Without muscle, our bodies couldn’t do a whole lot of anything. We need muscle to survive, we need muscle to carry groceries, we need muscle to carry children, we need muscle to walk, we need muscle to… we think you get the picture by now. Muscle is essential, so it is important to work out muscles and keep them strong without the fear of getting bulky.
Fact #1 – Women don’t have as much testosterone as men.
Testosterone supports muscle growth. Since women don’t have the same levels of testosterone as men, that means women literally cannot put on muscle like men can. Sure some people can put on muscle faster than others but that comes down to which type of body you have – mesomorphs, ectomorph, and endomorph.
- Mesomorphs are genetically predisposed to building muscle faster and easier than others.
- Ectomorphs are thinly built and it is difficult for them to acquire and maintain mass.
- Endomorphs naturally tend to hold on to more body fat and have trouble losing weight.
Fact #2 Women won’t look like a bodybuilder from lifting weights.
When we see photos of bodybuilders, figure competitors, Olympic lifters, Crossfit athletes, etc it is important to keep in mind this simple thing. Each of them are living, breathing, eating, and training every single day for these goals. The muscle on their bodies isn’t happening by accident or even as a result of a full-body strength and conditioning program. They live breath, eat and sleep with the idea of gaining strength and muscle mass.
Fact #3 Muscle isn’t the enemy, but it could be something else.
Lifting + Eating a Surplus of Calories = Bulking
Lifting + Eating a Deficit of Calories = Leaning
It isn’t just about what happens in the gym. What, how and when you eat has a huge play into what your body composition is going to be made of. If you eat for lean goals, like eating lean protein, nutrient-dense carbs, lots of veggies, some fruits, and healthy fats then lifting will produce a more lean and sculpted look because you will have less body fat on your body.
Remember you cannot out train your diet, but you can overeat your training.
Fact #4 You might feel bulky directly after strength training, but it isn’t what you think.
If there is something to remember before you abandon your new strength training program, just remember this… If you’ve ever felt as though your clothes fit tighter after a workout, you are not crazy. The reason you may feel as if you just bulked up from a workout is that your body is inflamed aka swollen.
When we weight lift and challenge our muscles, we are creating microtrauma to the muscle. This is how we build strength. When our body repairs this muscle during recovery, the muscle holds onto water and swells in order to heal. You are just healing and getting stronger. Although men love this feeling, a lot of women do not so just remember that it will pass.
Get out there, throw some weight around, eat with intention, and know that by doing this, you are educating and empowering lots of women around you.
Feeling like you don’t have time to sneak in a workout. Read our article – “3 Workout Tips for the Busy Women Who Can’t Find Time“.