When you read fitness, exercise, or weight loss advice, you probably notice a few recurring themes. You know that getting healthy involves both diet and exercise, and you’ve read that your exercise routine should include both aerobic activities and strength-building exercises. But for many people, especially women, this advice can sound contrary to their goals. Women in particular wonder, “Will lifting weights make me bulky?”

That’s understandable. After all, the reason most people want to lose weight or get in better shape has to do with their body size. Usually we see clients who are hoping to drop a dress size or two, not the other way around!

However, the belief that lifting weights will make you “bulk up” is largely a myth – especially for women.

First, most women simply don’t have enough testosterone to build significant amounts of muscle. Yes, you’ll add muscle tissue to your body when you add weight training to your exercise regimen. But it will be a leaner type of muscle in most cases – not bulky.

And of course, remember that you’re also burning fat tissue along the way. So while you may add a bit of muscle to your frame, you won’t be adding size. Since a pound of muscle takes up less room than a pound of fat, you’ll technically be getting a bit smaller even if your weight stays about the same!

Second, the female body builders that you sometimes see on TV spend years trying to attain their form. They work out for several hours each day, lifting significant amounts of weight, and they follow a very strict diet to help them achieve that goal. It’s unlikely that you’re going to be putting in this kind of time or effort. If you did, it would be because you specifically did want to attain that type of physique.

In other words, women don’t bulk up that much without intentionally doing so. So yes, you can (and should) enjoy the health benefits of weight training without worrying about developing more muscle than you really wanted.

Of course, you can always call us to schedule an appointment, and we will talk more about your weight loss or fitness goals. We will discuss how to adjust your exercise regimen and diet to help you succeed.