“I am afraid that if I workout, my arms will get bigger. They are so big already and resistant to losing weight. If I gain muscle and I don’t lose any fat from that area, I can’t imagine…”

I understand the concern my new Instagram friend has. After all, fear of getting too bulky is one of the most common concerns among women who are new to strength training.

In reality, your chances of “accidentally” bulking up from lifting weights are about as good as replacing Danica Patrick after she retires this year because hey, you drive a car too right?

…Doesn’t work like that.

Nothing happens overnight. So if at any point, you felt like you’d reached your personal preference for muscle mass, you or your coach would simply adjust your training and nutrition plan for maintenance at that point. You won’t just wake up one morning and have accidentally gotten too swole.

One of the main reasons why it’s harder for women to put on a significant amount of muscle mass compared to men is that the balance of testosterone and human growth hormone (HGH) in women is far lower than in men (in terms of the general population). Both of these play a large role in building muscle mass. Some studies suggest that testosterone levels in women are as much as 15 to 20 times lower.


lifting weights makes women bulky

So it’s not that women can’t get bulky, it’s just that unless your training regimen, nutrition and supplementation plan are specifically geared towards putting on size, it won’t happen.

It’s also worth mentioning that “bulky” is subjective. What’s bulky to you, may not be bulky to someone else.

If you are just looking to lose some weight and get fit, your training regimen and nutrition plan will look vastly different than that of a female bodybuilder or powerlifter for example.

Now stop worrying about getting bulky and go lift something!

Online Fitness Coach Brian DonovanBrian Donovan is a certified fitness and nutrition coach, and the founder of Online Fitness Coach, LLC – an online fitness program where clients get direct coaching and personally tailored training and nutrition plans. Coach Brian was voted Chicago’s “Best Personal Trainer” by Chicago Reader magazine, Best Of Chicago 2014 edition. He has been featured in magazines such as Muscle & Fitness, Chicago Reader, Voyage Chicago, and The PTDC as well various other health and fitness blogs.

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