For fifteen years as a personal trainer, Adam has heard the same question from women on a daily basis. Will lifting weights make me bulky? CrossFit has come under fire for being the "workout" that makes women too buff and/or manly. Below are some of the most popular professional CrossFit competitors. These women are pro athletes who make their living based on how hard they train. They live and breathe CrossFit and make it their job to get as big and strong as possible. Their ripped bodies do not happen by accident or with moderate effort. It is their bread and butter! They train on an insane level and their workouts typically are as follows:
3-5 times a day
45-90 minutes per workout
7 days per week
Their nutritional needs far exceed that of any normal female fitness enthusiast. On average, they eat 3000-4000 calories of high protein (200+ grams) and high nutrient food daily. Most use muscle building supplements and get 8-10 hours of sleep which aids in the growth of their testosterone levels and muscle hypertrophy.
These ladies have intense levels of drive, confidence, passion and self-esteem that most of us women would kill for. Their fan base is off the charts and thousands of men and women alike find them extremely attractive and sexy. These women are helping to change the standard of beauty and are proving that strong is the new beautiful. But they are athletes and train as professionals.
If the women beneath are bulky, then give me some of what they're having! These lovely ladies would fall into the normal girls CrossFit category. The ones who do one workout 3-5 times per week. Who push themselves to a slightly/moderately uncomfortable limit and eat a pretty clean diet with a tiny fix here and there. This would be YOU! Yeah YOU the one who gets on the internet browsing through countless pictures of CrossFit ATHLETES thinking that if you lift 15 lb dumbbells or a 55 lb barbell that YOU will look like one of the athletes pictured above. Although I applaud your enthusiasm in believing that your 3-5 day a week workout regime would result in becoming such a she BEAST, unfortunately it isn't going to happen. But with some discipline, consistency and a pretty clean diet, YOU could be a Miss Jessica, Miss Bronwen or Miss Diaz. Not too shabby!
Things that make you bulky:
We tend to forget how much we love to treat ourselves and we tend to have a bountiful amount of excuses in our arsenal as to why we should. But this, my ladies, is what produces bulk. Bulk is that lovely layer of fat sitting atop that beautifully sculpted muscle. Bulk is that bottle of wine we had to have last night because it was Cindy's birthday. Bulk is eating the cookie sleeve instead of one cookie. Bulk is eating your meal as well as finishing each one of your children's plates. Bulk does not happen by accident. We would love to place the blame on those barbells and the growth of our muscles but it takes incredible effort and energy to get bulk from lifting. The concern should never be too much hard work or discipline which is what it takes to get swollen muscles. The bulk most women are concerned about stems from lack of effort, inconsistency and laziness. Let's stop feeding an ideology where thin is powerful and starving our bodies of their true potential.
These should become your friends because:
5 Benefits of Lifting Weights
1. Increased Muscle Mass
Weight lifting will help to reduce the speed of muscle loss (sarcopenia) as you age. This loss of muscle can start as early as your twenties.
2. Increased Bone Strength
Women tend to have less bone density through aging than men. Lifting weights can aid in the increase of bone density which can help slow or reverse the effects of osteoporosis.
3. Better Stability
Falling can be fatal. Though nothing guarantees that you won’t fall, weight training will ensure stronger muscles, which means more stability. The majority of those who experience bad falls is usually associated to poor balance and weakened muscle fibers.
4. Improved Daily Activities
Lifting weights will force your muscles to work more efficiently. Everything we do requires some kind of physical movement. These movements include sitting, standing, running, walking, sleeping, lifting, pulling and other daily movements. Lifting weights can help you achieve proper execution of these complicated movements.
5. Lowered Blood Pressure
In the long term, lifting weights can reduce your blood pressure. You will not only create beautiful muscles, you will stimulate increased blood flow to the muscles you are using. As your muscles strengthen, it takes less work to make them contract, which means your heart doesn’t have to work as hard. This lowers your blood pressure and resting heart rate.
I personally love the idea of making one trip with my groceries (farmer walks) and getting up from a low sofa with ease (front/back/overhead squats). And if I ever come face to face with a Walker, not only could I outrun them (sprints/400m/800m/1600m runs), I could hoist him up (ground to overhead) and throw him (wall balls) into the nearest pit! Survivial of the fittest....think about it!
Adam & Amanda
We have spent most of our adult lives training and guiding thousands of people toward better health & fitness. We have created this A4 Blog in order to better educate our friends & members. We will answer any of your health / fitness / nutrition questions as well as keeping you posted on what's new at A4.