Bulky Muscles and Women :The Truth
The Official Published Version Can Be Found Here. It is geared more toward trainers trying to help their female clients, it goes into a little more detail on some things, but doesn't have the pics
The point is the same, just a different spin. OnFitness Article
It was published in this month's OnFitness Magazine.
Women are real quick to point the finger at heavy weights and say ďyou made me bulky!Ē Well I hate to be the one to break it to you ladies but itís not the weights fault, or how heavy they are. First though lets look at what women (and men) think bulky is.
The First is steroids ladies. This just cannot be done naturally; male hormone injections are at play here. The next is years of work over a higher body fat percentage. The last is years of work with a very low body fat percentage.
See in order to see abs, arms and legs true definition you must be at a low body fat level. Women by nature carry a higher body fat level then men. Women should not maintain to low of body fat levels as it can cause fertility and menstrual problems just to name a few. At a constant maintenance level women should not go below 16% body fat. Now you may have heard that 22% is the limit, but that is just isnít true. Women can carry a much lower body fat level than that in a safe and healthy manner. If you donít want veined muscles, well maintain a higher level of body fat. Itís as simple as that.
Now back to the topic of those pesky bulky muscles and what your routine and diet have to do with it. When women complain of bulky muscles there are usually three main culprits at play here. Stretching, Diet and Body Fat levels. I will explain each one in detail.
Stretching: If I conducted an actual poll at least 80% of the women I talk to want the body of a dancer. Long, lean and very good ďtoneĒ. If I told you what those dancers did to get those bodies and what you would have to do to get them your response to me would be see you later, donít have the time. Just like their talents are achieved over time, the same goes for their bodies. It also doesnít hurt that their genetics and height play a nice role. Still this doesnít mean that a 5í3 35 year old woman canít have long lean muscle. This doesnít mean your posture canít be so perfect that it gives you the illusion of extra height. If you havenít gathered by now and from this selections title the key lies in stretching. Ever heard this ďstair climbers make my calfís bulky!ĒÖĒI have been working out for 3 weeks and my thighs are bigger!Ē Well I hear it all the time. Mostly it is because these woman ignore stretching. Surrounding your muscle tissues is Fascia. There are different functions and layers but two such functions are flexibility and movement. Doing the proper amount of post workout stretching and incorporating a daily stretching regime will cause less injury, relieve stress and yes elongate your muscles.
Diet: One simple point I have to make. To gain muscle you need a surplus of calories. This means you have to eat more than your body needs for energy in a day. That is what it takes to gain fat and if lifting to gain muscle. Sometimes women start lifting to try and spot reduce problem areas but they donít do anything about their diet. In some cases they are eating over their calories anyway (which is what most likely caused the fat gain) and think lifting will help them spot reduce those problem areas. Well one you cannot spot reduce, fat is fat and it comes off where it decides it wants to. If you want smaller flatter abs and then start doing a bunch of ab work while being in a surplus then you will just make your abs bigger. Two, if losing fat is your goal you need to be in a caloric deficit and eating good carbs, lean protein and healthy fats. The less processed food you take in, the better your results.
Body Fat Levels: If you donít want veins, then donít get to low of body fat. If you want some muscle but donít want them bulky and undefined then get a lower body fat %. Tailoring a look a lot of times comes with what body fat % you have. This is most true for arms and stomach definition. If you want defined arms (for most people that is one of the last to leave spots next to the abs) you have to get that body fat low. To do that you need to have that diet in check. It needs to be clean and pretty dead on if you arenít in the genetically gifted category already.
I could babble on and on, but the short of it is this ladiesÖDonít be afraid of lifting, but lift smart and eat right. Know why you are doing what you are doing, get a trainer if not sure, but a good one!
Last edited by theleip; May. 05/07 at 12:19 AM.
Good Read, READ THIS EVERYONE DONT BE LAZY!
I know the life of a dancer and it ain't easy. I avoided weights and running for years and now I love them both!!!
very nice indeed.
Put a query letter with it and submit it for publication with magazines. It would be good for a specific target audience such as women's health and prevention magazine...among others.
This thread addresses the #1 stupid, destructive and annoying myth regarding women and weight training/fat loss. I hope that every one of you who isn't already in the know reads this and believes it.
Thanks for the positive replies guys.
-AJP- I have thought about doing that very thing. I am working on enhancing my actual writing and grammar structure, right now I am an editors worse nightmare. I am hoping to improve to a point where I feel confident in a solid submission all the way around.
You're right, its not my thread. However what exactly are you asking me?
Originally Posted by Blooming lotus
Its not about how much weight women lift, nor men for that matter. Genetically we are different, men produce more testosterone which gives us (usually) more muscle to begin with. For women to have comparable levels of T they need supplemented hormones. Most men will have problems in regards to gaining size as well, but for women its virtually impossible to become "bulky like a bodybuilder." Men use this lingo as well, without regards to what it means. I know many people who have been training for extensive periods of time, and dont look like bodybuilders, because most cant and wont. However someone new to strength training always say "I dont want to look like a bodybuilder or anything," which is a statement based off of views from the past and false word of mouth.
Originally Posted by Blooming lotus
I dont really know what you're getting at as far as the complex carbs analagy. However as ripped as Bruce Lee was, he wasnt very big. I think I read somewhere he was maybe 130-140 lbs, but he looks ripped because of his extremely low body fat levels.
EXCELLENT post theleip!
Just out of curiosity which do you (everyone) prefer aesthetically? I personally strive for #2 goal wise.
I think most people on women like a softer look. One myself I like a softer look, I like having my abs pop out JUST a tad with arm definition. It is different for everyone.
Awesome post, Leigh!
I like my females with a soft touch/look. I'm not really attracted to women that can bench me =] Nice defined legs and slightly defined abs are good too My last gf was actually a very good runner and had the perfect body.
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