Exercise! - The "bulking" myth...?




View Full Version : The "bulking" myth...?


celly123
08-22-2011, 11:53 AM
Can someone PLEASE shed some light on getting bulky from strength training??? Too many articles, too many studies, I can't deal with it ahah!

From what I have gathered, the idea that women should lift low weights for more reps to avoid bulking is mostly false...since we don't usually have enough testosterone to build mass up like men do?

Is that true??? I'm confused about this...


DietVet
08-22-2011, 01:42 PM
Yep, that's true. Building muscle is really hard work--your body will let you gain some muscle (which is what you want--to get nice lean muscle where your fat currently is!) but you absolutely won't wake up one morning and discover that you look like a fitness model! Those women work really, really hard and eat crazy intensive diets and probably take steroids. For the rest of us, getting lean muscle is hard enough. :)

You can (should!) lift heavy weights! Millions of reps with light weights don't do anything for your body.

nelie
08-22-2011, 01:57 PM
Also sometimes you will see comments from women who believe they are bulking, most often it is actually fat from increased calorie consumption or water retention. Your muscles can retain a bit of water, especially if you are new to lifting.


runningfromfat
08-22-2011, 02:15 PM
Definitely a myth. I've been at the same weight I am now more than once in my life. However, in the past I was never lifting, now I am. I have a number of pictures (and clothes) from both of these times and there's a HUGE difference. I'm much smaller now and am wearing at least a size smaller too.

Like nelie said, after an intense lifting workout your muscles retain a lot of water so the scale normally goes up and your biceps might look HUGE but it's only temporary. I've had friends who have made the "bulking-up" claim too but they were always very overweight so they had a lot of fat covering those muscles too.

Oh, and besides looking smaller at the same weight you actually burn MORE calories throughout the day than an equivalent cardio workout. Oh, AND you're stronger and have more energy. ;)

The only thing that is very important to remember: EAT LOTS OF PROTEIN, if you are heavy lifting you need that protein to fill you up so you don't end up going overboard with other types of calories.

ETA: Another great advantage to lifting? Broader shoulders! It slims down the rest of your body and gives a great focal point when you're dressing yourself! :D

HMM3
08-22-2011, 02:23 PM
I know what you mean about articles.

I came to the conclusion it was a myth too. However, just the other day I read an article about Halle Berry's workout routine - bodyweight exercises and never more than 5 pound weights. Maybe the focus was on bodyweight exercises.

fitmom
08-22-2011, 02:38 PM
Just remember to move to the next weight level in dumbbells or whatever you're training with to constantly challenge yourself.
I mastered the lighter weights so I went out and bought some slightly heavier weights and now I'm seeing results again.

I can definitely see the difference in my body when I've strength trained as compared to just diet alone. I just seem to look more streamlined instead of just thin - if that makes any sense.

DietVet
08-22-2011, 02:51 PM
Definitely a myth.
Oh, and besides looking smaller at the same weight you actually burn MORE calories throughout the day than an equivalent cardio workout. Oh, AND you're stronger and have more energy. ;)


This is one of the awesome things about lifting. When I was at my leanest--about 138-40--I was wearing smalls and size 4-6s. I was very, very lean and muscular with low body fat. But because I was all muscle I got to EAT the calories to maintain 140lb while looking as though I weighed 120lb. It's fantastic!

Also, weight lifting is way more fun than steady state cardio. That's just objectively true. ;)

joyfulloser
08-22-2011, 03:36 PM
I'm a FIRM believer of two things:

1. The rate or ease in which each individual gains muscle can vary substantially. Simply put...GENETICS will play a big role in this one.

2. EAT. Burn the fat...FEED the muscle. I know this seems so simple, but you'd be surprised how many people actually undereat in an attempt to "GET LEAN" and end up losing muscle.:(

For me...I don't have to worry about #2 because I LOVE TO EAT...and I do eat alot...throughout my 60 lb weight loss journey I ate between 1500 and 2400 cals (just to give you an accurate picture of what I'm talking about).

Exercise. I am a HUGE fan of body weight exercise. Nothing packs the muscle on me better than that. I think it's most natural anyhoot...kinda like running barefeet (which I only recently discovered).:D

Loli
08-22-2011, 04:58 PM
Um, it depends on genetics, really.

But I did have a roommate (female) that produced a fairly good amount of testosterone. Her doctor had warned her that too much weight lifting could cause her to bulk. So, she limited her workouts to light resistance training.

celly123
08-22-2011, 05:14 PM
THANKS TO YOU ALL :) This cleared up a lot!


On that one mention of broader shoulders - DO NOT WANT! I already have broad shoulders, and massive boobs, ergo my upper body is quite substanial. Thank god I have a small waist or I'd look like a man.

Any tips on how to trim my upper arms WITHOUT getting big shoulders? I feel like a lot of the exercises that target triceps and whatnot also gets your shoulders....

UGH. I need a trainer so I can mindlessly do what I'm told. This sh*t is too difficult for me.

ETA: this is my first post with my sig :D i like it...:)

nelie
08-22-2011, 05:24 PM
It takes a while of heavy lifting to get broad shoulders. One girl I know, tiny little thing who had been doing weight lifting for years, told me that she had some difficulty with scrubs because she thought they fit you as if your entire torso was the same width. Other than that though, I couldn't notice that she had broad shoulders but I guess when you wear an XXS, it may make a difference in clothing sizes for certain types of clothes. I'm over 200 lbs, have done weight lifting for years, have slightly elevated levels of testosterone and no part of me has ever gotten bigger due to weight lifting.

