If this is what ‘bulking up’ means, sign me up

If you ask women what their number one fitness goal is after weight loss, most will say to “tone up.” Ask those same women what the don’t want from their workouts, and you will hear, to “bulk up.”

This is where I grit my teeth and resist the urge to bench press them.  Bulk, psh.  What does that even mean?

Usually people describe it as gaining weight and size through muscle growth. How do you gain big, burly muscles? Strength training. Ergo, women avoid lifting weights like the plague.

Biggest mistake of your life.  Well, fitness life.

Let’s address physical appearance first- since, that seems to be what people care about the most.

The only way you can “tone up” is to strength train. That’s the only way.  You can do cardio until you are blue in the face and sweating blood, but you will still be soft.  The only thing that gives you firm, toned lines is muscle.  You can burn off fat with cardio, but if you don’t build muscle underneath, you will still be flabby- just smaller.

But if I lift weights I am going to build giant muscles! I will look like The Hulk!  I won’t be able to fit into my pants!  I won’t lose weight!

Spare me.  Do you know how hard it is to build big muscles?  Trust me, I’ve been trying for years.  A lot of women actually want to gain muscle size and struggle with it.  Why?  Because women don’t have enough testoterone in our bodies to get giant muscles- not without the help of two a day workouts and tons of supplements.  Guys beef up and slim down quickly, but women can’t.  It’s science.  And you can;t fight with that.

Still not convinced?  Find a female body builder or fitness competitor and tell them that you are going to gain muscle size without trying because you are going to start lifting weights a few times a week.  They will laugh at you, and then they will flex and spin you over their head.  They are strong enough to do that because they lift daily for hours with heavy weights and chug shakes and pop pills to get their size.

And what’s so bad about muscles, anyway?  Anyone can be thin, some people are just born that way, but it takes work to be fit.  Work you can be proud of.