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Will lifting weights make me bulky?
The internet has done a great job of signifying the importance of strength training for overall health, skeletal muscle quality and general well-being. 
However, there are still entire pages, programs and theories dedicated to preaching the idea that lifting weights will make you bulky.
This then convinces millions of women that the key to being in great shape and healthy isn’t getting stronger and taking care of their diet but rather doing HIIT workouts in their living room 
Today i’m going to propose to you the 4 reasons why this myth is bullsh*t and how strength training won’t ‘make you bulky’, unless you want it to.
Quick interjection:

Your goal in training should be to create and maintain some level of muscle. Muscle is essential for being a functional human who can withstand the physical demands of life and aging. However, just because you add muscle to your body that doesn’t necessarily mean you are ‘getting bulky’. See reason 3 to go deeper into this.

  •  You can only gain ‘bulk’ in a calorie surplus
Irrespective of training, the only way to decrease your weight is by eating in a calorie deficit (eating less energy than is needed to sustain your body weight) and the only way to increase your weight is by eating in a calorie surplus (eating more energy than is needed to sustain your bodyweight).

Weight gain and loss are driven by Nutritional modifications and you could work on developing muscle all day long on a given body part but if you aren’t eating enough you won’t add weight to your body.
Catering your nutrition to your goals is the number one thing here then for whether you gain weight or lose weight during a specific program.
  • Lifting weights is better for increasing BMR and losing fat

The way exercise helps us lose fat is by increasing our BMR (basal metabolic rate). The BMR simply refers to the rate at which we burn energy throughout the day. 

By creating muscle through strength & resistance training, we are increasing our BMR over time, which means that throughout the day we are actually burning more calories and energy to sustain the newfound muscle we have developed and fuel our newfound level of performance inside and outside of the gym…
This is really important to remember, as this means that instead of our calories and energy going towards building fat, we are using it to recover and create muscle as we start to get stronger and push our training. 
And the times that we are recovering and need that energy most is during rest, so giving out body something to recover from such as strength training ensures our energy is being used in the capacity during times of rest.

  • Muscle doesn’t mean bulky – it actually takes up less space per kg
Have you ever heard that ‘muscle weighs less than fat’, now although this is impossible as 1kg of muscle and 1kg of fat are both still 1kg. 
However, what people are really meaning when they say this is that 1kg of muscle takes up less space than 1kg of fat.

So, you can have two individuals who both weigh 70kg, however, if one has a high level of muscle and low body fat percentage then they will actually look ‘smaller’ than the person who has a high body fat percentage and low level of muscle. 

  • Finally, getting bulky takes so much effort and training adaptations are training specific
In order to specifically grow muscle to the levels and sizes that people are worried about, it takes a great deal of volume and stress from a training perspective.. Far more stress and volume than any general strength training program for the general population has.
It also takes a great deal of food and supplementation and focuses on lifestyle and recovery. For the majority of people, getting bulky to the levels that most people think (bodybuilding) is actually much more difficult than fat loss, ESPECIALLY from a training perspective.

Have you seen how much work bodybuilders do?! It’s insane!
To summarise.
Don’t let this ‘myth’ stop you from benefiting from what is in my opinion, the ‘magic pill’ of body composition, health and longevity = strength training. Strength training actually supports fat loss a lot more than cardio when paired with a calorie deficit as it increases your BMR, increases your muscle (thereby actually decreasing how big you look) and increases your confidence and energy levels so you see yourself in a much better light.
Don’t let gossip and old wives tales pull you away from works folks.