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Girls – lifting heavy weights won’t make you ‘bulky’

  • Posted by Catherine Tumelty
  • 05 June 2017

During my time at university completing my Bachelor and Masters programs, I worked in the supplement industry. I really enjoyed it and loved helping people with advice around their nutrition and sports nutrition – in particular. There was one very common piece of advice that I seemed to offer several times per day and the conversation often went something like this;

Me – ‘How can I help you today?’

Female – ‘I’d like to find a protein that will help me with my training. But I don’t want to get bulky!’

Me – ‘Don’t worry, there isn’t a type of protein that exists that will make you bulky. You’ve got plenty of options.’

Female – ‘Sorry? So protein won’t make me bulky?’

Me – ‘No. Definitely not.’

There would be a little more to the conversation, but I’m sure you get the picture. Interestingly, this type of conversation would continue to plague me once I became an Accredited Exercise Physiologist and started my own business.

How so? Well, there would rarely be a week that goes by where I don’t have a female client, potential client or member of the gym ask me about the type of training that they should do to ensure that they don’t get bulky. And it is here that is break it to you girls – lifting weights won’t make you bulky. It can’t make you bulky and if I gave you the best weightlifting program ever devised and you followed it precisely you would not get bulky.

‘But if lifting weights made all of those guys in the weights area look like they do then won’t it do the same to me’? No. That is the short answer.

The reason is that men have a lot more testosterone in their bodies than females. A lot more. The amounts will vary person to person, however it would be in the realm of 10-15 times higher in a man than a woman of the same age. Testosterone is the hormone that provides men with most of the typically male characteristics, including more and stronger muscle mass. Much, much more.

As a result of these dramatically lower testosterone levels, girls, you can lift and lift and lift and lift and the only thing that is going to happen to you is that you will be stronger, feel better, move better and live better. You will not get bulkier unless you consumed a very large amount of additional calories – above what would be comfortable or even possible for most people.

As an AEP I cannot stress the importance of resistance training enough. It is an absolutely critical part of living an optimally healthy life. I understand that the weights room can be an intimidating place, full of weird machines and weird looking people, so if you have thought about lifting weights but haven’t had the confidence or knowledge before, please contact one of the wonderful PT’s at your local Fit  n Fast – you won’t regret it!

Yours in Health. 

Blog post courtesy of Chris Dounis, Senior Personal Trainer at Fit n Fast St Peters

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