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  • Writer's pictureMackenzie Martin

Will Lifting Weights Make Me Bulky?

First of all, let's define bulky. What exactly does 'bulky' mean?

Answer: there isn't one.

The word bulky...totally subjective. It's your own opinion. What you see as bulky may seem lean or toned to someone else. So, there's really no strict definition that can be attached to it.

There's been a pretty progressive trend with more and more women lifting weights...posting photos and videos on Instagram & YouTube, etc. But there are still SO many women and young, impressionable girls who are afraid of lifting weights because they think it will make them bulk up.

Not the case.

Ladies. In order to 'bulk up', you have to bulk up your diet, too!

Take a second to digest that.

Seriously, go re-read that last sentence and let it sit with you for a hot second.

It seems so obvious to me now, but it took me YEARS to actually believe that and try it for myself.

Women that we may view as bulky, most of the time, work their asses off to achieve that frame, with a very slim amount of it being due to genetics.

Lifting weights helps tighten and tone your body,

helps you burn more fat, and shapes your curves!

AND lifting weights BURNS MORE CALORIES than cardio.

Yes, you've heard this howwww many times. If you still think that jogging on the treadmill for an hour will be more beneficial than cutting that back a bit and adding in some strength/resistance training, I totally get it. I was the same way...had that same mindset. I thought I had to sweat in order to feel like I got anything out of my workout, and to me, that meant running. I thought that lifting couldn't make me sweaty, or that because I wasn't tracking anything (like we do miles/kilometers with running), I wouldn't get anywhere near the benefits I got doing endless amounts of cardio.

Current workout situation: way less cardio,

and more strength & resistance training.

I finally decided to give the weights a go and stumbled upon my ignorance.

I figured out that I CAN and DO sweat while lifting weights.

I dig a good sweat.

In terms of appearance, my favorite thing that came with adding strength & resistance training to my routine is the muscle definition I've gained.

Before I added strength training to my workout regime, I was skinny.

Honestly, I didn't have much fat on my body. But I wasn't toned.

My arms were sticks, and I had, what my brother likes to call, "skinny girl abs".

Now, I still have a small frame *cough, cough, because lifting weights doesn't make you bulky and #nutrition is key*, but I have way more muscle definition everywhere.

...On that note, keep in mind that it.doesn't.happen.over.night.

So, if your goal is to build lean muscle & gain some sexy definition, I HIGHLY recommend that you lift weights. Cardio alone will not get you there.

If you're on the other side of the spectrum and trying to add more muscle mass, then you need to bump up the weights AND your daily calorie intake!

The math is pretty simple:

To lose weight, you have to be in a caloric deficit *burn more calories than you eat*.

If you want to gain, you have to be in a caloric surplus *eat more calories than you burn*.

And if gaining muscle mass is your goal, you have to do it the RIGHT the RIGHT way. You won't get the results you're trying to achieve if you go and eat a bunch of doughnuts, ice cream, pizza, etc. and assume that because you're lifting heavy and want to gain, you can eat whatever and get results.

Focus on getting most of your calories from #wholesome foods and lean protein.

For example, healthy fats from avocados, nuts, nut butters, seeds, etc.;

complex carbs from sweet potatoes, brown rice, oats, beans, quinoa, farro, etc.;

lean protein from eggs, chicken, fish, Greek yogurt, seitan, tofu, clean protein powder, etc.;

and always unlimited spinach, kale, cucumbers, broccoli, etc.

Whether you follow an omnivorous, vegetarian, #vegan, or plant-based diet, you can totally reach your daily requirements to make the gains you're striving for.

I hope this helps remove any fear ya have of lifting weights.

I'm by no means saying to cut out cardio, because cardio is great...I love my cardio.

But if you don't have any injuries or medical restrictions holding you back, give strength training a try!

You might even like it better than cardio!

Leave any questions or thoughts in the comments & keep on thrivin'.

xo Mackenzie.

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