It’s one of the most infamous questions that personal trainers and fitness coaches receive from women again and again:
Will strength training build large muscles and make me look bulky?
Well, the answer to that question is that it depends – on a lot of things. However, in almost all cases – no, strength training does not build large, bulky muscles in women. That might be enough of an answer to satisfy some, but there’s more to the story, and we’re going to cover all of the main considerations in this article.
Mirror Mirror on the wall, who is the fairest one of all?
Note: I had my wife help me select these models to help me get a better perspective of what would be considered desirable versus undesirable. Click each image for larger version (if you dare).
Before we get started, let’s clear up some confusion concerning those photos.
On the left, we have the drugged diva, whom is clearly taking some form of steroid drugs, probably lives at the gym, and definitely eats like a horse. This is an example of a female professional bodybuilder. This type of physique is NOT the norm, and incredibly difficult to develop. Is it impressive? Absolutely. Is it admirable? Not-so-much. Is it horrifying, disgusting and utterly repulsive? No comment.
In the middle, we have a lady who is most likely not on steroids, but extremely regimented with training, nutrition, and lifestyle choices. Honestly, I couldn’t tell the difference between figure competitors and natural female bodybuilders, but I would imagine that this lady is one or the other. She certainly has some distinct muscle definition, but not nearly as much as the pro bodybuilder. For the record, my wife thinks she looks like a man from the shoulders down.
On the right, we have plain Jane who represents what a balanced diet and active lifestyle can probably do for most women (obviously dependent on body type).
You know what’s funny: each of these physiques represent what can be achieved through strength training.
Continue reading Strength Training For Women: Why Women Don’t Bulk Up From Strength Training