Does Weight Training Make Women Bulky?

There are numerous myths and scare stories around the issue of female resistance training that cause most women to stay well away from the weights room in the gym through the fear of growing bulky muscles.


This simply won’t happen!


The truth is that women don’t have enough of the hormones in their body that allow for increased muscle mass. In fact they actually have 10 to 30 times less amounts of testosterone and human growth hormone than males.


In fact most male weight trainers will tell you that simply lifting weights isn’t going to guarantee instant muscle gain. It takes serious dedication, a precise and appropriate weight training programme, a strict and scientifically engineered diet complete with dietary supplementation and for a number of guys, chemical enhancement to see these results!


Muscle mass just won’t suddenly appear because you dare to lift weights. Unfortunately many women believe this myth and therefore miss out on all of the benefits that strength training offers.


Weight training is incredibly beneficial to women and my team of trainers and I incorporate some form of strength training element into all of our female client’s programmes. The down side is that YES, it may mean that your overall weight may go up but as I always say to my clients “is the number on those scales really important if you look and feel so much better?”


The bottom line is that muscle tissue weights more than fat. Therefore, as you increase your muscle tissue, your “weight” will increase.


However, here’s the good bit, Muscle is thermogenic which means that by having more of it this will increase your resting metabolism. The denser your muscle tissue, the more calories you will burn even at a complete rest. Those with dense muscles burn more calories by just engaging in their regular daily activities. In fact, research shows that for each pound of muscle earned, you will expend 35 to 50 more calories per day.


So, if you gain three pounds of muscle, you will burn 40 more calories per pound, which equates to 120 additional calories per day, which translates into 3,600 additional calories per month and ultimately results in a weight loss of 10 to 12 pounds in a single year.


Weight training is also an incredibly powerful weapon against osteoporosis, a disease characterised by low bone mass, leading to an increased susceptibility to fractures of the wrists, hips, and spine. About 3 million people in the UK have osteoporosis and every year more than 230,000 fractures occur because of it. In fact, statistics show that one in two women over the age of 50 will suffer from an osteoporosis-related fracture during their lifetime.


So maybe the question should be can we really live healthily without weight training?


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