As a trainer, I have been asked this question a thousand times.
“Do Weights slow you down and make you bulky?”
Anyone who has stepped foot in a gym has heard someone say, or maybe has said it themselves, ”I don’t want to lift weights, because I don’t want to get too bulky.”
If you are involved in sports I can guarantee that at one stage or another someone who ‘knows what they are talking about’ has told you to stay away from weights because you will get too big and it will slow you down.
I used to believe this myself.
I spent years training in a sport where we were advised that weights would slow us down.
So, I avoided lifting weights for my legs, (couldn’t neglect the upper body could I?), and ended up the proud owner of a nice set of pencil thin twiglet legs; something I have had to spend years rectifying.
Have you had bad advice regarding weights?
Drop me a message and let me know.
Even today, with the rise of Strength and Conditioning throughout sports, and the acceptance in certain sports that it is beneficial, I still hear people giving the same old outdated advice to athletes.
There is also the flip side to this where people claim to be doing S&C with athletes and teams, but it is just a muscle gain program, (Leg day, arms and shoulders day, chest and back day), that IS NOT strength and conditioning.
Then we have people who are looking to ‘lose weight’ or ‘get in shape’.
For the majority of my clientele, their goal is to look and feel better about themselves.
When I am doing the initial consultation with a new client, I will always bring up the topic of lifting weights.
I usually ask them if they have any experience of using weights and proceed to inform them that their training program will involve the use of them in some shape or form.
This phrase will usually surface, ‘I don’t mind using weights, but I don’t want to get too bulky’.
Does that sound familiar and have you ever thought or said that?
It isn’t just women who feel this way and have these fears and doubts. I have had men tell me that they ‘wouldn’t mind putting on some muscle, but they wouldn’t want to get too big’ that they ‘don’t want to end up like a bodybuilder.’
There is still this idea among the general population that as soon as you start lifting weights, you will turn into THE MOUNTAIN from Game of Thrones and your clothes won’t fit you anymore.
Women have these fears due to the media and misinformation. They have been told for so long that if they lift anything over 2kg they will end up looking like an 80’s action hero, complete with stubble, a black vest, toothpick, mirrored sunglasses and Adam’s apple.
This couldn’t be further from the truth.
If people actually saw how much food has to be eaten and knew the length and intensity of the training sessions that it takes to put on serious muscle that would make you look bulky, they probably wouldn’t believe it.
Check out some of Hafþór Björnsson’s (The Mountain from Game of Thrones) training sessions online and you will see how much weight and work goes into actually making you ‘bulky’.
The biggest problem with this myth, for both the general public who want to look better and for athletes who want to improve performance, is that people still assume that a program of lifting weights will resemble a program for a bodybuilder.
This is not the case.
If weight loss is your main goal, I have found that following a full body weights program 3 days per week, can give exceptional results when your diet is in check.
If you are a beginner looking to put on some size, again you can start with a 3 day per week full body weights workout; it would just be programmed differently and then progress the program as you progress.
If you are playing sports, body part splits like a chest day, leg day, and arm day are essentially useless to your on-field performance.
Your focus should be on;
- Developing muscle and movement patterns you won’t get in practice.
- Exercises that will have a good carryover to on-field of play performance.
- To minimise or reduce the likelihood of injury while training.
Lifting weights will NOT make you ‘bulky’.
There are a huge amount of factors that would have to be in place before this would happen.
Lifting weights, when done in the right way with a properly designed program, can help you get to get in shape, tone up, improve strength and reach your chosen goal.
If you need some help, The Rushe Fitness Summer Shape Up 2019 is now open for booking.
After the success of the last 2 years, we have brought it back and made it bigger than ever.
You could win one of 2 holidays worth €1500 and get in shape in the process.
Click the link and find out how you could win the holiday of a lifetime: CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP NOW!
We start on June 24th.
* Emmet is the owner and operator of Rushe Fitness LTD