Will lifting weights make me bulky?

Sorry gents, we’re straight back into another article for the ladies! 

When it comes to losing weight or getting in shape, most of us think of high-intensity, fasted cardio is the way to go to shed those extra kilos. We’re here to stamp that out right now!

Yes, cardio will help you burn fat. But it won’t necessarily get you into the shape you’re after. 

Allow Joel and Steph to explain…

The fear we hear from so many women about gaining too much muscle is misguided when it comes to resistance training. In fact, it’s EXACTLY what you need to tighten, trim and tone your body to the physique you’ve been dreaming about!

Transforming your body shape, not just shrinking it

Think of it this way: if your body is a pear shape and you commit solely to high-intensity cardio without any form of resistance training to achieve your weight loss goals, you’re going to go from a larger pear shape to a smaller pear shape. Whilst there’s nothing wrong with this, many of us have goals to tone and tighten our muscles and transform our physique as well, and this simply won’t be achieved through cardio alone.

Enter resistance training. This is BY FAR the BEST way to get into shape. Not only are you working towards your fat loss goals by stimulating calorie burn, but you are also strengthening and tightening your muscles and working towards your dream physique - it’s a win-win!

Myth-busting time: Why you’re not going to look like Arnold Shwartzenegger

Ladies, we promise you, you’re not going to look like a seasoned power lifter as soon as you pick up a 5kg dumbbell. The fear of building lots of muscle very quickly is a genuine reason for so many women to avoid weight training altogether, setting back their progress by miles. It’s time to put this myth to bed.

Even when men are aiming to pack on muscle, it takes A LOT of time and dedication to get there. Plus, the level of testosterone that women have compared to men is minute - so if it takes THEM years of hard work to bulk up, you will be just fine. Promise.



We’re not telling you to can the cardio

For those of you who hate cardio and have been breathing a sigh of relief so far, sorry - we’re not giving you a complete way out of it! Although you don’t need to rely on cardio to get into shape, this isn’t the only motivating factor to keep it as a part of your fitness routine. Cardiovascular health is essential, and doing some form of high-intensity cardio to get the heart pumping and the blood flowing at least once a week is important to maintain a healthy heart.

What if I DO want to pack on muscle?

Now, if this is not the news you want to hear and your goal IS to pack on muscle, here are some things that you can do to help build that bulk:

  • Maintain a calorie surplus: Ensure you’re consuming more energy than you’re expending each day. Increasing calorie intake by 10% is sufficient for most people aiming to build lean muscle.
  • Pump up the protein: It’s recommended for people aiming to build muscle to consume 1 gram of protein per 2.2 kg of body weight per day.
  • Follow a progressive overload training plan: Your body will adapt to the weight and reps you’re on now. To keep challenging your muscles, aim for a 5 - 10% increase each week on any variable of your exercises (reps, weight, speed, etc.).

Overall, the takeaway message is: don’t avoid resistance training out of fear. Doing so is severely sacrificing the potential results you could be seeing. Don’t worry about packing on serious muscle quickly, because this is HARD. The sooner you start adding resistance training into your exercise routine, the sooner you’ll be seeing results that you’re happy with.

Need some guidance? Our training programs have got you sorted, from training guides to meal plans and world-class support. Click here to find out more!