Fitness News, Healthy Lifestyle

Will lifting weights make me bulky?

ATTN: Ladies afraid of lifting weights! (Guys too)

Have you ever said something like:

  • “I want to lose fat, tone up, and get in shape… But I don’t want to get too bulky” or
  • “I want to tone up my arms and legs, but I don’t want them to get too big” or
  • “I heard lifting heavy makes you bulky. I’ll just lift light to tone and lengthen my muscles”

I’ve heard lines like these at least once a week, every week, for the past 8 years.
And, it’s driving me CRAZY! Because it's so wrong.

Every single time I want to scream with frustration.
And every single time it’s a reminder of how much bad information is out there fooling people.
And every single time I have to remind myself that this is a chance to share the gift of Strength Training
and how it can radically transform the human body.

So you want to get fit? A big question on your mind may be:
Will lifting weights make me bulky? And the answer is…NO!

Lifting weights and getting stronger DOES NOT make you bulky.

Want to know what will make you bulk up?
Eating too much and lifting weights.

Emphasis on that first part. Here’s another knowledge bomb for you…
If you eat too much without lifting, you’ll get fatter. That’s the jiggly bulk nobody wants.

The constant here is eating too much. NOT LIFTING WEIGHTS!

In fact, here’s the secret formula most people are searching for:
Proper Nutrition + Lifting Weights + Daily Activity = Your Dream Body

Lift right, get tight!

What will lifting weights do to my body?

Short answer: A lot of beautiful things.
Long Answer:

  • It can add curves in all the right places (you can actually pick where!)
  • Enhance your metabolism
  • Help you burn PURE fat while on a diet
  • Make your body firmer and more toned
  • Strengthen your bones
  • Build toughness (aka become a badass!)
  • Improve balance, mobility, and posture
  • Allow you to carry ALL the grocery bags from the car in ONE TRIP! (mind blowing)

Sound amazing? Because it is!
Lifting weights and getting stronger will change your life. But it’s not easy.
It takes dedication, time, and challenging yourself.

Is lifting weights required for body transformation?

  • Want that lean, toned look most people want? Then yes.
  • Want to burn pure fat as you lose weight? Absolutely necessary.
  • ​Do you want rev up your metabolism and increase energy? Yup!
  • Want more confidence in your physical ability? Yes Ma’am, it even does that.

Surprising, right?
To lose fat, lifting weights is the second most important thing you can do.
Proper nutrition is the first.

Here's why: The best way to stimulate muscle growth or maintenance is lifting weights.
This reshapes your body almost like magic. The name for this magic is Protein Synthesis.

Here’s how: Increasing protein synthesis helps prevent your body from losing muscle as you lose weight.
In other words, almost all the weight you lose as you transform your body with lifting is pure fat.

​This enables the holy grail of fitness: Body Recomposition. The process of gaining muscle as you lose fat.
The beauty of this is now you can target the areas you want to develop through specific training.
You can’t spot reduce fat, but you can definitely spot develop muscle.

Plus, if you want that hard body from toned muscle, you must get stronger.
Increased strength is what causes muscle to be firmer to the touch (aka toned.)
This means lifting heavy weights.

The Holy Grail: Body Recomposition

​The biggest mistake is not lifting weights!

If you’re losing weight by only doing cardio and eating less, you may lose a significant amount of muscle.
Especially if you don’t include enough protein in your diet. (And you probably don’t)

Losing muscle is effectively doing the opposite of achieving the lean and toned look.

And here’s the scary part: If you lose a lot of muscle on your weight loss program, then regain the weight you lost—which most people do—you effectively did a reverse body transformation.
Backsliding even further away from you dream body.

This is because the weight you regain will mostly be body fat. (Unless you got smart and started lifting!)

The moral of the story is to ALWAYS include lifting weights and strength training for your optimal body transformation results.

Why do I see some people bulk up from lifting weights?

I’d be lying if I said that no one gets bigger or bulkier after lifting for a long time.
But it’s rare to see monstrous development in average people (especially women.)
If you do, it’s usually from three different causes:

  1. Poor nutrition
  2. Genetic predisposition
  3. Intentional training and hard work over a long time

    As mentioned earlier, if someone gets too bulky from lifting; they were probably eating way too much.
    And, they’d be much fatter if they didn't lift weights.

    Some people gain muscle mass easier than others because of their genes. And that’s not a bad thing.
    I think it’s a gift.  Gaining muscle is very hard work.
    If it comes easy—LUCKY YOU! Don’t take that blessing for granted.

    Most people with significant muscular development probably wanted it and worked very hard for it.
    They’ve trained their glutes off for years (maybe decades) to achieve it.
    Appreciate their hard work because most people can’t do it, even if they wanted to!

    Know this: if you do a set of heavy squats today you are not waking up tomorrow with tree trunk legs.
    It doesn’t work that way. I wish it did! I’d be way bigger than I am.

    Who can benefit from lifting weights?

    Everyone.

    Literally every single person on the planet can benefit from strength training.
    Even if you don’t care about looks. It’s great for your health and will help you live a longer, more active life.

    What about the risks?
    As with anything worthwhile in life, there’s always a little bit of risk.
    Training correctly with proper technique and smart programming is critical to keep things safe and effective.

    Doing it right makes the rewards FAR outweigh the risks. I can teach you how when you’re ready.

    How should I get started lifting weights?
    I strongly recommend working with an experienced, high quality personal trainer or coach.
    The right help will make everything safer and a lot more likely you’ll get the results you want.

    Hiring a pro isn’t necessary if you have the time, willpower, and resources to teach yourself.
    But, it’s definitely worth it if your time and doing things right are important to you.

    ​Time to Train Up!

    Now that you’re woke to the real world of lifting weights, it’s time to train up!
    Incorporating strength training to your body transformation program is the secret sauce
    for a head turning figure and improved health for a lifetime.

    For best results, lift 3-4 times per week. Bare minimum twice.
    Increase weight and add reps over time while learning a variety of movements.
    Focus on developing your whole body (not just what you can see in the mirror!)

    Now let’s hit the weights and get those gains...
    Your dream body only comes AFTER you work for it!
    Matt McLaughlin

    Matt is the owner of Capital Strength & Conditioning. Utilizing his skill set in strength training, movement, nutrition, and lifestyle design; he helps his clients build the best version of themselves.