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Will Lifting Weights Make Me Bulky?

Silvia and I get this question all the time. In fact, I was working in the operating room yesterday and I had a graduate student with me. We were talking about nutrition and fitness and the importance of doing SOMETHING to help relieve the stress of being in an intense program like anesthesia. At one point, you guessed it, she said that she wants to try CrossFit but is afraid of getting bulky.

My answer to her was “you won’t get bulky!” …and that was the wrong answer. Not because it was untrue or factually incorrect, but because I didn’t ask her what ‘bulky’ is to her. I know what bulky is to me. Doing CrossFit an hour a day 4,5,6 days a week combined with a good nutrition program would not make most women bulky, in my opinion. As difficult as it is to admit, my opinion means absolutely nothing when talking about anybody’s body but my own.

So, the answer, like with all good things in life, is it depends. First, define what looking bulky means to you. All of the women below follow some sort of fitness and nutrition regimen.

The ones on the right are professional athletes. They lift A LOT of weights and do a lot of body weight training, and run, and bike, and swim, and… You won’t look like them unless you train and eat like them.

The question is, what type of body do you want AND what type of body do you have? Genetics plays a part in how your body looks at different body fat percentages and with different muscle masses. If you have naturally wider shoulders and hips, you can’t change bone structure. The reverse is also true, if you have narrow shoulders and hips, you won’t change that structure.

Will lifting weights get you the body YOU want? If you want a leaner body than you have now, weights are a good tool for building lean mass and reducing body fat. Muscle takes up about 1/3 the volume that fat does in your body. If you gain 5lbs of muscle and lose 5lbs of fat, you will weigh the same but be smaller.

Combining an exercise program with a healthy nutrition plan will get you the results you want over time and with effort. Don’t know how to get put that together? We do. Come talk to us. Our gym may not be the right fit for you, but we can help point you in the right direction.