Today I had a conversation with one of my class members after class, she asked me what machines she could use that won’t make her bulky. She said that she’s seen women working out and they are all big and muscle-y and she doesn’t want to look like that, she wants to be more toned and tight and she’s afraid to look manly.
Stop. Right. Here.
I thought it was important to address this as this is not the first time I’ve heard this. I too, once thought this way and I want to debunk your fears of the bulk!
The fact is, woman do not naturally produce enough testosterone to get “muscle-y” without either supplements or YEARS worth of lifting heavy weights combined with specific diets tailored specifically for that purpose.
Fact is, that “bulk” people tend to refer to is actually fat, or adipose tissue. What I told her, and I’m not trying to offend anyone here, is that believe it or not your frame is probably much smaller than you think. When you strip the fat, leaving your lean muscle mass, you will see that you are not “bulky” but in fact, toned and lean. Muscle is a lean tissue but when you carry extra fat on top of those muscles your perception is that you look bulky.
The truth is, looking back on when I began my journey to health 5 years ago, I used to say things like “I don’t want to lift weights because I don’t want to be bulky” and “if I lift heavier than 8lbs I’ll start looking like a man.”
I. Kid. You. Not.
I’m actually pretty “petite” in height – that’s the nice way of saying I’m short, as I stand 5foot tall – and I used to be 234lbs at my heaviest (at least the heaviest weight that I was comfortable enough to step on the scale at) and I thought I was a “big girl” or “big boned” whatever you want to call it. When I stripped a bunch of fat I watched my clothes go from a 16-18 to a 2-4… Now, I know this isn’t always the case, but it’s just an example of how I had this mindset that I couldn’t be small when in reality my body underneath the fat was (and is) small. All of those thoughts were simply excuses – excuses to tell myself so that I could continue to stay unhealthy and not make any progress. Once I quit with the negative self talk and started pushing myself I began to realize that As a woman I couldn’t really be “bulky” if I’m lean, the two terms just don’t make sense – actually, as a man you can’t be bulky and lean at the same time either!
So, the moral of this story is:
Stop telling yourself you can’t because you’re scared. Don’t worry about being bulky, and just get up and start!!