The Fear of “Getting Bulky” with Resistance Training
The Fear of “Getting Bulky” with Resistance Training

The Fear of “Getting Bulky” with Resistance Training

One of the biggest misconceptions I encounter about resistance training is a fear that it will make us get “bulky,” (i.e. that it will rapidly make our muscles huge, and we won't like the way we look). Sigh. There's a lot to unpack here, but my response when I hear this concern is usually: "If only it were that easy to build muscle!"

By, Jya Plavin, MPH, CPT, CPPC

What Can Resistance Training Do for My Body?

Resistance training is an excellent way to maintain or (if you’re lucky) increase skeletal muscle mass, strength and function, all of which is critically important for our health, especially as we age. It can improve flexibility, posture, stamina, and metabolism; it helps increase bone density (i.e. less risk of osteoporosis); and improves cholesterol, blood sugar profiles, mood, self esteem, and sleep quality. Whew! 

Will Resistance Training Make Me Gain Muscle? 

When it comes to gaining muscle, simply put—this is not easy, particularly for women and folks with lower testosterone profiles. Significant muscle gain won't happen by accident and it won’t happen overnight. Working on increasing muscle mass is an incredible investment in health that requires intention, time, mental bandwidth, planning, consistent training, progressive challenge, adequate recovery and sleep, and a big focus on adequate nutrition, especially protein. 

Can I Let Go of the Fear of “Getting Bulky?”

Yes! While it is a misconception that resistance training will rapidly make us “bulky,” there’s an even more important assumption to challenge here: the assumption that we should all strive to be small, thin, and without noticeable muscle! If your life allows you to invest time and energy in your training, and you succeed at gaining muscle—YOU ARE A ROCKSTAR!

We all contend with diet culture everyday, and in my experience—feeling strong and showing yourself that you can get stronger is one of the *best* antidotes to a culture that tells us to be less. Not to mention—when you’re building strength and muscle through your training, I can pretty much guarantee you're going to feel great when you look in the mirror. 

How Can MommaStrong help?

MommaStrong is here to support your journey of functional strength and fitness, and BONUS: our "Loaded" series (included with your membership!) is a great introduction to safe and effective training with resistance equipment 💪


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