I want to clear up myth that I have encountered over the years as a personal trainer.  Some women tell me that they don’t want to lift too many weights because they’re concerned that they’ll get “too bulky” or “get weird body builder veins on their arms.”  

This may lead some to do mostly cardio.  The thing is that you need both cardio and strength training to lose weight, maintain balance, and increase energy among other health benefits that come from working out.

Whether your goals are to bulk up or get a more toned look, here are some points to consider:

A high calorie diet is required for bulking up

The simple way to explain weight loss is to consume less calories in a day than you burn. So in order to bulk up you must do the opposite, consume more calories in a day than you burn.

Women don’t have as much testosterone as men  

Men have 15-20% more testosterone than women have. This extra testosterone leads men to bulk up more.

Bulk vs. Tone

With the lower testosterone levels in a woman’s body, muscle will still develop. Men tend to get more bulk while women will get more of a toned look – a look that comes from fat loss and lean muscle development.

Bulk comes from low repetitions and heavy weights

Bulk routines are normally 3-5 sets of 6-12 reps.

Toning routines are normally at 1-3 sets of 12-20 reps.

Bulking up is a long process

It’s not possible to bulk up overnight. Those bulky people that you see have incorporated a long and tedious process that can take years of lifting and food maintenance.

Happy lifting!