Heavy Weight Lifting & Women: Will You Bulk Up?
"I don't want to lift heavy weights cause I don't want to look like a dude!"
Ladies, we hear you. There is a certain look you are striving for and looking like a dude isn't it. There are a lot of women that are afraid of "bulking up" and building big muscles if they lift weights, but it is important to understand that you won't bulk up and lifting heavy weights has a lot of benefits.
What do I mean when I say lift heavy? Generally speaking we are talking about 8-10 reps or less and the intensity needs to be high, meaning the last rep of each set should be really difficult.
So why do I say you won't bulk up? In a word....Testosterone. Testosterone and human growth hormone are the two major hormones involved in building lean muscle. Everyone has both, but men have around 15-20% more testosterone than women.
Does lifting heavy weights increase a women's' testosterone levels? No, one study found that serum testosterone levels increase significantly in men, not women, after strength training and it only increased significantly when the strength training involved the use of heavier weight.
Without the extra testosterone, ladies just can't and won't build big muscles like men do. It's science......
Now what about female bodybuilders? Good question......generally speaking professional level female bodybuilders typically use ergogenic aids in order to achieve the muscle mass needed.
What about lifting light weight for higher reps to "tone" my body? Guess what? Toning doesn't actually exist! What people consider "toning" is actually a decrease of subcutaneous fat levels and an increase in muscle mass; which creates a tighter, firmer appearance.
So in conclusion, lifting heavy weights won't cause you to look like a female bodybuilder in 99.9% of females. Plus it actually comes with a number of health benefits for women, but that's for another post.