Being a woman myself, I know that as women, we all dream of that “perfect body”! And even if we don’t exactly spend time dreaming of it, we wouldn’t be appalled if one day we woke up looking like we could be on the cover of a magazine. But instead we wake up in our onesies (or maybe that part is just me)! We try to do our bit to make ourselves feel somewhat fit and pretty. We try to watch what we eat (or at least pretend we do!), we spend a fortune on clothes that we can’t really afford, we join gyms, go to fitness classes…we hear a couple tips on how to become fit and feel good about ourselves here and there, and there’s not a lot we wouldn’t at least think about trying. Well, except for one thing…yes, the one thing we will not try: WEIGHTS! And why? Because weights will make us big!
But is this fact or fiction? As women, will doing weights really get us looking big and bulky? This month, I made it my mission to check if there is truth behind these claims.

I got my answer fairly quickly when I posed Marc (one of the fitness instructors here at Fota Island Resort) the question:

“Will doing weights make me look big and bulky?”

And he replied:

“You don’t have enough testosterone, so…no!”

And just like that, after spending many aerobic classes developing this sudden thirst that I had to immediately satisfy every time the instructor brought out the weights in an attempt to avoid any contact with these little things that were going to make me look like Arnold Schwarzenegger, I found out that – it’s virtually impossible for women to get bulky! We’re missing one little thing: testosterone (or at least we’re missing the high amounts that male have)! After some more research into the topic, I’m fully convinced that this myth has indeed been busted! Here are a few things I learned, and I hope you find them useful too:

Short supply of testosterone – No big & bulky appearance

The fact that women don’t have high levels of testosterone like men do means that they will never be big and bulky like men, or at least not from just doing normal weights and classes. At this point you will probably argue: “But I’ve seen females who do have a very bulky and muscular body!” As it turns out, female professional athletes can and do have very muscular bodies, but they get that way through a vigorous and intensive workout routine – not like anything most of us would do in a gym or weekly fitness class. So we don’t have to worry!

We can tone but it’s difficult to get big muscles

We can obviously build up some muscle! But since we don’t have the high levels of testosterone needed to get big muscles, our muscles will develop but, and I must stress this, they will not get big!

Muscle and fat are two separate things

Another common fear is the notion that if we were to gain a bit of muscle by doing weights, it would immediately turn into fat the second we stopped our exercise routine. This is also not possible! Muscle and fat are two separate things, so one can’t turn into the other. Just as apples don’t turn into oranges, muscles don’t turn into fat. (I apologize if my apples and oranges metaphor seems a bit random, but I had a math’s teacher in school that used to always say “you can’t mix apples and or…[pause for the class to finish] and you can’t mix x’s and y’s” to help us learn algebra. To this day…I have nightmares about it!)

So there you have it – fear no more!

I hope you have found this month’s myth buster useful and if you have any thoughts on the subject, or would simply like to suggest another myth that I could look into, please do leave a comment below. I would love to hear from you!

Thank you for reading 🙂