Will Strength Training Make Me Bulky?

Will lifting weights turn me into the Hulk?” It’s a worry we frequently encounter among many of the women who step into Penance Gym and express interest in our personal training or group fitness program.

In fact, just last week, one of our new members voiced this concern about becoming overly muscular. This got us wondering – how many other women might be kept away from fitness centers and the assistance they require because of similar apprehensions?

Let’s address the elephant in the room straightaway.

Why should we consider weight lifting in the first place? Settle in with a warm cup of coffee because the array of benefits from weight lifting is expansive:
  • Burns body fat
  • Tones your body
  • Helps manage depression and anxiety
  • Boosts post-workout calorie burn compared to cardio alone
  • Reduces injury risk
  • Enhances heart health
  • Improves insulin response
  • Enhances blood sugar utilization
  • Aids in weight loss
  • Lowers heart disease risk
  • Promotes independence in older age
  • Prevents age-related muscle loss
  • Strengthens your bones
  • Boosts mobility
  • Reduces fall risk
  • Helps in slowing cognitive decline

These are just a handful of the benefits, with many more waiting to be discovered.

Now, let’s get back to the concern at hand.

Will weight lifting make me too muscular? Short answer: No.

More detailed answer: No, due to the differing hormonal balances between genders. While women do have testosterone, it’s not nearly at the level men produce. What happens when women weight train is more about refining and firming the body, not bulking it up.

Here’s the calorie equation – When you lift weights, you’re burning calories and fat. The more muscle you have, the more calories your body burns even when you’re resting.

To gain “bulky” muscle, you’d have to significantly increase your calorie intake – 3,000 calories or more. While eating more lean protein can help your body build muscle and burn fat, the amount you’d need to consume to bulk up significantly would go beyond your usual meals.

Those who lift weights to bulk up generally follow a rigid regimen, typically including two workouts a day, six days a week, coupled with high calorie intake. They often consult physical therapists for recovery support, with fitness and nutrition being central to their lifestyle.

That’s not the routine we’d suggest for you at Penance Gym. We want to help you meet your goals of a leaner, more toned you, reaping the health benefits listed above.

A word of caution The mantra “don’t try this at home” holds true here. Engage in strength training, by all means, but do so under proper guidance. Ensure a qualified professional is overseeing your form, schedule, and training program to prevent injuries.

Need a coach? We at Penance Gym are ready to help. Book an appointment with us by clicking the “Free Intro” button, and we’ll set you on the right track. Feel free to share this information with women you know who could benefit from a healthier, happier, and more active lifestyle!