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Women shouldn't be afraid of "getting big"

Posted by Karen

The comment was made while discussing women's weight training that "most women don't want bulk, they want toning". I think many women have the misconception that if they work out with heavy weights, they'll end up looking like a female bodybuilder (although I don't think it would be so bad to look like Rachel McLish for instance!).

What's wrong with building muscle, anyway?? Why are so many women afraid of it?? Only a very small amount of women are even capable of achieving the "female bodybuilder" look, and I don't believe they will achieve it in 2 hours a week of weight training. If they are lucky enough to "bulk up" from 2 hours a week, they are lucky indeed!

More muscle is good! It raises the metabolism because it burns more calories than fat, and muscles that have been conditioned by weight training give the body a toned look, which is what the women want in the first place.

At the fitness club where I worked out for a while, there is an instructor with very well defined muscles. She is not "big" like a bodybuilder, but she has very good muscle definition. I would love to look like her! I asked her what she did to look like that, and she said that she doesn't really do anything out of the ordinary. She teaches step and aerobic classes, and works out with the weights and machines at the club 2-3 times a week, for less than an hour each time. She has noticed that her muscles build up and acquire definition very quickly when she works with weights. I saw her weight workout, and it doesn't differ very much from what I do. But I don't have muscle definition like her, because I simply don't have the capacity to get that type of definition, unless I were to devote more time than I'd like to weight training, and even then probably I wouldn't get that much definition. However, even she isn't so sure that she looks good, which I think is a shame.

One day I was in the locker room while she was getting dressed, and she stood in front of the mirror and complained that her legs were too big, and if only she could make them smaller. The other women there all rushed to reassure her that it was muscle and not fat, and that she should be glad to have nicely muscled legs instead of toothpick legs, but she still muttered that she'd like to have smaller legs. Actually, seeing that this woman with her beautiful body hasn't accepted it completely, has helped me with working on my own body acceptance (i.e. I don't look like the women on Melrose Place and probably never will).

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