quesion/debate about women weightlifting



  • SezxyStef
    SezxyStef Posts: 15,268 Member
    I've been lifting since September 2013...and in the process lost 60lbs...(because of my deficit) I was benching 125lbs yesterday and no I am not bulky....that dress I am wearing in my profile pic is a size 4...trust me lifting heavy does not bulk a woman up....
  • Larissa_NY
    Larissa_NY Posts: 495 Member
    Not all women define "bulky" the same way. To some women, and your friends might be among them, the slightest hint of muscle definition looks too masculine. Other women are perfectly willing to sign up for sculpted biceps, they just don't want to look like a spray-tanned, 'roided-out Ms. Olympia competitor from 1993. I'm in no danger of looking like Betty Pariso any time soon, and neither are you, but I do have definition in my arms and a set of squat quads.

    The thing to remember is that muscle is brutally hard to build and easy to lose. If you start not liking the way you look, you can always put down the weights for a while. But you might find that being strong is so much fun that you don't really care.
  • mbcieslak87
    mbcieslak87 Posts: 206 Member
    I, like you, was always able to lose weight relatively quickly just by adding a bunch of cardio back into my routine when I was younger but have found that more and more difficult to do, for a number of reasons lately (and jeeze, I'm only 27). I decided I had to change because where was I going to be at 47 or 67 if it was already this hard now.

    First of all you have to re-examine that statement - if you are constantly in need of dropping weight, it must suggest that the way you are dong it is not sustainable. I know it wasn't for me! For example, during college when I had all the time in the world, I would go the gym for hours and elliptical or run around the track with my friends... until the cows came home, because I had very little time contraints. After college I continued running but at faster paces to make it fit more in my schedule; but running 5-6 days a week is not sustainable for most of us, especially to truly make a difference in your appearance (afterall 6 miles is only ~600 calories and I can eat them back QUICKLY)

    So recently I started Stronglifts 5x5 (i've tried other stuff, like p90x but never a real weightlifting program). I've at it for 6 weeks (you lift 3x a week and I have also continued to run 3x a week because I have come to like it, now that it's not a daily chore) and have noticed so many benefits! My whole body looks more toned, I went shopping this past weekend and everything fit, I am happier and feel stronger and have gotten compliments on having lost weight (although i really have only lost like 3 lbs). I really find a combination of lifting and cardio is the most sustainable for me and therefore the best thing in the long run! I can't imagine going back to cardio-ing myself to death.

    Hope this helps!
  • Iceprincessk25
    Iceprincessk25 Posts: 1,888 Member
    Lift and lift heavy I say!!!!!
  • Asher_Ethan
    Asher_Ethan Posts: 2,430 Member
    Most of my 20's I was afraid of, "bulking up," also and I would lift really light.
    3 years ago I started lifting heavier and I wish I would have educated myself on the subject more when I was younger because I would have been a lot stronger now.
  • Azexas
    Azexas Posts: 4,334 Member
    Women lack the testosterone required to actually "bulk up" Lift those weights OP!
  • BusyRaeNOTBusty
    BusyRaeNOTBusty Posts: 7,166 Member
    Ignore your friends and husband. Believe the book.

    <- been lifting heavy for 4 years.
  • sunandstars2
    sunandstars2 Posts: 56 Member
    As a man, I feel well versed in woman biology.

    Here is what I recommend to get in shape but not bulky.
    1 stop listening to people telling you not to lift
    2 keep with a progressive lifting program
    3 Throw out your scale and buy a tape measure

    I LOVE THIS! great advice :smiley:
  • Ready2Rock206
    Ready2Rock206 Posts: 9,488 Member
    Don't take steroids and you'll be fine. Start lifting now - don't wait to lose the weight first, you'll look so much better sooner!
  • skinnylove00
    skinnylove00 Posts: 662 Member
    << i've been lifting heavy for over 5 years. i'm NOT bulky whatsoever!!! the reason building muscle is important because it improves your body composition, making you look tighter and less jiggly. as you lift, you build muscle which acts as little cal burning factories that CONTINUE to burn those cals even when you're out of the gym. the "bulkiness" people complain about is just a load of horse *kitten*...cupcakes and ice cream make you bulky, and muscle does not. you will notice far more faster results in terms of body composition if you lift rather than just do cardio. also...throw out your scale. you might go up in weight if you start lifting BUT you notice that your clothes will start falling off you and you'll need smaller sizes. it's because muscle is dense so you'll be heavier but look tighter/smaller.
  • Sued0nim
    Sued0nim Posts: 17,456 Member
    I do have more defined muscles than I've ever had before ...but I'm much slimmer and I really, really like them...I'm not as soft and rounded looking as I once was, but I've still got curves and fit in size 6-8 clothes well...I wouldn't say I've bulked at all but it's been 9 months at mainly defecit..I'm now on maintenance although I could possibly drop some more fat

