Will lifting weights make me bulky? Ladies, this is the most common fitness question/concern that I receive throughout my career as a fitness coach. And here are your answers: NO. And YES.

When I started to routinely lift weights, while doing about 30 minutes of varied cardio about 4x week, the picture below is the result of what happened to me. Do I look fat?! Do I look bulky?! Because I felt, and still feel, my BEST, STRONGEST self.



So back to your initial question of “Will Lifting Weights Make Me Bulky?”

Why YES?

Lifting weights revs your metabolism. When your metabolism is revving, you feel more hungry since you are naturally burning more calories. When you feel more hungry, you want to eat more calories. If you give in and end up eating more calories than your body is burning then YES, you will get bulky. The bulkiness is from eating too many calories, NOT from lifting weights. Bottom line: If you EAT to GAIN, you will gain. And that would involve a whole lot of time, energy, food, and money to start packing on the pounds!

Solution: A way to control your speedy metabolism that you’ve created by lifting weights, is to eat foods that are rich in fiber, protein, and lower GI. In other words, you’ll want to fill up on foods that make you fuller longer. See examples HERE !

Why NO?

If you are born a woman, you are born with 15-20 times less testosterone than a man, which is also known as the “muscle building hormone.” And how many guys do you know complain they aren’t “big enough”, even with all that lifting and eating? It is very hard to gain a significant amount of muscle mass in men, so what makes you think it’s easy for women? Bodybuilders spend hours upon hours in the gym, day in and day out, to gain muscle. It is not easy for anyone to gain muscle. Scientifically, muscle mass sizzles up the surrounding fat mass. In addition, the more lean mass (muscle) you have on your body, the less weight fluctuation you’ll experience. And even better news, you’ll be able to metabolize that sloppy slice of apple pie a lot faster than your less lean self that only hits the cardio machines. Bottom line: If you work those muscles hard, you will SHRINK in size.

Solution: Start picking them up, putting them down, pushing them forward, and pulling them back! Get on your own strength training program and a new pair of smaller pants, because you’ll eventually need them! If you simply don’t know where to start in choosing your plan, I would love to work with you via online training. Send me your questions, concerns, and goals HERE, and you’ll be well on your way to your strongest, leanest, happiest self.


And I’ll leave you with the famous yet oh-so-true comparison:

muscle vs fat