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Lifting Weights Makes Women Bulky

Posted on 16 May 2016

Lifting Weights Makes Women Bulky

There are plenty of myths flying around within the health & fitness industry and I am sure you will be familiar with most of them… We have the most discussed such as –

  • You can’t eat carbs after 6
  • You have to do fasted cardio
  • You should cut out carbohydrates

So let's set the record straight… Get ready for a 6 part myth-busting series, starting with:

Lifting weights makes women bulky:

“I don’t want to lift weights … I don’t want to get big and bulky, I don’t want to look like a man”

I love lifting something heavy! There is something so rewarding and empowering about lifting heavy. Women often don’t believe me when I say that lifting weights won’t make them big and bulky.

In my opinion, lifting heavier (combined with some cardio) really is the best form of training, whether you’re aiming for fat loss, muscle tone, fitness or body composition. However I know that lots of women do not feel comfortable weight training at a gym for various reasons, so stick to machine based exercises or classes.

One of the key factors for building muscle is the hormone testosterone. To build muscle, you need to have a fair amount of testosterone in your system. Men and women both produce testosterone, however men produce much more. Most healthy men produce between 6 and 8 mg of test per day, whereas the average woman only produces 0.5 mg. While testosterone isn’t the only factor involved, it is a big player and means that women have a far lower muscle building potential – so women, do not fear!

Additionally (and this is purely from experience) it’s fantastic to see how training heavy boosts confidence. Furthermore, it gives you a goal. I am a firm believer that we should always have goals to reach… Always going for 20 reps on the same exercise machines, in the same order can get seriously boring. Give yourself goals to hit in terms of strength and training suddenly becomes a whole lot more fun. 

Above all, you need to enjoy your training! If you’re new to weight training, a full-body programme is often the ideal way to start. I recommend 2 to 3 sessions per week focusing on compound lifts like squats, rows, deadlifts, lunges and presses. Don’t be afraid to keep striving to get stronger and you’ll see amazing changes in your body composition.



  • Rachael Price: May 17, 2016

    Absolutely 100% agree! I always encourage the women at my martial arts school to include some weight training in their regime, losing weight can make you look good in your clothes, weight training makes you look good naked ;) haha

  • Eloise: May 17, 2016

    Great post! Nothing beats the satisfaction of pushing yourself the extra mile when you’ve added weight and nailing it x

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