    More importantly I feel strong and invigorated...it feels great

    And today I managed to control my descent from a pull-up position for the first time ever ...whoop! :grinning:
  • squirrlt
    squirrlt Posts: 106 Member
    edited February 2015
    OK, TRUTH time. Some women CAN naturally put on muscle relatively easily, so I get annoyed when people make broad generalizations and say it's universally impossible to be a "bulky" female. It happens! Building muscle is not that hard for everyone. Some women's bodies are more responsive to lifting than others. It's a spectrum, everyone responds differently, easier for some than others. But you don't know until you try!

    That said, this shouldn't scare you away from lifting. As everyone is saying, NO you won't look like competitive bodybuilder without considerable effort no matter what your body type, male or female. It won't happen by accident. And chances are pretty high that you are NOT the type that puts on muscle easily anyway. So lift away! If you notice muscle is building easily, consider yourself blessed! You won't have to work very hard to maintain it, and if you start to get too big in an area you want to keep small, just moderate your loads/reps a bit on any exercises that target that area. Like I said though, you probably won't even have to worry about that, I'm just throwing that out there, in case it does happen to you, so you won't feel like a freak ("I'm starting to look like Xena, but everyone on MFP says I can't get bulky! What's wrong with me?")

    You can definitely start lifting before all the weight comes off, it can only serve to benefit your weight loss goals, since it will help you preserve muscle mass and BMR as your weight drops. However, keep in mind that you still need to eat in a deficit or you may end up adding some muscle under the fat that you have left to lose, which might make you feel a bit larger. That muscle-under-fat scenario can be mistaken for "bulk" as well.
  • terar21
    terar21 Posts: 523 Member
    Lifting in itself won't make you heavier. What your friends probably did if they truly did get "bulky" is lift while they were in a calorie surplus. If you ignore the diet aspect (the most crucial part of weight loss) and eat above maintenance and lift, you'll indeed be in a bulk...but their "bulk" was really the result of just gaining weight from high calories. It's very difficult for women to increase muscle size. Heck, it's hard for anyone. We really have to work at it. You don't just happen upon it accidentally or quickly. When people think they're getting bulky muscles, it's usually just weight gain from lack of attention to diet. Or they truly did lose fat and panicked the second their muscles started to show a little more, but I'm guessing it's the former.

    Lifting while you're losing weight is a great way to help you retain the muscle you have. I've definitely experienced it first hand. I've lost weight in the past and with that has come loss of muscle as well since I didn't do anything to help retain muscle. My butt disappeared. This time around, I've worked hard at incorporating lifting and I'm not experiencing the muscle loss (my body feels and looks better than before when I lost without lifting). You'll experience strength gain, not muscle gain (as you lose fat though, you'll start to see the muscle you have underneath).
  • projecthotbel
    projecthotbel Posts: 32 Member
    edited February 2015
    The problem with these conversations is everyone defines bulky differently. My definition is way different than most.
  • jennifershoo
    jennifershoo Posts: 3,198 Member
    The problem with these conversations is everyone defines bulky differently. My definition is way different than most.

    What is your definition?
  • jennifershoo
    jennifershoo Posts: 3,198 Member
    I want to see pictures of those so-called "bulky" females.
  • erickirb
    erickirb Posts: 12,292 Member
    edited February 2015
    The problem with these conversations is everyone defines bulky differently. My definition is way different than most.

    I am assuming if your definition is quite a bit different than what most people think, then what you think is bulky is probably actually something else, perhaps fat, or ripped???
  • jennifershoo
    jennifershoo Posts: 3,198 Member
  • erickirb
    erickirb Posts: 12,292 Member

    And even those on the right are on strict diets and hardcore workout programs gearing up for a photo shoot. In person when not getting ready for a shoot or comp they will have even less definition.
  • Holly_Roman_Empire
    Holly_Roman_Empire Posts: 4,440 Member

    You know, one thing that I think MFP folks tend to ignore is that "bulky" is such a subjective term. Of course, most of the people responding don't think the women on the right are bulky, but what if somebody does? And what if they don't want to look like that? What if the goal is just to have a figure like Jessica Alba or Halle Berry?

    OP, my suggestion would be to try it. Try the lifting program. It has great rewards besides aesthetics, and if you decide you don't like how your physique is coming along, you can adjust your program at that point.