Even though strength training for women is trendy right now, a lot of women are still holding back for fear of bulking up. As a personal trainer, the first thing I’m asked when I say we’re going to do some weights is “but will that make me huge?”. No, it won’t! Building muscle is hard. Even men struggle to do it. As a woman, your body naturally limits the amount of muscle you can build from lifting heavy. So, to bust the ‘lifting weights makes women bulky’ myth, here’s why strength training doesn’t make women huge.
1. Women Don’t Have the Same Hormonal Profile as Men
It should be no surprise to you that women have a different hormonal profile to men. And, this is the number one reason why strength training doesn’t make women huge. Testosterone and growth hormone (GH) is for the large part, responsible for contributing to muscle growth. As a women, the amount of these hormones is significantly less than that of men, making it hard for you to build as much muscle mass.
2. Women Have Less Muscle Fibre
In comparison to men, women have 40% fewer muscle fibre nuclei. These nuclei are important when it comes to muscle growth and hypertrophy. Fewer nuclei equals less muscle growth even if you’re lifting heavy.
3. You Need to Eat More to Gain Significant Muscle
Muscle doesn’t come from nowhere. You need to eat MORE calories than you use every day to build serious muscle. If you’re exercising to lose weight or change your body composition, you’re probably eating in deficit. One kilogram of muscle requires 9000 extra calories to be created! Without significantly increasing your food intake BEYOND maintenance level, you won’t get huge from picking up a barbell.
What Strength Training WILL Do for Women
So, I hope you can see why strength training doesn’t make women huge. Among other things, strength training does:
- Increase lean muscle mass to create a defined and ‘toned’ look
- Boost your metabolism to encourage fat loss
- Increase your strength so lifting heavy things, walking, running and just living is easier and more effortless
- Help to prevent the risk of osteoporosis
- Reduces the risk of injury by developing protective muscle
However, if you’re still nervous about picking up those dumbbells, get some personalised help from a fitness professional. If you’re in the St Kilda area, one of the Tighten Up’s personal trainers will work with you on a tailored strength training program that gives you all the benefits without the bulk. We can also remind you why strength training doesn’t make you huge before you step up to the bar. Click here to get in touch with us today!