Many women believe that resistance exercise causes weight gain and a “bulky appearance”. Yes, strength training can lead to weight gain. You can almost certainly count on that. That is, nonetheless, totally acceptable.
If the gains you’re seeing are in Lean Body Mass, your weight may stay the same or even rise, but you’ll appear more lean and toned.
Understanding How Muscle is Gained
To begin, let’s be clear about how muscle is gained. Muscle growth occurs when the rate of muscle protein synthesis exceeds the rate of muscle protein breakdown.
In other words, you can only gain muscle through a process in which resistance training breaks down muscle fibers and then repairs them with enough nutrients from diet and rest. As a result, the muscles will grow in size, resulting in [muscle hypertrophy](https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6950543/#:~:text=Muscle hypertrophy occurs when muscle,muscle protein breakdown .).
It is important to note, however, that muscle hypertrophy occurs at different rates for different people. Building “bulky” muscles take time and effort, and it is not a common result able to be achieved through weightlifting for the majority of women.
Women’s Muscle and Hormone
It’s understandable that seeing selfies of men in the gym with massive muscles while scrolling through social media can be frightening. And you might worry that working out in the gym will only lead to a bulky appearance.
Contrary to popular belief, women do not have the same level of testosterone as men, which is the primary hormone responsible for muscle hypertrophy. In general, women’s bodies only contain 10% to 20% as much testosterone as men’s bodies. As a result, women are much less likely to gain significant muscle mass from weightlifting.
Have You Eaten and Lifted Enough?
You might have to eat more calories than you needed to in order to appear “bulky.” This is due to the fact that gaining muscle requires a calorie surplus.
Several studies have shown that women tend to have low-calorie diets and, worse, low protein intake. This dietary habit was strongly linked to sarcopenia or progressive muscle loss. Instead of being concerned about gaining too much muscle, the problem of muscle loss should be prioritized among women.
Aside from that, muscle building requires progressive overload in weightlifting. This is because muscle gain will adapt to the same weight carried during your exercise routine. To achieve greater muscle gain, you must gradually increase the weight lifted.
The Benefits of Weightlifting for Women
Not only does weightlifting not lead to significant increases in muscle size for women, but it also has numerous other benefits.
Weightlifting can improve bone density, which is particularly important for women as they are more prone to osteoporosis than men. It can also improve balance, coordination, and flexibility.
In addition, weightlifting can boost metabolism and help you burn fat. This is because muscle tissue burns more calories than fat tissue, even when you’re not exercising. As a result, incorporating weightlifting into your fitness routine can help you achieve your weight loss goals.
Think of weight training as an investment that pays serious dividends down the road. The more muscle you have, the more visceral fat in your body can burn over time.
How to Safely Incorporate Weightlifting into Your Fitness Routine
Before starting a weightlifting routine, it is important to consult with a certified fitness professional. They could guide you with proper form and technique, which are also crucial to avoiding injury and getting the most out of your workouts.
It is also important to gradually increase weight and intensity and to incorporate rest and recovery time into your routine. This will keep you in good condition and allow you to perform weightlifting exercises safely.
The Importance of Tracking Progress
One of the keys to success in any fitness or nutrition journey is tracking your progress. This is where a body composition analyzer like the InBody machine can be incredibly useful.
By measuring your body composition, you can see how much muscle mass you have gained and how much fat you have lost. This information can help you fine-tune your nutrition and exercise plan so that you can keep making progress toward your goals.
Start tracking your progress with an InBody machine today and see the difference it can make. Find the nearest location for an InBody test here.
To summarise, weightlifting is a safe and effective form of exercise that will not make you “look bulky” in the majority of cases. Weightlifting is a valuable addition to your fitness routine because of its numerous benefits, including increased bone density, metabolism, physical strength, and mental health.
By incorporating weightlifting into your exercise routine and dispelling the myth of “bulky muscles,” you can meet your fitness goals while also improving your overall health and well-being.
So, jump off your treadmill and give the free weights a try! By doing so, you’ll not only dispel this myth but also reap the numerous benefits that weightlifting has to offer.