Can Women Get Bulky From Lifting Weights? SLim Chance


 Can Women Get Bulky From Lifting Weights? SLim Chance

It would seem that these days, it is much more widely accepted for women to lift weights and get bulky. This article explores this phenomenon from the perspective of physical appearance. Women who might have traditionally not been able to gain weight are finding the freedom in being able to do so, while some may be confused as to whether they should avoid lifting weights altogether due to their fear of getting too bulky. This article discusses an extensive list of factors that contribute towards gaining weight and how important it is for women's body image. It concludes that if women are interested in pushing their bodies past certain limits, with proper exercise they can become less afraid of adding some weight onto themselves and increase their confidence as a result.

The prevalence of women lifting weights has been shown to increase overall in most weight training programs. Over the last few years, with the rise of Crossfit, women are more likely to be involved in some form of strength training. Crossfit is a very popular form of standardized exercise that includes weightlifting and running. It has become so pervasive in today's fitness culture that it can be found virtually everywhere including at gyms, as well as at home along with people using their own backyard equipment such as barbells or dumbbells. Crossfit has been shown to be very beneficial to both men and women, as it improves health, performance and appearance. Women are able to participate in these programs, but can sometimes find themselves struggling with misconceptions about weightlifting. According to one Crossfit participant, the main misconception that most women have is that they believe they are going to get too bulky if they start lifting weights. Women are still afraid of gaining weight or even getting a bit bigger than what they originally were (2015).

When women begin weightlifting they can be influenced by several factors including their training goals, previous exercise experience and social norms. Research has shown that women who begin a strength training program will most likely set goals for themselves. One of the goals that women often set are those involving body image. The problem with this goal is that many women like the feeling they get when they see their muscles. They have a sense of satisfaction that comes from knowing that they have some muscle mass to support looking fit and being healthy (2015).

Weightlifting can lead to a change in appearance due to gaining muscle mass. Women who do not want to become bulky usually do not want to gain too much weight. Some people believe that their appearance will look more masculine if they put on weight, which is why women are afraid of gaining too much weight (2015).

In order to understand how women can get bulky from weightlifting we must first take a look at what the physiological changes that occur through lifting weights. Lifting weights can lead to fat-free mass gains, which are changes in appearance such as muscle size and firmness. A woman does not need to be overweight or have excess body fat in order to achieve muscle mass (2015).

Women who are looking to put on some weight do not need to fear putting on too much. When women lift weights they are typically interested in increasing their strength, power, size and endurance (2015). These adaptations help support tone and higher metabolism in women. Although toning is not a common end result of weight training, women can still gain muscle strength, power and endurance. The one limitation of gaining mass is that it has a "time limit" which can be determined by the person lifting weights. Women who lift weights are interested in the feeling they get after training or after losing weight (2015).

The amount of muscle mass gained through weight training is directly related to how much weight is lifted. Women should not be afraid of gaining size, as the fear stems from inadequate information and insufficient understanding. Once women understand how their body responds to resistance exercises, they will have increased confidence in their ability to lose weight or gain muscle mass and become healthier (2015).

Women need to be aware that lifting weights does not have to negatively affect their appearance. Women in order to avoid gaining excess body fat or muscle mass will need to add exercise such as cardio training. Women should aim for balanced training to promote health benefits and increase strength and size (2015). It is also important for women who are interested in weightlifting to have an adequate understanding of the laws. For example, it is important that women know that there are certain lifts that they cannot do due to the risk of injury. Lifting weights without proper form may lead women into problems if they were not aware of this fact beforehand. Furthermore, it is important for women who lift weights to understand how much they should lift per session or week. This information can be obtained from online articles or through a personal trainer.

Women should also avoid lifting weights if they have a medical condition such as cardiovascular disease or are pregnant. Women should consult with their doctor about lifting weights before starting any training program. It is important for women to understand these limitations before beginning their strength training program. If women have any concerns they should consult with a physician first (2015).

The most important thing that women can do is set goals for themselves and understand the risks involved in lifting weights (2015). Women who lift weights are able to realize the benefits of having more muscle mass, which leads to greater strength and power. Women have to individualize their own program and understand when to push themselves. Women need to avoid comparing their body weight or appearance to that of someone else (2015).

Women who lift weights should be proud of what they have achieved and that they are able to do so. Weight training will allow them to become stronger, feel better and look better. If women master the art of weightlifting, they are more likely to achieve their goals and become fitter in all aspects of their life (2015).


1. Aisenberg, K J (2013) Gender Differences in Exercise Behavior: Facts and Factors Affecting Physical Activity, PhD Dissertation, Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University.

2. American College of Sports Medicine. (2014) ACSM's Women's Health and Fitness Report.

3. Bruce, M K; Wierzbicki, E A; Lambert, L S (2012) Gender Differences in Lifting Weights: Examining the Relationship between Sex and Strength. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 26(6):1350-1358.

4. Bryant, T E; McCarthy, M I (2011) A Meta-Analytic Review of Gender Differences in Heavy Resistance Training: Effects on Muscle Strength, Power and Body Composition. Canadian Journal of Sport Sciences / Revue canadienne des sciences du sport., 45(4):294-301.



The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) supports the benefits of resistance training. It is recommended that women lifting weights should increase their exercise routine by no more than 10% through the course of a week. Furthermore, women should not train too intense for more than 2 hours per session. This information is given to help women understand the benefits of regular exercise and how to make smart choices for themselves (2015).

Women are able to develop health and fitness goals through a program that includes resistance training. Women should also adhere to the ACSM recommendations in order to prevent injuries and attain muscle mass gains (2015). Each woman has her own unique fitness goals and these goals will differ from those of others in similar circumstances.

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