Will I Get Bulky From Lifting Weights?

Many guys walk into the gym with the goal of getting big and strong from weight lifting. However, not everyone wants to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger. If you’re a woman, or big guns just aren’t your style, you might be worried that you’ll get bulky from lifting weights.

Luckily, the idea that weight training instantly makes you huge is simply not true. It’s highly unlikely that you’ll end up bulky from your training if you don’t want to. Getting big is much harder than it looks. When starting out a regime, you can tailor it to meet your personal fitness goals so you feel happy with your results.

Increased Muscle Doesn’t Mean ‘Huge’

When you start a workout regime that involves a lot of lifting weights (including Crossfit) you are likely to see some muscle gain. That doesn’t mean you’re going to get huge.

Muscle mass actually plays a key role in your general health. Building muscles helps your body to burn energy and fat. As muscle mass increases, the faster your body can burn calories and energy. Muscles help us lose weight, stay healthy, and be active.

Muscle mass doesn’t mean you’re going to look huge. If you have a high muscle mass percentage and low body fat percentage, you’ll almost certainly look leaner than you did before you started working out.

Being strong and having a high muscle mass is not the same as looking manly. It may be worth thinking about how you define bulky. Strength is always a good thing!

A Bulky Diet = A Bulky Body

If you wanted to bulk up, you would need to seriously increase your daily calories. The more calories, the bigger the bulk. 

For many people who are trying to get big, eating enough is one of the hardest parts of their fitness journey. If you aren’t trying to bulk up, then you won’t be anywhere near the levels of caloric surplus you’d need to be reaching.

Everyone knows that a healthy and fairly low calorie diet is a crucial part of losing weight. Working out won’t get you far unless you combine it with clean eating. The same idea applies to gaining mass through weight training.

Getting Bulky From Lifting Weights Doesn’t Happen Overnight

Like with any aspect of fitness, whether it’s cutting fat or toning up, new mass takes a few months to notice. 

To get bulky from lifting weights, you need to work hard and be patient. This can be a difficult truth to swallow when you’re excited to get muscular. But, if you want to avoid getting bulky it can be a blessing.

If you notice that you’re gaining more muscle mass than you want to, you can simply adjust your workout plan or your diet. Bear in mind that people sometimes mistake body fat for mass. You can cut down on your overall mass by eating a healthy, high protein diet.

Weight Lifting Has Many (Non-Bulky) Benefits 

There are lots of weight training methods and variables. Each of these will have different, beneficial outcomes. Weight training can be a great way to lose weight, improve your mood, and get flexible and stronger. It can even make a great cardio workout.  

Yes, lifting weights is a great way to build muscle. This means lifting heavy weights at a low to moderate rep range. If you want to be toned, not bulky, start out with low weights and higher reps in a slow and controlled manner. If you continue to eat a healthy diet, you’ll gain muscle mass but also lose body fat – helping you look leaner.

Train For The Results You Want

You can use a weight training regime to reach many health and fitness goals. You can use weightlifting to train for competitive powerlifting or a bodybuilding competition. In these cases, you’re likely to be training hard, 4-6 times per week.

However, many people do Crossfit or lift weights to stay fit, healthy and confident. There are many plans to suit your needs. If you just want to improve the overall shape or your body, lifting weights is one of many parts of a holistic and well-rounded workout plan. 

No matter what your fitness goals are, weight training can be a great way to meet them.

When you train for the results you want, you won’t end up bulky from lifting weights. You’ll end up with a well-shaped, toned and fit version of your natural body.


7 Reasons Why You Should Lift Weights

“I know I should lift weights, but I don’t want to get bulky.”

I hear the above statement (or one similar) all the time. As a CrossFit owner, I want people to be strong, functional, healthy humans. Right now, my direction in life is to help people achieve that.

I would argue that most people want those same things for themselves.  But…there’s always a “but”.  The ‘but’ here is but what is considered “bulky”?

When I started CrossFit I was about 170 pounds, but I looked like I was 150 (I have always looked like I weighed less than I actually do). I could do some pull ups, squats, some push ups, my cardio was good, but I didn’t really lift weights. 

I thought 170 was the perfect weight for me. In fact, I was hesitant to start CrossFit because I didn’t want to “bulk up”.  Once I started, it was obvious that my mostly bodyweight exercises had left a huge weakness in my overall fitness.  It was like driving a car that was missing a wheel; you might get to where you’re going but it won’t be fast.

As I have continued to do CrossFit my weight and size have fluctuated.  Even at my heaviest weight (225) I wouldn’t say I was bulky.  Fluffy? Oh definitely. But I have never been “bulky”. 

I sit between 190 and 195 now, and overall I am extremely happy with that.  I would say I look athletic, and more importantly I feel athletic and have confidence in my capabilities.  However, if you saw me in person I highly doubt you would say I am bulked up. 

Will Lifting Weights Make You Bulky?

There is a very good chance that adding in weight training or CrossFit won’t make you bulky either.  Your body composition might change, your clothes will fit better/different, you might even notice a change when you look in the mirror. 

You will definitely get stronger and notice how certain physical tasks in life are easier: yardwork, playing with your kids, carrying groceries in, moving the couch, the list goes on.   

To become what most would consider “bulky” a few things need to happen.  Your body has to have A LOT of testosterone(more than most people, especially females produce naturally), you have to workout like it is your life, the younger you are the better, your diet has to be fine tuned to you, and you have to eat mass amounts of food.  Most importantly you have to have good genetics, you can get bulky without good genes, but you are going to be investing twice as much compared to someone who has great genes.

Why To Lift Weights

You definitely should be adding in lifting weights to help you live a happier, healthier life. Let’s run through some of the key benefits of lifting weights. Just to list a few, you will:

  1. Burn more calories
  2. Feel less stressed
  3. Slow down your ageing process
  4. Prevent injuries
  5. Lower your risk of diabetes
  6. Improve your bone density
  7. Feel an awesome sense of accomplishment

Think of the different aspects of health and fitness as spokes that form a wheel. Each spoke should be of equal length so the wheel has no flat spots or bumps. A properly formed wheel ensures your health and fitness is well rounded and rides smooth.

Want to know how to get started with some fitness training?  Click here to get started.