Progress: My first month lifting, and what it means

I'm a 33 (almost 34) y/o female. I currently weigh 196.2lbs, and I'm 5'2" tall. I'm getting married in October, so my fiancé printed off some workout he found online, and we started in the beginning of January. I lift "light" to avoid building a lot of bulk. I do cardio on my non-lifting days. I'm starting to see some progress in my arms and shoulders.

I worry about bulking up, but I can't help but love the new definition.

This pic is almost exactly one month to the day. ☺️

Actually, never mind, my phone isn't cooperating with photo uploading.


  • bunnerfly
    bunnerfly Posts: 197 Member
    HERE IT IS!! ☺️

  • x311Tifa
    x311Tifa Posts: 357 Member
    Bravo so far! :) Keep up the good work!

    *side note* You don't have enough testosterone in your system to bulk. You have to ACTIVELY work at bulking to get "bulky." A typical gym go-er like you or me won't suddenly become Jay Cutler (the BB) from lifting heavy.
  • ZambiNan
    ZambiNan Posts: 61 Member
    Your shoulders definitely look more defined! It's crazy what you can accomplish in just one month of dedication! Great work.
  • erickirb
    erickirb Posts: 12,277 Member
    You cannot build any noticeable amount of muscle while in a deficit, so you will not bulk up. Bulking takes a caloric surplus (eating to gain weight), and a structured program to do so.

    I would suggest lifting as heavy as you can as you will retain more of the muscle that you already have while losing fat, meaning you will be a lower BF% at every weight during your loss. Find a structured program such as new rules of lifting, strong curves, starting strength, etc. Heavy is best for the results you are trying to achieve.
    heavy lifting =/= bulking. bulking range is caloric surplus lifting 8-15 reps, best for strength gain is 1-5 rep range
  • sgthaggard
    sgthaggard Posts: 581 Member
    Echoing what others have said - keep lifting, and up your weights/lower your reps! You won't bulk unless you are eating at a surplus
  • Swanson83
    Swanson83 Posts: 226 Member
    Nice work! You are definitely on the right track! As they all said you won't get bulky by lifting on a deficit. So keep adding weights! You'll love the results even more!
  • JoJo__Fit
    JoJo__Fit Posts: 257 Member
    Keep pushing you doing great!
  • Sumiblue
    Sumiblue Posts: 1,597 Member
    You are not going to get bulky. Bulky means bigger, right? You need to eat at a surplus to build muscle. If you up your protein to 1g/lb of LBM, eat at a reasonable deficit and lift weights (I suggest heavier) you will lose fat. I've lost 20lbs doing just that. 137-117. I've lost inches. In other words, I didn't get bulky I got smaller. I love my muscle definition! Since you are enjoying your new definition I say go with it. Check out the thread titled "lifting made me supah bulky" or something like that. You will see what actually happens when you challenge your muscles.
  • McCloud33
    McCloud33 Posts: 959 Member
    Lift heavy for you. Get on a full body lifting program like NROLFW, Stronglifts 5x5, Starting Strength, etc... And read this're not going to get bulky. It's a lie the fitness industry has told women in order to keep them hating the way they look. If you don't keep the muscle you have while lifting weight, then you generally just end up the same exact shape as you were before and just a little smaller version of it. Lifting weights will actually change the shape of your body. As long as you're losing weight on a deficit YOU. WILL. NOT. GAIN. MUSCLE. You may expose some muscle that you already have, but you're not going to become some bodybuilder by accident.
  • sjohnny
    sjohnny Posts: 56,142 Member
  • CollieFit
    CollieFit Posts: 1,683 Member
    The definition is due to some fat loss. Light weights while eating at a deficit is highly unlikely to be building any noticeable amount of muscle. You lost fat so you can begin to see what's underneath the layers. Keep at it.... and slap some proper weights on. ;)
  • SonyaCele
    SonyaCele Posts: 2,842 Member
    contrats on your progress. Don't be afraid to lift heavy, You aren't gonna bulk, and heavy is really good for you and your bones and body and spirit and mind.
  • bellaa_x0
    bellaa_x0 Posts: 1,062 Member
    you won't bulk up.. lift heavy and thank me later.
  • affabletoaster
    affabletoaster Posts: 5 Member
    edited February 2016
    Good for you! I'm also 5'2", and a similar weight, and have started lifting for the first time! I've been doing circuit training with 5-15lb dumbell weights. I use the 15lb weights as often as I can, and I love pushing myself with the higher weight! (I hope that someday 15lb dumbells sound ridiculously easy to me!)
  • bunnerfly
    bunnerfly Posts: 197 Member
    Thank you all so much!!!! I love lifting heavy! I'm only at about 100lbs on the shoulder press max, and I've just been using the bar for bench press. IM ADDING WEIGHTS!
  • singingflutelady
    singingflutelady Posts: 8,738 Member
    Are you squatting and deadlifting? Fun stuff. You should try a program like stronglifts
  • peaceout_aly
    peaceout_aly Posts: 2,018 Member
    Try lifting heavy! I promise it isn't scary and you won't get "manly" or bulk up too much. It will improve strength and definition. You look fabulous! Congrats on staying motivated!
  • bunnerfly
    bunnerfly Posts: 197 Member
    Are you squatting and deadlifting? Fun stuff. You should try a program like stronglifts

    Yeah. We alternate days and do legs and back, arms, and chest. Fun stuff.