First, to address the obvious jubilation everyone is feeling over the execution of Bin Laden let me just say, “I’m right there with you.”  This is a great day as it pertains to many families finally obtaining some form of closure, and while I’m not properly suited to comment on it in-depth I just want to say a quick yet sincere ‘thank you’ to our men and women on the ground.  No President or politician pulled this off.  This was the United States military, and we’re incredibly grateful over here at what they do, specifically McLean’s finest – Matt McKee, Alex Haig, Jay Agnew, Alex Brown and everyone else that served abroad.

….“Will weights make me bulky?”

This is a very common question for a lot of women the first time they incorporate weights into a training program, one that seems to not worry some yet completely terrify others.

Weights! They’re going to make me bulky! Ahhh!!

It’s my estimation that people assume that something that’s “heavy” must make you big and bulky, right?  Completely fair question and one I’m happy to answer.

The last thing that most women want is to add muscle to their frame, instead typically wanting to develop a leaner look, burn fat and get a little stronger.  Sure, there are a handful of women in bodybuilding circuits who are going for the muscular look (and there’s nothing wrong with that), but by and large it’s not a common goal one we steer our female members towards.

I’ve had a few members ask me specifically before getting started at P360, “this won’t make me bulky, right?”

And the answer is: ABSOLUTELY. NOT.

(Unless of course you want it to, fellas.)

First, women do not produce enough testosterone to easily facilitate muscle.  Testosterone is crucial in adding mass to your frame and the natural amounts in most women just don’t cut it. They need a lot of help in the form of diet and supplements.  They also tend to not have as many type-II muscle fibers as men.  While there are certainly exceptions, genetically speaking women fight an uphill battle if they wish to add muscle.

Second, light weight incorporated into a circuit workout will significantly add to the caloric burn and work towards extremely high fat loss and toning, but it will not trigger enough trauma to your muscles to spur growth.  Performing sixty seconds of alternating lunges with 10 pound dumbbells will never produce bulk.  Let me be clear – it is just not possible.

Even on days when the focus is strength – that type of inclusion as a compliment to a program is not enough to trigger consistent muscle growth.  So DO NOT be afraid of some of the advanced or “hard” lifts that we do thinking it will make you big.  If anything, it will provide outstanding metabolic conditioning which will actually help you burn more fat.

In a nutshell, muscle growth (hypertrophy) is stimulated by the micro-tearing of muscle fibers that heavy weight at a slower pace produces.  Instead of moving onto the next exercise quickly as we do in many circuits and supersets, you would typically rest up to 60-90 seconds and then resume.  By and large, you need to go heavier and slow the pace…”go slow to grow”.*

The third and most and important aspect of growing muscle, much more important than your actual training is your diet.  In order to really GROW muscle your caloric intake and protein consumption would need to be drastically higher than most women are used to.

So, to summarize.

To grow muscle you’d need to eat about twice as much as you currently do, move twice as much weight as your currently doing, with twice as long of a rest period.  Unless you specifically request it (which no women have), your workout will absolutely, positively, definitively 100% not make you bulky.

It’s safe to say, our female members are safe from the bulky look.

This is the look traditional muscle growth bodybuilding training produces (which we do not do):

Ladies, did this properly address any concerns or is there more information you want?  Drop me a comment and let me know.

-DT

 

*This is a generalization as there are some techniques such as drop sets that stimulate muscle growth.

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