Fitness

No, Strength Training Won’t Make You Bulky

“If you want to build lean muscle, you must pick up weights.” – Danielle Pascente

By: Ilyse Rogozenski

The world is full of myths. Some funny, some scary and some outright ridiculous. While you may think of myths in terms of history or pop culture, you may be surprised to find out that the fitness world has a few myths of their own. Probably the biggest and most believed myth is that lifting weights and strength training will make you bulky. Now to debunk this myth.

What Weightlifting WILL Do

Lifting weights should always be part of your exercise routine regardless of your goals. Why? Getting stronger improves your quality of life so that everyday activities and movements are not difficult or result in an injury. Strength training will also keep your bones and joints healthy which can help ward off osteoporosis.

Strength training increases the number of calories you burn daily even when you’re not actively lifting weights. After you’re done with your weightlifting session, your muscles need to repair themselves. That requires energy. That energy means more calories burned. More calories burned means you may lose some weight along the way.

You will notice that your body, even if it’s the same weight, starts to look different if you regularly lift weights. That’s right. You now have muscles that have taken the place of body fat, so you look like you weigh less due to less fat and more muscle. Who doesn’t want that?

Finally, lifting weights will give you confidence and a feeling of accomplishment. It’s true. You’re doing something good for your body, you’re getting stronger, and all that plays a role in how you feel about yourself.

Why You Won’t Bulk Up

Those men and women who have massive amounts of muscle on top of muscle is not from your everyday strength training. They are on programs that involve a high volume of weight lifting, a strict diet and a fair amount of supplements. Their workouts are not the average person’s program and, more often than not, they are spending many hours in the gym, usually under the direction of trainers.

Are you prepared to eat at least 500 more calories per day, if not more? That’s what you would have to do to gain that much muscle. And even then, there is no guarantee that you’ll build huge muscles. Those hardcore bodybuilders consume well over the average person’s daily caloric intake in order to build and preserve, their muscle. And they have a very specific formula of protein, carbohydrates, and fat that they follow in order to meet the dietary requirements needed to help them reach their muscle-building goals.

You know what else will stop you from bulking up—too much cardio. Cardio can be a bodybuilder’s Achilles heel. Too much of it and you can lose your hard-earned muscle. Most of them stick to short HIIT workouts (20 minutes max) a few times a week. So, you’d have to give up your hour-long cardio sessions to get bulky.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is that weight lifting isn’t going to automatically make you bulky. In fact, your DNA has a lot to do with how your body looks and how much muscle you can gain. Not something anyone wants to hear, but it’s reality. Sure, exercise and diet can help, but not everyone’s DNA is suited for that type of muscle no matter how hard they work. Now, that’s not to say you should throw in the towel and give up. You can still put up a good fight that yields results by following a healthy diet and a solid workout plan that still includes strength training. FitOn has many plans that can help you build muscle and get stronger. And all of this comes from fitness professionals who look healthy, not bulky.