Every time I hear a woman say those words I want to fall on something pointy. You see, this mentality that women will get bulky from lifting heavy weights is one of the oldest myths in the book. Like the Shake Weight, or Shape-ups...
Don't get me wrong, I can see where this myth comes from...female body builders spend a tremendous amount of time lifting heavy weights. However, you need to take a look at the bigger picture.
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The fact of the matter is that it is physically impossible for most women to develop bulky muscles like a man. Testosterone is the main determinant of size potential and women simply don't produce the same amounts as men. To achieve similar 'bulk', a woman would have to take anabolic steroids. And since it's humanly impossible to trip and fall into a pile of steroids, no woman will wake up tomorrow and accidentally be hey-uge.
Additionally, you'll need to consume a sumo wrestler's portion of foods in order to gain that much mass. Lots of testosterone combined with excess dietary calories are required to aggressively increase muscle mass. Translation: you don't look like a body builder without eating like a body builder.
Muscle isn't the only thing that will make someone bulky. More times than not, someone who looks bulky is really just......(and I hate to say it).... a little fat. Pinch the skin on the back of your hand. See how it's thin? That's because generally there isn't any fat on this part of your body. Now pinch your love handle. See the difference? It's because there is body fat stored under there. Something to keep in mind is that muscle is more dense than fat. Therefore, as you lose fat and gain muscle, you'll look smaller and less bulky at the same weight.
Another common misconception is that women should perform a lot of reps with very little weight along with hours of cardio if they want to achieve a firm, hard body. This simply isn't true. Those pink and purple dumbbells are not capable of producing the stimulus needed to tone anything. Want long and lean muscles instead of short bulky ones? Blame your parents because there is nothing you can do about the physical length of your muscles. They are what they are.
Let me provide you with a few quick definitions:
Being lean is simply having low body fat levels
Being toned is having muscle definition
To achieve a toned look, you need to build muscle and lean out. Without lifting heavy weights, you won't build the muscle required to achieve that toned look. Lowering your body fat levels without lifting heavy weights will simply leave you looking very thin and frail. Last I checked, thin and frail isn't such a good look. By leaning out and strengthening your muscles, you will achieve the desired look.
Spot targeting certain body parts won't be of any help either. Since you can't choose where you gain fat, you also can't target where you lose it from. Sorry to ruin anyone's day with this news...but just doing more sit-ups isn't going to give you a flat tummy. You simply need to eat high quality foods and reduce your calories.
What does this all mean for you? It means, my beautiful chickadees, that you no longer need to fear the barbell. Lift heavy, work hard, eat clean. You'll be a goddess in no time!