Will lifting weights make me bulky?

If you’ve wondered about this before, then you’re not alone!  It’s a common question that we get asked, both by people outside the gym and when people see weights in the form of barbells, kettlebells and dumbbells.

We’ve even written about this before here

So it’s time to put the misconceptions to bed…

You will not suddenly swell up with huge amounts of muscle as soon as you pick up a weight

You will not start wearing the same clothes as 90s bodybuilders

You will not only be able to eat fish and a rice cake

You will however do a couple of things…

You will provide a reason for your body to keep the muscle that it has

You will increase the amount of calories you burn even while resting

You will provide a signal to your body that it needs to build some lean muscle

You will probably have to explain to your friends who don’t yet lift weights how you improved your physique

Saying that you don’t want to lift weights in case you accidentally get too muscular is a bit like saying “I don’t want to have a kick about in the park in case I end up signing a professional football contract” or “I don’t want to cook anything for my tea in case I accidentally end up on MasterChef.”  

It also does a disservice to all the people throughout history who have discovered through self experimentation that growing and maintaining muscle mass is a difficult process and one that they have had to work on for months and years.

Actually building large amounts of muscle takes serious effort.  It also probably takes some sacrifice.  It definitely takes time.  It certainly doesn’t happen by accident.

People look the way that their body has been asking them to look.  

For example, if you never used one of your arms for anything then the muscles in it would shrink, the joints would get stiff and the bones would weaken.

If you think that gaining a serious amount of muscle can be done without more food that you think, a serious amount of dedication to a demanding exercise routine and probably some help from your genetics (you can’t choose your parents!), then you’ve got a lot to learn.

For the vast majority of people getting “too bulky” when they start lifting weights is not a realistic concern.

For the vast majority of people when they start lifting weights they will:

  • Build strength in their muscles
  • Increase their bone density
  • Improve their joint health 
  • Be able to do everyday tasks with less effort
  • Feel empowered
  • Probably reduce their injury risk
  • Have fun
  • Learn that they’ve been missing out on something for ages
  • Build confidence in their abilities inside and outside the gym

If you don’t believe us, then just ask one of our members and be prepared to be listening for a long time while they tell you all about how much lifting stuff up and putting it back down can be!

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