Fact or Myth: Lifting Makes You Bulky

I never understood what was so funny about the word toned until I actually started letting go of my fear of lifting weights. It was my goal to be toned at one point because I wanted to lift weights but I thought curling anything over 10 pounds too many times would make me bulky and lose my femininity. I thought my body would expand and become a monstrous version of myself covered in thick sheets of muscle. WRONG. It takes more time than people think to build muscle. Hormonally speaking, women's bodies were not designed to support immense muscle gain as men’s.

I would like to report that I have not turned into the female version of Hulk since I started lifting heavy weights, but I will keep you updated on my status. I would also like to include that I deadlift, bench, and squat heavy weight multiple times on a weekly basis and I have no bulk on me whatsoever. What I have noticed is that I have lost fat and gained muscle faster than I ever have before. Many of the aesthetics that I wanted such as a more defined stomach and a muscular back came about far easier. My body mechanics, core strength, and mobility have improved immensely. And most of all my strength has doubled if not tripled on most exercises. I feel more sure of myself and confident about my strength and my ability to push through discomfort. All of this has occurred along with the happiness of spending little to no time on cardio machines. HALLE-FRICKEN-LUJAH!

Being toned is safe, it is comfortable, and, in my experience, it’s not as fun as lifting heavy weights. Settling for being toned out of fear of being bulky has kept me from accomplishing most of my fitness goals. Plus, femininity looks so bad ass when you are strong as heck.

Here is a workout to try out next time you are in the gym. I promise you will wake up still looking like a female.

Bad Ass Female Workout

Barbell Box Squat                  4 rounds x 5 reps

Barbell Deadlift                      4 rounds x 5 reps

Dumbbell Bench Press          4 rounds x 10 reps

Box Jump                               4 rounds x 5 reps

Kettlebell swings              4 rounds x 30 seconds

Rower                                    4 rounds x 250m

Weighted Crunch                   4 rounds x 10 reps

“Only 7 exercises wow!!” Lifting heavy weight for a majority of those exercises is not joke though... you can knock off that “w” in wow and you’ll understand my current routine. Remember there are modifications such as substituting a barbell for dumbbells. The important part is to get information on correct form and push yourself with the amount of weight you lift each time.