Listen, sass machines [I feel like we’re at a point in our relationship that I can call you that.] I have been up to my ears in questions from otherwise fabulous human beings about how they can get toned up, without getting “bulky muscles.” They are so incredibly afraid of getting those crazy-looking veiny muscles that could crush two-story buildings flat that they won’t even glance over at the weight-lifting side of the gym. And I’m here with some news
and a little bit of an exasperated face:
Lifting weights is not going to make you bulky. It isn’t. You’re a girl [and if you aren’t, srsly, what are you doing reading my blog? Get some muscle milk or something and reclaim your man cards] and because of that, you’re much, much different than a guy. Here is a whole fistful of reasons why the bulk won’t happen:
1. Women don’t have nearly as much testosterone as men do. Guys have about 15-20 times more testosterone than you. That’s the chemical you’re lacking that is also preventing you from getting a super-deep man voice and growing a handlebar mustache [tough break, right?]. Those hormones are the biggest reason guys look like this and we look like this.
2. Women that do have crazy muscle bulk are working for it. They want it. They’re taking all sorts of supplements, lifting with professional coaches, and doing an absolute ton of work. They didn’t just wake up one morning all bro’d out and be like “hey man, where’s my muscle tee, I’m going to be a bodybuilder.” They’re doing that on purpose, probably because they’re way cooler than we are.
But if you’re still not convinced that touching weights will turn you into a she-hulk, here’s how to avoid that at all costs:
Don’t lift really big weights. Have you ever heard of bench pressing? Of course you have. If you haven’t it’s when someone lifts as much weight as they possibly can over their heads. It’s exhausting, and those who do it are only going to do it a few times [or just once] before they stop. The quickest way to build big muscles is by hauling around the heaviest stuff you can for like, three seconds before you roll over and die. [Listen, if you’re a bodybuilder or want to be or something, get out of here, because obviously I’m not offering very detailed and accurate information for your kind.]
So if you don’t want that, do the opposite of what they’re doing, which is not, in fact, nothing. It’s lifting smaller weights a lot of times. Grab that 5, 10, 15 pound weight and do 25, 50, 75 reps. Exciting side note? They probably come in pink, and here’s why: no guy looking to pack on some muscle is going to grab little weights, because he’s not looking to ‘tone’ like you are. That’s what will tighten up those arms so you can rock a halter top.
But what about cardio? Won’t doing the wrong thing give me legs that look like [and probably could] kick through a door?
Probably not. Testosterone and all that. But if you really want to get touchy about it, you want to aim for low resistance for a long time. I made this slightly exxagerated but super-simple chart to explain it. This is just a bare-bones guide, it is by no means the be-all, end all guide to the world of cardio. I would actually suggest you don’t be such a pansy and try something like HIIT, which burns fat faster and takes a lot less time out of your day, but I’m not going to tell you what to do, I’m just going to tell you that someone is not going to ask you to be on WWE next week if you pick up a weight or two. Pinky promise.