Recent box office hits like “Wonder Woman” and “Black Panther” featured women in strong, courageous roles. They were warriors, fighting right alongside the men, oftentimes besting them. Yet, they still maintained their feminine beauty, vibrancy, and health. You might say, well yeah that’s in the movies. In real life, being strong equals being bulky as is lots of muscle mass. Well, you might be surprised to learn in this instance, the movies might be more accurate than you believed. Strong can equal toned and feminine.

Women are from Venus and Men are from Mars

According to strength trainer Molly Galbraith,  “women don’t have the same hormone profile as men, and therefore, cannot gain enough lean mass to look bulky.” Molly admits that she too once believed the myth that lifting heavy would cause bulk to be added to her frame. She remembers uttering the phrase “I don’t want to get big and bulky.” It is fair to say though that lifting any amount of weight will not remove the fat that is over the muscle underneath.

Photo by Charlotte Karlsen

More Information on Women’s Inability to Bulk Up

According to Inform Fitness, testosterone is a necessary ingredient to build muscles. Females have 15 to 20 times less testosterone than men. In addition, body fat is actually what causes the “bulkiness” women fear, not muscle. Looking bulky can occur when a woman or a man for that matter begin to lift weights, building their muscles, while increasing their fat intake simultaneously. To create the lean, toned look we all desire, a careful balance has to be achieved between exercise and diet.

How to Lose Fat

If body fat is so important in creating tone and seeing the muscle you work hard to build, how do you go about losing fat? Well, there is cardio. That is important. However, it alone isn’t enough either. Inform Fitness says “what you do in the gym to promote fat loss does not even come close to what you can do in the kitchen to achieve the same results.” To “tone” your body of fat, take a few weeks and experiment with your diet. If you cut out pre-made or packaged foods, processed carbohydrates, and sugar for a few weeks, you will notice a big difference in your physique, whether or not you take up weighting lifting or any other form of exercise.

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Lifting weights won’t bulk you up as a woman. However, it won’t “tone” you either. Not alone. Hopefully, this article has helped you understand more about what it takes to create a toned, healthy, strong look.


Header photo by Justyn Warner on Unsplash