I get bulky from weights...

Does this happen to anyone else? I love class/group style workouts. I used to belong to a women's only studio where all we did was body weight (lunges, squats, push ups, boxing) and I looked amazing. Then I bought into this heavy lifting craze and decided to join CrossFit. I loved it! But I got bulky and stalky looking. My clothes fit tighter and I just didn't look as lean or thin. Has this happened to anyone else? I think I may just dump weights and go back to body weight/resistance. Now I'm in between and have no idea what the best workouts are.

I'm short and curvy...maybe that's why?
«13456716

Replies

  • SpecialSundae
    SpecialSundae Posts: 795 Member
    How much were you eating before and after?
  • BeachIron
    BeachIron Posts: 6,490 Member
    You gained weight because of food intake. If you want to look leaner then eat at a deficit and keep training at CrossFit.
  • jellab
    jellab Posts: 35
    I was eating about the same at both studios. As a matter of fact, I was more conscious of what I ate while doing CrossFit because I followed the Paleo diet.
  • AlongCame_Molly
    AlongCame_Molly Posts: 2,835 Member
    Does this happen to anyone else? I love class/group style workouts. I used to belong to a women's only studio where all we did was body weight (lunges, squats, push ups, boxing) and I looked amazing. Then I bought into this heavy lifting craze and decided to join CrossFit. I loved it! But I got bulky and stalky looking. My clothes fit tighter and I just didn't look as lean or thin. Has this happened to anyone else? I think I may just dump weights and go back to body weight/resistance. Now I'm in between and have no idea what the best workouts are.

    I'm short and curvy...maybe that's why?

    Stalky means long and thin, like a corn or beanstalk. ...Did you mean to say "stocky"? Because the two words actually have opposite meanings...
  • jellab
    jellab Posts: 35
    Yep, stocky. Not a word I use often. Definitely not long and thin. Thanks.
  • BeachIron
    BeachIron Posts: 6,490 Member
    What you ate isn't the issue. It's how much. You can gain weight eating perfectly clean and you can lose weight eating Twinkies or other junk. CrossFit is intense and it will increase your appetite so if you are not carefully tracking your calories I can imagine you could have gained weight simply because of the hunger.

    That said, you can gain muscle mass and lose fat while eating around maintenance if you're new to training. If you think you look bulky then again, the answer is not to blame your training regime, but to eat at a deficit to strip off the excess fat.
  • ummommyme
    ummommyme Posts: 362 Member
    I don't think you will find many people on MFP who will say it's not your food. But everyone is wired differently. So you may just put on muscle easier because of your genetics. I say if bodyweight workouts were working great for you then go back to that. Just because everyone on here says you have to lift heavy does not mean it works for everyone. Good luck to you!
  • I tend to bulk up, too. I have learned that I can't really do strength training more than once a week. I am still very toned, but losing the fat.
  • PhattiPhat
    PhattiPhat Posts: 349 Member
    A friend of mine has been doing Crossfit for about 10 mos but in the last few months she has been looking "bulky". She didn't always look that way, and I do suspect it's her diet. She also switched switched to Paleo around that time and from what she tells me, they don't count cals. *shrugs* What do I know, I count cals and lift too, I'm not "bulky".
  • whierd
    whierd Posts: 14,032 Member
    Yeah, you look soooo bulky.
  • Joehenny
    Joehenny Posts: 1,222 Member
    Do you even?
  • Gwen_B
    Gwen_B Posts: 1,032 Member
    I lift weights.. I make sure I do more reps and lighter weight so I don't end up bulky. So my arms are solid yet slimmer than they have ever been.
  • anemoneprose
    anemoneprose Posts: 1,805 Member
    i think you should do resistance training to the extent that that promotes general health/strength/bone density etc (so at least the minimum generally recommended guidelines, like, mayo clinic, acsm, etc).

    other than that, do what makes you feel/look good, whatever that means to you.
  • KimLee76
    KimLee76 Posts: 89
    I have been experimenting with strength training for the past couple of months as I am nearing my "soft" weight goal.

    For me, the bulking seemed to do with fatigue. Whether it was a heavier weight for fewer reps or a lighter weight for more reps, if I pumped until my muscle were fatigued, that area bulked. (By heavier and lighter, I am certainly not suggesting that a lot of reps with a 1 lb weight will bulk the same as a few reps with a 70 lb. weight.) So for now, I'm doing less work with ab machines than the others and focusing more pilates attention on that region to help lengthen those muscles.

    The current issue I'm working on is imbalance. My hamstrings (back of thighs) are developing at a faster rate than my quadriceps (front of thighs). Even though my hamstrings are abnormally tight lol I'd say, they are apparently naturally stronger. This means that I have to use the lighter weight I can handle on the leg extension machine (quads) as a guide for the weight I use on the leg curl machine (hams). I can already see a difference from my side view.

    The reason I told you all that is to say you can see what's going on with your body better than anyone in here. If you see that you are bulking up from the weights and your clothes are getting tighter and you're eating the same then that's what is happening to you.
  • froeschli
    froeschli Posts: 1,299 Member
    2 questions:

    1. are you eating back exercise calories?
    2. do you rely on MFP for calories burned?

    if both of those are answered with "yes" then it's very possible you are exceeding your calorie goal, since MFP is very generous with calories burned for strength training.
    i log my lifting (NROL4W) as 'calisthenics, vigorous effort', and MFP gives me double the number than my HRM - yes, i know HRM's are not all that accurate when it comes to calories burned during strength training, but that's quite some difference to be aware of.

    with me, in 5 weeks of lifting, i've put on a pound, gained 1 inch around my shoulders, lost one around my hips. but admittedly, i don't count calories all that precisely :blushing: - which is something i have to get back to doing properly if i want to achieve results within the forseeable future...
  • shutupandlift13
    shutupandlift13 Posts: 727 Member
    What you ate isn't the issue. It's how much. You can gain weight eating perfectly clean and you can lose weight eating Twinkies or other junk. CrossFit is intense and it will increase your appetite so if you are not carefully tracking your calories I can imagine you could have gained weight simply because of the hunger.

    That said, you can gain muscle mass and lose fat while eating around maintenance if you're new to training. If you think you look bulky then again, the answer is not to blame your training regime, but to eat at a deficit to strip off the excess fat.

    Bingo, and as a woman, good luck seeing noticeable gains in muscle mass while not consciously bulking.... and also good luck gaining muscle mass with CrossFit in general, its not the most efficient way to do it because of the extremely varied training and lack of consistent direct heavy lifting.
  • miadhail
    miadhail Posts: 383 Member
    Diet aside, since mostly everyone's pushing for that reasoning (which by the way is probably true since, in order to get bulky - i hope from increasing muscle mass and not fat - you need to be eating at a surplus)

    Maybe, do more reps with relatively lighter weights? Just to maintain muscle. Instead of increasing heavy weights with slow reps?
  • amruden
    amruden Posts: 228 Member
    Show me a photo of what you think is "bulky"

    I love lifting. Heavy and Low reps.
    Dropping body fat percentages and pant sizes.

    After a good season, my jeans are tight for 2 days. As my muscles repair, and hold water.
    This is normal.

    It is not mass.
  • vjohn04
    vjohn04 Posts: 2,276 Member
    :noway: :noway: :noway:

    Weightlifting is not making you bulky. As others have said.... Check your caloric intake.