When Dan and I first discussed writing a piece about the myths and fearful perspectives women have about getting “bulky” from weight training, at first I planned on just covering the facts. After all, the facts debunk the myths on their own.
While I will still present the facts, I recently had a real-life experience which led to personal inspiration, along with watching a woman train who has a phenomenal build, Force Barbell client Annette Sorkin.
Not too long ago I was enjoying a day off at the pool with my girl friend. I was one month into my training at Force and feeling great about being in my bikini. Although I have always had a smaller frame, I felt stronger and in better shape than ever.
We had just settled down in our lawn chairs to soak up the sun when soon after there was a voice coming from someone standing over us. I looked up to see a neatly sliced 6-pack, broad shoulders and a baby face… I guessed he was 18. He greeted my friend and then began to talk about working out. He then asked me if I worked out too. When I told him about my internship with Force and what we were all about here, he gave me some shocking, somewhat negative feedback. He discouraged me against strength training, saying for women it would lead to a manly or unattractive build, primarily in the arms and chest.
Well, I would like to thank him for motivating me to train harder. Society has a certain stereotype about what a “good” female body is, and my desire to break stereotypes along with my knowledge provided by my Force mentors and personal research, I know that it is just honestly absurd that I would receive such results.
From the look and sound of him, I felt like his training purpose was to look like a badass… while this is fine, I however want to train to be one.
That has always been my personal motivation to be active. Just as it goes with being overweight, being skinny your whole life will also encourage you to get fit. I’ve always wanted to surpass people’s judgments and be strong. More importantly, I want to feel strong! I want to relieve all of my stress during my training and afterwards feel my strength, stamina and happiness pulsating in my everyday life. So far at Force, I have been able to live this out, and also love the physical results I am already noticing. Might I add, I do not feel or look bulky at all. I feel as though I am honoring my body by pushing myself towards my full potential… my best me!
An even better model for women who are hesitant to begin strength training is Annette Sorkin. Annette began Olympic training about seven years ago through CrossFit and has recently added extra Olympic training at Force starting two months ago.
As a fellow female, watching Annette train is wonderful inspiration. She is also living proof that the negative myths about women weight training are false – she’s got a killer body to show for it!
She was more than willing to share some insight into female weight training from her personal journey.
“My favorite result from weight training is the overall feeling of empowerment that you carry with you knowing you are taking care of yourself and making fitness a priority,” shares Annette. “As I see the numbers go up on the bar, I am not thinking about fitting into a certain size dress or what the number is on the scale. I love being strong. It helps me in every aspect of my life, mentally and physically.”
“My advice to women would be to consult with a trainer for guidance and begin weight training. The benefits are numerous and with just a couple of days a week of lifting you can become leaner and stronger without becoming bulky.”
There you have it, ladies. If you need to see it to believe it, Annette Sorkin is a credible source with plenty of experience and visible positive results.
Now, last but not least let’s get down to the facts. Because testosterone is the reason for muscle’s bulk, it is pretty much physiologically impossible for women to build up manly bulges. A typical woman simply does not have enough of this hormone in her body to produce bulky results.
Furthermore, as exercise physiologist Michael Wood recently told Reader’s Digest, “Because muscle is denser than fat, strength training actually makes muscles shapelier.”
If you choose to conduct your own research, you will find similar answers on any credible source. What strength training will do for you is bring out definition in your body and make you one tough little lady.
Do not fear the Abercrombie models at the pool putting an image of Arnold Schwarzenegger in your head! Women need to be strong. We lift babies, briefcases, and we must continue actively pushing ourselves to keep up with our male counterparts if we wish to be an empowered gender.
Essentially, if you only want to look the part, you could more easily do some floor exercises in front of the TV, but if you are seeking to train with a deeper purpose and pursue strength for your everyday life, do not fear weight training. It is the answer to what you are looking for and the results are more than admirable.
So, without worry ladies —
Live light, lift heavy,