highlights the benefits of lifting weights. If you would like to read it in full, click here.
I have outlined the major points below if you’re pressed for time to read the full article.
WHY YOU WON’T BULK UP
1. FEMALE TESTOSTERONE LEVELS
Women don’t have the testosterone levels to pack on tons of mass. Testosterone is the primary muscle-building hormone in the body. A man’s testosterone levels are 15 to 20 times higher than a woman’s. Because women have significantly less of this “Hercules Hormone,” they cannot put on muscle mass as easily as men.
2. FEMALE DIETARY HABITS
Most women don’t consume enough calories to create the mass. Think about it this way: When was the last time you forced down extra servings of protein at dinner because it fit your mass-gaining goals? Chances are, never. Most women are born restriction eaters. They have a built-in tendency to want to be slimmer. To become the bulky beast you needlessly fear, you would have to eat excessive calories daily, add supplementation, and then lift heavy weights on a regular basis.
3. FEMALE FORCE DEVELOPMENT
Finally, you won’t get big and bulky because you typically won’t generate the degree of force that men will. There are some strong women out there who push themselves to the max but for the most part, men have a larger degree of drive to push their bodies beyond the limits of comfort.
WHY YOU SHOULD LIFT WEIGHTS
1. HIGHER METABOLIC RATES
Heavier weight offers women a higher metabolic rate. Since you work against a high degree of resistance with heavy weights, you create tiny muscular tears throughout the body. You will expend a greater number of calories post-workout to repair those tiny tears, thus increasing your overall calorie requirements.
2. GREATER MUSCLE DEFINITION
You will see greater overall muscle definition. When you lift light weights, the muscles are barely challenged. As a result, your muscles won’t feel any need to adapt (grow) since they can easily handle what you throw at them.
Push yourself harder and take the weight up to the next level – that’s when you see muscle definition and form improve. Provided you also follow a proper diet for fat loss, heavy weights will create the greatest change to how your body looks.
3. IMPROVED FUNCTIONAL STRENGTH
Improving functional strength capabilities will make everyday activities easier over time. You won’t need to have the man sitting next to you on the plane lift your bag into the overhead compartment or call your brother to move a couch anymore.
Stop fearing the weights! Get out there and push yourself – I bet you’ll be surprised at how strong you really are!