by Pam George
There is no need to worry about “bulking up” with reasonable weight training.
Let’s look at the body as male and female. The male body typically has more muscle tissue and more testosterone (male hormone). The female body has less muscle tissue and less testosterone. The male body can usually put on muscle mass with weight training fairly quickly. The female body, on the other hand, has to train very hard to put on muscle mass, and then the amount of muscle gain is quite small.
When training a female I typically hear: I want to lose weight, but I don’t want to get bulky. This client is typically overweight or very thin with no muscle strength. They are convinced they need to add more and more cardio to their workout plan. They shy away from the weight room.
Weight training for the female body is vital. It will increase strength, increase endurance, protect joints, and burn calories. Muscle gives the body shape. Muscle is active metabolic tissue. It needs fuel and will pull that fuel from fat stores in the body even at rest. Muscle is essential for a healthy metabolism, strong bones, and strong ligaments. Muscle, if not used, will diminish each decade with age.
To some extent, losing weight is a facade. Weight is a number on the scale. It has nothing to do with your actual body shape. Trying to lose weight doing just cardio can have a negative effect on your muscle tissue causing you to lose more muscle, which is your body’s fat burning furnace. A female with active muscle tissue will look quite lean, but may weigh a considerable amount on the scale.
Your physique can also depend on you body type to an extent. There are three body types. The three body types are mesomorph (more muscular build), endomorph (high body fat, shape is often pear), and ectomorph (has a lean build, difficult to put on muscle . Of the three, the mesomorphs tend to build more muscle mass than the others, but the female body in general does not bulk up with traditional weight training. So get in the weight room and increase your strength, increase your endurance, protect your joints, and burn calories. I promise you won’t regret it.