As far as weight lifting goes, it doesn't trim you but can help provide definition as well as a metabolism boost. It can also help strengthen your bones as well. Body weight exercises are great but lifting heavy weights is also fun :)

runningfromfat
08-22-2011, 05:32 PM
It takes a while of heavy lifting to get broad shoulders. One girl I know, tiny little thing who had been doing weight lifting for years, told me that she had some difficulty with scrubs because she thought they fit you as if your entire torso was the same width. Other than that though, I couldn't notice that she had broad shoulders but I guess when you wear an XXS, it may make a difference in clothing sizes for certain types of clothes. I'm over 200 lbs, have done weight lifting for years, have slightly elevated levels of testosterone and no part of me has ever gotten bigger due to weight lifting.

As far as weight lifting goes, it doesn't trim you but can help provide definition as well as a metabolism boost. It can also help strengthen your bones as well. Body weight exercises are great but lifting heavy weights is also fun :)

Yes to this. I should have clarified about the shoulder's comment. It makes my shoulders more defined and actually makes me look a lot slimmer. I definitely would not avoid shoulder exercises (unless you're injured) because you're going to get more bang for you buck (i.e. burn a lot more calories and work more muscle groups at once) doing shoulder exercises vs. isolating biceps/triceps. For example, push-ups (yes even modified ones) and rows work more muscles than bicep curls/tricep kick backs.

BTW, if you have big boobs nobody's going to confuse you for a man, I'm just saying... ;) Oh, and I have a large frame+big boobs, I've only gotten a lot of compliments on my shoulders.

Thighs Be Gone
08-22-2011, 05:44 PM
THANKS TO YOU ALL :) This cleared up a lot!


On that one mention of broader shoulders - DO NOT WANT! I already have broad shoulders, and massive boobs, ergo my upper body is quite substanial. Thank god I have a small waist or I'd look like a man.

Any tips on how to trim my upper arms WITHOUT getting big shoulders? I feel like a lot of the exercises that target triceps and whatnot also gets your shoulders....

UGH. I need a trainer so I can mindlessly do what I'm told. This sh*t is too difficult for me.

ETA: this is my first post with my sig :D i like it...:)


Hey there--we are near the same height and I have broad shoulders too. I can absolutely assure you that they did go away as I slimmed down. My broad shoulders and my inner thighs were the last to go..but alas, they DID GO!

DietVet
08-22-2011, 05:49 PM
I have big shoulders and big boobs too. The trouble is the fat though, not the muscle. :) As you lose fat your shoulders will get smaller, even if you add muscle and definition. Honestly, just give it a go.

fitmom
08-22-2011, 06:12 PM
THANKS TO YOU ALL :) This cleared up a lot!


On that one mention of broader shoulders - DO NOT WANT! I already have broad shoulders, and massive boobs, ergo my upper body is quite substanial. Thank god I have a small waist or I'd look like a man.

Any tips on how to trim my upper arms WITHOUT getting big shoulders? I feel like a lot of the exercises that target triceps and whatnot also gets your shoulders....

UGH. I need a trainer so I can mindlessly do what I'm told. This sh*t is too difficult for me.

ETA: this is my first post with my sig :D i like it...:)

Um, hate to break it to you but you might lose the boobage when you get to goal. I went from a pretty substantial C to a medium B. That in and of itself, may balance out your upper body with your lower body. Of course, everyone is different and I'm not an expert, lol. I hated my smaller boobs at first but now I think they make me appear leaner all over, if that makes any sense. Just a thought. Good luck. :)

Oh and exercises to trim the upper arms - running did it for me. I don't know if you're into that but it worked wonders for me.

celly123
08-22-2011, 11:44 PM
Thanks everyone this is all really helpful info/encouragement!

@thighs be gone, just wondering what plan/diet did you follow! You have certainly got amazing results!

@fitmom grrr I sure hope I don't lose too much! I'm at a large DD sometimes E now, so I'd be satisfied at a full C! Also, sorry for this highly personal question ahah, but did you experience any boob sagging??? that's really freaking me out.....haha. they are fairly perky for their sheer size now, but I'd be so mad if they go all saggy!

DietVet
08-23-2011, 01:26 AM
I was still a D cup, even at 14% body fat. They were awfully flappy though! <cackles> Your age and weight history will probably determine how your boobs go. Mine have lost some of their structural integrity from gaining and losing and gaining and losing. But that is why god invented bras. It's fine.

Genetics is a big part of all of this. :)

bellastarr
08-24-2011, 11:36 PM
Great thread!

runningfromfat
08-25-2011, 01:45 PM
I think the breast thing is really genetics. I've been at a healthy BMI before and I've always had a big chest. Right now it's just a difference between a ridculously big chest (probably something like an H cup right now) and just large (I think I used to be a DD back in the day). I doubt I had a bra that ever really fit me well back then so I'm not 100% where I'll be after losing this weight, hopefully a lot smaller!

puneri
08-25-2011, 02:05 PM
Does anybody know about the cardio zone? In which cardio zone you burn more fat? Is it ok to go to VO2?