Ladies, are you one of those women who is afraid to pick up a heavy weight? And I don’t mean a 60lb dumbbell — I’m talking 10lb or more, in fear of getting “big and bulky?” As a fitness professional I often hear this fear from women time and time again.

They want to reshape their bodies, burn fat and look fabulous but are afraid to lift more than 10lbs, thinking they will suddenly appear with bigger muscles than their husband. Ladies, this is absolutely not true and a long time myth. Lets take a look at why in simple terms.

In order to hypertrophy your muscles in a manner that become “big and bulky” you would need to consume enormous amounts of calories each day. Meaning that you must eat more calories than your body burns off, creating what is called a caloric surplus. Proper nutrition absolutely has to come into play when adding muscle. Unless you are eating the right amounts of extra carbohydrates, fats and proteins it would be very hard to reach your fear of becoming “big and bulky!” Women’s bodies are not biologically inclined to carry large amounts of muscles; unlike fat, which is an entire different story.

Another factor that comes into play when putting on muscle is your repetition range. In order for muscle to tear, repair and grow you need to lift heavy and keep your rep range below 12, usually 6-10 reps per set. You’re not going to create “bulky” muscles from doing 15+ reps, which most women normally do. On top of the repetition range, the weight you are lifting has to be heavy, and I can promise you are not going to get big from lifting 15 pounds. If anything, your arms will jiggle less and your tush will become tighter! Sounds nice, right? In order to re-shape your body you must lift enough weight to shock your muscles to create change and tiny weights for 20 reps is not going to get the job done. The bulky women you are afraid of looking like are usually taking some kind of special “supplement.” Which brings me to my next point. The majority of women who have larger than average “bulky” muscles usually use some type of pharmaceutical aid to get them there. I can assure you they didn’t get there from lifting heavy weights alone, except for the few genetically gifted ones out there. So rest assured the only thing you can benefit from lifting heavier weights is a well shaped tight body!

Still afraid of picking up that weight? Here are some more tidbits for you! Did you know that adding two weight training sessions a week can reduce overall body fat by about 3 percentage points in just 10 weeks, even if you don’t cut a single calorie. That translates to as much as three inches total off your waist and hips. A study in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that women who completed an hour long strength training workout burned an average of 100 more calories in the 24 hours afterward than they did when they hadn’t lifted weights. At three sessions a week, that’s 15,600 calories a year, or about four and a half pounds of fat….without having to move a muscle. Muscle burns up calories even when you’re not in the gym. Replace 10 pounds of fat with 10 pounds of lean muscle and you’ll burn an additional 25 to 50 calories a day without even trying. That’s what I call Burning At Rest! Have no fear ladies, pick up some weight and lift! I can promise the results will amaze you.

Ashley Sica

Fitness Transformation Studio
851 SE 6th Ave
Delray Beach, FL 33483
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