#220 – Will Lifting Weights Make You Bulky?
One of the most frequent questions we hear from new lifters — or people considering strength training but not yet sold on it — is will it make me bulky? It’s a pervasive myth, and one of the most common concerns among women, but it has little basis in reality. The fact is, there ARE “bulky” women out there, that is, strong women with muscle mass. Generally these women work very hard for years to build that much muscle, and have a genetic predisposition to accumulate muscle. Most women who begin strength training, however, find themselves looking strong, capable, and healthy, while watching their dress size go down.
At the heart of this concern is a cultural bias toward thin, lean physiques — especially in the modernized Western world. We are bombarded with advertisements and visual entertainment mediums filled with idealized models of the human form, beautiful actors and actresses with far above average genetics. Furthermore, since the rise of bodybuilding in the mid-20th century, a fascination with big muscles and extreme low levels of body fat has endured. These ideals are not only unrealistic for most people, they are often mentally and physically unhealthy as well.
That’s why at Barbell Logic we focus on what you can do, not what you look like. Performance, strength, and health comes first, and aesthetics are a pleasant side effect of training. And of course for trainees who have completed a novice linear progression and built a base level of strength, there are always ways to customize programming to prioritize body composition and losing body fat. The key is that strength comes first!