Will Lifting Weights Make Me Bulky?
This is the question on many people's lips when at the gym. The fear that going to the gym could end up making you look bigger than when you started. But will lifting weights make you bulky? The short answer is no, lifting weights will not make you bulky. If you don’t want to look bigger you can still use weights. Getting big and bulky like people you see in bodybuilding competitions takes years of consistent, hard, frequent training paired with a brilliant diet.
But if you do want to tone up, burn body fat and lose inches you will need to lift weights.
If you want to tone up your muscles so they are firmer and more defined you need to start lifting weights. Cardio is a great tool for losing weight, yet we might just end up a smaller version of ourselves meaning our muscles are still soft and loose. Using weights to build muscle means that once the fat is burnt off we will have a firm, ‘toned’ body underneath.
To lose weight and tone up we need a good mixture of hard weight training and cardio.
Burn More Calories
As we age, our muscle atrophy (gets smaller). Since having more muscle improves our metabolism, as we lose it we burn calories throughout the day at a slower rate. This is why many people find it harder to keep the weight off as they get older. We end up pushing ourselves more every week on the treadmill and spending more time at the gym when we could build muscle and burn more calories naturally.
If we lifted weights we could keep more of our muscle mass as we age, so our metabolism stays higher. It is also important to keep the muscle mass as we get older so we maintain our mobility. This shows us how important it can be to build and maintain muscle mass, not just for our appearance.
Lifting weights can also be a hard workout meaning we burn lots of calories. This means that using cardio equipment is not always necessary to lose weight and burn fat. When we lift weights, we are often using big muscle groups such as the legs, chest and back. When these big muscle groups are being used we are burning lots of calories.
Also, after the workout our muscles will need to repair, recover and adapt meaning calories are still being burnt after the workout is finished because our body is working hard to repair our muscles.
Models and Athletes
Most athletes and models will be doing some form of weight training. This is how their muscles look strong and defined. Weight lifting is essential to building an aesthetically pleasing body. Even if you don’t want to look like a model in a magazine, lifting weights will help you lose inches from your stomach, waist, legs, arms and everywhere else.
If you want a booty like Beyoncé then you will need to work hard at building muscle in your legs and glutes. Doing a variety of resistance training is the only way to improve your physique. Cardio is a good tool for staying fit but it doesn’t really build muscle, so is not appropriate for everyone’s training goals.
How to train
If you don’t know how to lift weights, ask a professional, such as a personal trainer or gym staff, to help you. To build muscle and to looked toned we want to be pushing ourselves while we workout. We want to aim to do between 8 and 12 repetitions per set. So, as a guide, at around 10 reps you want to be really struggling. If you get to 12 repetitions and it was easy then you need to increase the weight. Try to slowly build up how much weight you use and really push yourself to lift more (as long as it is safe to do so).
Doing this and building more muscle will mean you burn more calories so it is easier to keep the weight off. Also, once you have burnt off some of the fat you will be firm and toned underneath.