Women: You Don't Have To Get Bulky!

How can you tone up and not get bulky? Find out here!

Again it's the same question. I get this question all the time. I say again because I get asked this at least once a day. Why do women ask this ridiculous question? What am I talking about? Well, I'm talking about "how do I tone up," with the same cliché added in, "but I don't want to get bulky!" This is the most absurd query. It has spawned because of those infomercials and due to the wonderful job the media describes female bodybuilders - or females in general.

Misconceptions Of Female Weight Training...

[ Getting Bulky... ]

There are many misconceptions about female weight training and how we, as women should be eating, and supplementing. The ignorance to what weight training does for women makes me angry. I am not a feminist, but comments that refer to "getting bulky," "putting on too much muscle," and "I want to stay feminine," need to be eliminated from our vocabulary.

[ Bad Information... ]

Almost everyone in every gym, now I said almost everyone, the TV info commercials and even fitness magazines give bad information to women compounding that with downright lies about what lifting weights really does for women.

The mumbo-jumbo ideas and advice given to women regarding weight training are, for the most part, archaic and pretty much taken from the 18th century.

[ Too Small Weights... ]

We have thousands of women entering gyms and lifting those little pink and purple hand weights that weigh all of 2 ½ pounds.


The average women's purse weighs around 10 pounds or a child in their arms can weigh as much as 25 pounds. I see these same girls do way too much cardio and then wonder why they still aren't losing any weight.

[ Muscle OVER Being Soft... ]

Often, women who see me in the gym immediately approach me and ask how they should eat or how do they get legs like mine. Of course they don't like my answer and sometimes there are even those that don't ask me because they're to intimidated by my own style of training.

It doesn't matter that I have the six-pack they want or the legs and butt they desire, they wold rather continue being soft then build muscle.

Why Should I Listen To You?

[ Why I Started... ]

To help you understand me better and where I'm coming from I seriously started lifting weights for competitive bodybuilding reasons almost thirteen years ago. I am now a retired top NPC national level competitive bodybuilder, currently doing sanctioned bench press meets and hold an IPA Bench Press World Record.

Yep, I know what you are saying - I don't want to do that. No kidding, Buckwheat. This is what I do, but my training isn't that far from what you should all be doing. What this is about is education - plain and simple - you all need to be educated and brought up to the current century that we are living in.

I am going to talk to you as if I was training you. OK, here we go. My word is Almighty! Do not listen to anyone else. You have to trust me. Because if you start asking others questions to what I'm telling you or doubt what I'm telling you just because it's different then what that idiot PT that's been helping you get no where or different then all the myths you've been brought up on then you're screwed. Ready? Let's get started.

[ Where The Bad Info Is Coming From... ]

First, we need to know and identify where all this bad info is coming from and stay away for it. Well, there are the many info-commercials that are out there. Listen to them. They all make comments about "not bulking up or getting bulky like a bodybuilder."

Then there are all the bodybuilding and fitness magazines that constantly downgrade muscle on women, let's not forget the pictorials of models in magazines like Vogue, and then, of course, the many self-proclaimed male and female personal trainers that get their information from all the above.

Don't get me started, I've even heard my fellow women of muscle say the same stupid things about "getting bulky" and "staying feminine." Muscle is muscle, ladies. And if you want to get that look you so desire - you have to put MUSLCE on.

What Style Of Training?

Now, how do we take the next step into creating a more complete understanding on what style of training should be for women?

That's easy Ladies. Train hard and train heavy. You have to add resistance to your muscles so they get that shape you want. Stop doing reps of 10 on the leg press and instead do reps of 20.

Before you do that, take those 10-pound plates off and put a pair of 45's on that leg press. Get your trainer to stop helping you on each and every rep. You can do it by yourself. When you feel like you can't squeeze out any more reps, then do two more!

Also, the old school rep schemes that 10 is for muscle size, and higher reps of 1 like 5-20 will get you cut, and 100's are even better for getting you that "cut" look.

Well, let me tell you, my husband is 302 pounds and can do 100 reps on the leg presses with over 600 pounds, and with other exercises he's done the 100-rep scheme. Ladies, he's far from being "cut."

Sorry, but in all reality reps have nothing to do with getting "cut." It's proper dietary habits. I'll challenge anyone on that. Do not let anyone tell you different. To get those curves and the hard body you want, first you need to lift weights, weights that will stress your muscles, diet right, and then add some cardio.

Diet & Nutrition

Now, let's talk diet and nutrition. Whatever you want to call it, it's still the same, it's about eating habits. Most of you eat less. A very bad choice. Starving yourself is NOT the answer or eating LARGE amounts of carbs with low fat foods is not the answer either.

The latter way of eating will only make you fat, and I'm talking "bulky" fat with an increase in your waistline, butt and hips. Everyone eat six small meals a day with at least 1-1.2 grams of protein per pound of body weight and then add just enough cardio to trim the fat off to show those muscles. So about 3-5 days of 30-45 minutes each. Yes, add that much protein to your diet.

Eat throughout the day with the appropriate foods for energy as well as protein for the build up and repair of muscle tissue. The combination of moderate cardiovascular activity with eating six meals a day will turn you into a fat burning machine. Muscle increases your metabolism and that burns fat. It's that easy.

Something more you all need to know and that is the truth about the gym. The gym is our domain as much as it is any man's and training in the gym is all about ATTITUDE ladies. Do you think Rachel McLish cared what the men in the gym thought about her training next to them? Do you think she was afraid to lift heavy?

From what she offered on each Bally's commercial I don't think so. She understood that what she needed to do to get that shapely hard body and that was to lift heavy, get intense and sweat.

For those of you who are looking to get started in the gym or you're already a member of a facility and you're not going anywhere, either way, you "must get hardcore." Yes, I said hardcore. Get your butt out of that ladies only section of the gym or that Curves membership.

Self-esteem, confidence and hardcore training can only be accomplished with the above disposition. Trust me on all this and remember you will not become a competitive bodybuilder or get "Bulky" just from lifting heavy weights.

I've been lifting hard and heavy for over thirteen years and when I say hard and heavy I talking lifting as much if not more then most men. Guess what? If it were that easy, to get big and bulky like you all think, I would be 300 pounds of rock hard muscle. Now if you are going to ask a "certified" personal trainer make sure they compete.

Ask them questions about training and if they reference the above bogus stuff we just talked about then walk away from them fast - they cannot and will not help you. If you do not have someone to help you in your gym, then do what I did when I started weight training.

Books I Recommend:

Arnolds Encyclopedia Of Bodybuilding
Bodybuilder's Nutrition Book
Joe Weider's Ultimate Bodybuilding


Ladies understand this, its all bodybuilding, however you look at it - it's building muscle! Don't believe me? Then you will never get what you want because bodybuilding is fundamentally building and shaping the body, which is just what you all want. Remember that.

And take it from me, the bodybuilder; your legs, arms and mid section are only going to get tight by hitting the weights hard and heavy with an intense hard core attitude. To quote a very wise person, "Go hard or go home!"