Lifting weights will not make you bulky and manly

If I had a dollar for every time I heard an uninformed woman say, “I don’t lift weights because I don’t want to look hard and manly,” I probably would be a rich guy.

I have no clue where this head-scratching perception was first planted, but I’ve heard it on countless occasions and I think it is time for it to be uprooted.

Let me state right off the bat that lifting weights will not cause a woman to suddenly put on 1,000 pounds, turn green and rampage through Georgetown. Lifting weights will not cause a woman to look, act or become manly. That is just one of the many myths surrounding weightlifting.

20160124emerson logoI’m sure many of you have also heard that lifting weights stunts growth or shrinks a man’s penis. Those are all tales that have been debunked. A woman becoming manly from weightlifting is simply untrue.

I have seen women use light weights with high reps for a ‘toning’ approach, and some don’t even include any form of weightlifting in their workouts at all, for fear of becoming huge and ‘hard’ like a man. They are scared that they may one day wake up and look huge and bulky with shredded muscles like a man or a woman bodybuilder.

So, all of their workouts are aimed at ‘toning’ instead. Wrong mindset.

Women can and should do the types of weightlifting workouts they fear the most. It doesn’t matter if women use lighter weights with higher reps, heavy weights with less reps, machines or free weights, or any type of weightlifting there is, they will never ever get big and bulky like a man or bodybuilder, unless that is their goal.

And if it is then they would have to use large amounts of anabolic steroids and train, eat and sleep like a professional bodybuilder.

Here’s the secret word that should ease women’s fears: testosterone.

Testosterone is the magic ingredient that allows men to get huge and prevents women from getting that same type of masculine body.

Why? Because while both men and women produce testosterone, men just produce way more than women to the point where the whole idea of women getting too big from weightlifting is just laughable. Men are genetically capable of building way more muscle way faster than women ever can, even under the best possible circumstances.

That means it’s only us guys who can get that huge and big and bulky-looking body most women are scared of getting. Women just don’t have anywhere near the amount of testosterone (and other genetic factors) needed to make it happen themselves. They would have to rely on injecting/consuming large amounts of testosterone and anabolic steroids coupled with an insane training regimen over a considerable period of time to attain that ‘manly’ look.

Positive results of weight lifting for women can take several months to be realized, depending on the individual woman’s initial fitness level, workout experience, injuries and other factors.

There are images of women bodybuilders out there indicating that it’s possible for women to ‘bulk up,’ but most people don’t realize how much preparation and planning that would actually take. It’s not accidental.

Note: When you start working out with weights, you’re using muscles in ways you either haven’t ever before, or in a really long time. Hence, the body responds quickly to this exercise by building muscle (especially if you were ever athletic and your muscles have any kind of memory). Now, because it takes some work within the metabolism to actually unlock fat from cells and put them to use as energy, there may be a period of looking and feeling a little bit bulkier than before the weight-training programme began.

Now that we’ve established that you’re not going to morph into the Incredible Hulk, let’s talk about some of the great benefits of weight training.

Heavier weight offers women a higher metabolic rate. Since you work against a high degree of resistance with heavy weights, you create tiny muscular tears throughout the body. You will expend a greater number of calories post-workout to repair those tiny tears, thus increasing your overall calorie requirements.

Most women want to get lean and shed body fat. Doesn’t a high metabolism sound like something that might help you achieve that goal? You bet it does.

The next benefit to lifting heavier weights is that you’ll see greater overall muscle definition. When you lift lightweights as most women do (really? 2-pound curls?), the muscles are barely challenged.

As a result, your muscles won’t feel any need to adapt (grow) since they can easily handle what you throw at them.

Push yourself harder and take the weight up to the next level – that’s when you will see muscle definition and form improve. Provided you also follow a proper diet for fat loss, heavy weights will create the greatest change to how your body looks.

Stay tuned, friends.

Email questions or comments to

Around the Web