Beat The Bulk

“I don’t want to get bulky…” A phrase I wish I would stop hearing from the mouths’ of women. Over time, I have worked with many women who fear lifting weights because they think it will make them look “manly”. So I stand back and ask, “Nancy*, in your honest opinion, would you say I look bulky?” And typically their response is something along the lines of, “No! You’re toned”, or “No way, I want legs like that”. While I’m flattered with the compliment – I am bummed knowing they could have the legs or butt they desire if they had incorporated strength training into their normal routine.


Strength training builds muscle, muscle burns fat, more muscle = more fat loss. Simple as that. Of course we aren’t factoring in nutrition, cardio, or daily activity level. But we are making a huge step in the right direction. A lot of my female clients in San Diego that are just starting out with strength training are intimidated by all the barbells, free weights and complex looking selectorized machinery. So, a great way to introduce this style of workout is by performing body weight squats (touching butt to dynamax ball), stiff-leg deadlifts with a light kettlebell, walking lunges, light bicep curls, traditional & tricep push-ups on the knees. All of these functional movements will work wonders for the body no matter what fitness level.

Forget the misconception that lifting weights makes you bulky! Lifting weights provides the body with the “toned” look we ALL desire.


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Build Curves to Avoid "Skinny-Fat" Syndrome

Women are often torn between what they read in magazines, blogs, and society’s implausible expectations of what a woman should look like. Too often women end up blending elements of weight lifting and aerobic exercise that they sometimes develop a body type that is considered “skinny fat.” Skinny fat is the result of a workout regimen that burns body fat but does not build or sculpt muscle mass. It is a condition where they appear thin in clothes, but actually have a higher body fat percentage than they did before they started exercising.

To transform their bodies and build muscle, women need to get comfortable using heavier weights. Muscle will not grow or get curvy if you are pressing, squatting, or curling weights that have roughly the same resistance as your iPhone. Most women are afraid to lift heavy because of the belief that they will look bulky. In reality, women do not produce anything close to the amount of testosterone that men do. Instead of focusing on an exercise program with the sole purpose to look skinny, one should focus on the development of dense muscle mass to reap the benefits that weight lifting has to offer.

Women should increase weight-lifting volume and find an individualized workout program that will allow them to build those “jaw-dropping” curves. If you are unhappy with your workout regimen or feel the need to add variety please feel free to ask any of our certified personal trainers in San Diego for advice.


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