That's one of the very first things I hear from nearly every female client. The preconceived notion amongst many women that somehow lifting weights will make you look like Arnold Schwarzenegger is completely unjustified, but it's also a belief that runs rampant. This is definitely a myth I would like to clear up today. Not only is it completely false, but heavy weight training is most likely the key to success for nearly all men and women.
There are a lot of factors for why you're not going to get massive by doing heavy lifting, but first and foremost, it boils down to hormones. It is well known amongst scientists and fitness professionals that testosterone is one of the biggest muscle builders there is. It is directly responsible for how much protein a person can synthesize, which is just a fancy way of saying how much muscle they can build. Men can have as much as 15 times more naturally occurring testosterone than women. Simply put, and to drive the point home again, if you're not shooting up steroids and synthetic hormones, you're not going to get huge.
These women are at the absolute peak of what they can make their bodies look like, and have literally been training for years to achieve the look they possess. In my opinion, you couldn't label any of them "bulky," including Dana Linn Bailey. While she has a look that is considerably more masculine than the other 2 women, she still only weighs in the neighborhood of 130 pounds while still retaining very feminine features.
Whether you would prefer to look like Dana Linn Bailey or you would rather have a smoother look like Nathalia Melo or Stacey Alexander, one thing remains true. You are going to have to develop a training routine that is going to get you those results. All of them will involve lifting, in some cases, some pretty serious weight. Cardio and abs at the gym ever day and poor eating habits will never help you achieve these results.
Those 20+ rep, very light weight workouts so many women (and some men) like to do are garbage. When you do 20 reps of an exercise with light weight, you may get a good pump in your muscles and feel like you're doing something good for yourself. However, you're really just building muscle endurance. Muscle endurance is obviously important depending on your goals, but let's be honest, most women want that toned and tight look.
If toned and tight is your what you want, put down those 5 pound dumbbells and pick up the 30's. Better yet, hire a trainer or go with an experienced friend to the gym and learn how to properly do squats, deadlifts, and other compound exercises. Stop doing 20 reps of dumbbell curls and start doing 5 intense reps of heavy squats. Do endurance type workouts once or twice a week, but make heavy lifting day your main priority. You won't get huge, but you will get strong, build dense muscle, and burn fat at an accelerated rate. Isn't that what you want, after all?
Ladies (and guys), if you have any other questions about this post or need help with a plan to achieve your goals, whatever they may be, feel free to contact me any time. I hope everyone had an amazing weekend and that you got in the gym at least once. If not, tomorrow is a new day. Get to the gym and pick up something heavy. You might just see the results you've been missing!