Afraid to Lift Weights? Here’s Why It Won’t Actually Bulk You Up

man doing front squats

Afraid to Lift Weights? Here’s Why It Won’t Actually Bulk You Up

Since the stay-at-home orders have been implemented, fitness videos on Youtube became a hit, with thousands of women and girls all over the world partaking in the “Two-Week Shred Challenge” and others. Fitness challenges shot to fame rapidly that they soon made waves on Instagram and Tiktok as well.

While the workout routines in those videos are indeed effective, they’re sadly not enough to tone your muscles. For that, fitness trainers, including your favorite Youtuber, will definitely recommend weightlifting.

If you underwent professional health coach training, you’ll understand the importance of weightlifting in muscle toning as well. Given that numerous women are afraid to lift, your expertise is vital, so that you can help them become as sculpted as their “fitspirations.”

That said, let’s find out what weightlifting actually does to your body, and how you’d avoid bulking up when doing it.

The Truth About Weightlifting

Rather than make you burly, weightlifting actually tightens and tones your muscles, helping you become leaner. It doesn’t affect your muscle tissue, but instead speeds up your metabolism and increases the calories you’re burning. That’s because resistance training helps build up your lean body mass, which heightens the number of calories you shed off during the day.

Weightlifting also does an excellent job in sculpting your body. Shoulder presses and pull-ups, for example, define your arm and back muscles. If you want a more pronounced bottom, squats and dead lifts will certainly let you achieve that. Simply put, weightlifting allows you to train for the exact results you want, unlike cardio that only makes you sweat but not stronger.

The only reason bodybuilders and Olympic weightlifters become bulky is that they accompany their intense resistance training with a muscle-gaining diet. As with losing weight, you also can’t expect drastic results from exercising alone, so weightlifting is no different. If you engage in resistance training one to three days per week, and don’t consume more calories than your daily intake, then you’re not likely to experience extreme muscle gain.

How to Avoid Bulking Up

Sticking to 3- to 5-pound dumbbells aren’t necessarily the way to avoid bulking up. Though there is a degree of truth that lifting lighter weights for more reps is effective in improving muscle endurance, they’re not better than heavy weights in terms of toning.

Therefore, instead of using lightweight dumbbells, just lift heavier ones with fewer reps. They’ll yield better results, since they’ll exercise your resistance more, thereby making you trim more fat.

Furthermore, don’t be afraid to train your strength like men do. While there are really differences between women’s and men’s strength training programs, lifting the same weight as men won’t make your muscle grow like theirs, too. In fact, people of both genders should work out every major muscle in their body at least 8 to 12 times if they really want to be leaner. So lift weights that are heavy enough for you to be fatigued at the last two reps. That way, your muscles will adapt, becoming stronger and more defined.

Consume the Right Diet

healthy food

To enhance the results of your resistance training, have your fill of high-protein food such as lentils, legumes, oily fish, and lean meat, to name a few. Strengthen your bones as well by consuming calcium-rich foods, such as cheese, milk, broccoli, and almonds.

Supply your body with vitamins C and D to nourish your blood vessels and support the contraction, strength, function, and growth of your muscles. Some foods with vitamin C are bell peppers, dark leafy greens, and strawberries, and those with vitamin D include eggs, soy, and mushrooms.

Following your awareness on the truth about weightlifting, never hesitate to pick up a heavier dumbbell again, and don’t be afraid to progressively increase the weight you’re lifting. Your overall health will also improve with well-sculpted and stronger muscles.

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