But I don’t want to get bulky…
Just by looking at a dumbbell you’re not going suddenly gain muscle mass. The right kind of training, the right kind of diet, even the right kind of genetic make up are all factors in determining how much muscle you can gain and over what time period.
Testosterone is a huge player in the Game of Gains. This little bad boy is the secret weapon to muscle growth, and who has more of it, men or women? Yep, we girls will not be able to gain as much muscle as the guys, it’s genetically impossible and only by increasing our testosterone levels can we even begin to compete at the gun show!
The only variables you have control over are your training frequency and intensity. You have to be consistent with your training and follow programmes specifically designed for hypertrophy (muscle growth). Even with all the right pieces of the puzzle in place, it can take years to gain the size of muscles that most would consider “bulky”. What actually happens when you start to lift weights is you start to burn fat, fat that is covering up those beautiful muscles underneath. Once you start to lose body fat, you are able to see more of your muscles because their definition becomes clearer – commonly mistaken for bulk. Your body stops being one big clump and starts to show off all the individual miraculous little pieces that it’s made of. The lumps and bumps now on display showcase the determination of a powerful and strong woman who’s been hiding away all along.
It’s common for women’s legs to actually get bigger before they get smaller. You’ll be gaining muscle on you legs during your training but the fat here likes to cling on just that little bit harder than it does on your upper body. This means you’re muscles will be growing underneath that layer of fat increasing the size of your legs, but here’s the trick, KEEP GOING! Don’t stop now over fear you’re getting bulky, keep up with the training, the diet, the routine and you’ll start to lose this fat too.
Once you start to burn the fat from your lower body, the size of your thighs will begin to decrease again; they’ll become firmer and lose that little jiggle. The muscle you’ve gained is denser than fat, it may weigh more but it takes up less room. This goes for your butt too! Train that booty, whip it into shape and shake what your gains gave ya!
Women can train for years and years to gain muscle mass but will still be limited to how much they can gain by their genetics. You’re not going to turn into the Hulk by lifting weights once a week, but you are going to reap the health benefits, both mental and physical, of weight training. You’ll be able to open those stubborn bottle lids, lift and carry your children and shopping bags, even change a car tyre by yourself. These little achievements all help to improve your body confidence. With an improved posture you’ll want to stand up tall and proud, not hide away trying to go unnoticed. Weight training increases your bone density. As you age you’ll be more prone to osteoporosis and have a higher risk of breaking a bone, higher bone density lowers your chances of these kinds of injuries. By building muscle, specifically type II muscle fibres(The Bigger Muscles like your bum), you’ll help to improve your metabolism.
The more muscle you have, the more fat you’ll burn.
Want to feel the best natural high nature can provide? Weight training stimulates the release of happy endorphins which makes you feel fantastic! This type of training can be a great therapy session, whatever your reason for not feeling 100%, whether you’re stressed from work or the trials of life, preserving through a tough weight session reminds you of just how mentally strong and capable you are, not just physically. Earning that extra rep in your last set or lifting a new PB proves to you and everyone around you that you CAN and you WILL! There’s so many benefits to weight training that transfer to every day life. Everyday manoeuvres and tasks become easier, your coordination improves and you’ll have more energy throughout the day to keep you going longer. So, forget the ridiculous myth about getting bulky and go pick up some weights! The figure you’re developing will get you closer to that Insta #fitspo dream bod society crams down our throats. Don’t try to live up to somebody else’s expectations, just be the best you that you can be. Be your own inspiration and you will naturally inspire those around you without even realising.