Yes and no. Yes, lifting weights is how we build muscle, but that’s just one piece of the puzzle. It’s more about how we eat than how we lift. Think of it like this:
Building a house requires two things: a blue print of what you want the building to look like (exercise) and materials to build that building (diet). If your blue print is to build a big brick house (lots of bulky muscle) but you don’t have a ton of bricks you won’t be building a big brick house. Same goes for your body. If you lift heavy weights, but don’t eat extra food, your body doesn’t have the building blocks to build a bunch of bulky muscle. Although this is a simplified version of what it takes, the reality is to get big and bulky takes a ton of effort such as training at maximal effort for 60+ minutes a session, sleeping 9 to 11 hours a day for proper recovery, eating enough food to build that new muscle, and more.
If you’re like me, you have maybe 40 to 60 minutes a day for a workout (I tend to have things outside the gym to do too), lucky if you get 6 to 7 hours of sleep, and don’t have the time to eat the huge, frequent meals to get big. Basically it’s a full time job to get big and bulky!
So, why lift weights if you’re not wanting to get bulky? Lots of reasons actually! Accelerated fat loss, improved strength, increased bone density, gain that defined or toned look, and more! From a medical side of things, it can help improve recovery from an injury and pain management.
Here are the top 3 steps to starting a resistance program if you’re worried about getting bulky:
- Hire a coach who can teach you to lift correctly (this will help prevent injuries and maximize your results).
- To get the most out of your resistance training aim for 5-12 repetitions. For increases ins strength sty closer to 5 repetitions with heavier weights. For increases in lean muscle (toned look) aim for the 12 rep side of the range with a moderate weight. Super light weights with high reps will produce a burning feeling, but won’t do anything for that tone look nor gains in strength.
- Eat lean meats and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch, and no sugar to provide the best recovery possible. Resistance training requires more recovery than your typical cardio workouts so they key is to provide your body what it needs to make recovery optimal.
Want the benefits of resistance training but unsure of where to start (it can feel overwhelming)? I’d love to help you get started today! Just reply to this message and I’ll do everything I can to get you moving in the right direction.
If you already follow your own program, GREAT! I’d love to hear what you’re doing and how it’s working for you.