Will lifting weights make me bulky?
As you’re well aware, our Treehouse set up is an every other day barbell work / Gymnasty schedule. This is important for proper conditioning and strength training. When it comes to strength training, it certainly doesn’t have to equate to bodybuilding and we know –it’s not just for men!
A common misconception is that women who work out with weights will lead to massive muscle bulk and an “Arnold”-like physique. This isn’t true; most women have appropriate estrogen levels and less testosterone that ultimately limit adding muscle bulk. Your muscles WILL get stronger, but not necessarily bigger. In fact, we should change the narrative and discuss the significant health benefits that weight and strength training have for women.
Importantly, studies have shown that strength training helps to reduce bone loss which in turn helps to prevent osteoporosis. Getting older with strong bones?! – who doesn’t want that? Coupled with a proper diet, strength training is also a valuable part of weight loss and remaining fit. Following a workout, your body continues to burn calories and elevates your metabolism for several hours after. These extra calories can really add up and you may see significant changes on the scale.
Strength training really makes you focus on proper form and core strength. Development of the muscles of your abdomen, back, and pelvis will improve your posture, balance, and stability and reduce your overall risk for injury. Your every day and/or on the job actions, sitting, driving, picking up your child, working on household projects will be easier and less painful if your core is strong and stable. Think about the muscles you activate when performing a barbell overhead squat – you are not only working those strong legs, but the abdominal, oblique, and deep core muscles too, to keep you from falling forward or backward. These are types of movements that are replicated in real life environments – taking something off a shelf, bending down to pick something off of the floor, etc. Make those muscles strong in the gym = makes those everyday life actions simpler and less likely to cause you injury.
Strength training goes beyond the physical. Being around your fellow Treehouse members (laughing, crying, sweating) all combine to enhance your mood and decrease stress. It’s as the saying goes, no one ever said “Wow, I really regret that workout!”
The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that healthy adults perform strength-training exercises at least twice per week.
This is a shout out to all of the strong women we have at the Treehouse! I am always so impressed at the level of dedication and strength we have in our female athletes! Keep up the great work!