9Round Fitness Blog

Busting Fitness Myths: “Lifting weights will make you bulk up.”

Written by Taylor Stephens, Jul. 1, 2019

You’ve probably heard a few fitness tips that sound too good to be true, or common misconceptions that hold you back from a successful workout. Sometimes, those tips are believable enough to seem like solid advice, and common misconceptions can sound like there’s truth behind them (or else they wouldn’t be so common!) It can be hard to navigate through facts and fibs, especially when so many fitness tips come from your favorite celebrities or fitness influencers on your Instagram feed. That’s why, in our newest blog series, we’re busting a few common fitness myths to help you make the most out of your workouts, without the wrong advice! Up first is one that we’ve all heard: “lifting weights will make you bulk up.” To clear things up, we’ve put together a few reasons why this outdated view isn’t so accurate, and what you can do to shake off this myth.

First, let’s talk about the word “bulky.” One of the main problems with this myth is that a “bulky” appearance isn’t easy to define when we’re talking about humans of all shapes and sizes. What some view as well-defined, lean muscle, others might perceive as “bulky,” which means it’s completely subjective. It all depends on what you’re hoping to accomplish with your fitness routine. Instead of worrying that using weights in your workouts will result in a certain body type, focus on the other benefits that strength training can provide. Some of the best benefits have nothing to do with how muscular you look, like improving your muscular endurance, coordination, and even your cardiovascular health. Ultimately, your fitness goals are up to you, and if that means you’re aiming for a certain level of leanness and defined muscles, then go for it!

Ladies, if you’ve ever caught yourself shying away from heavier weights for this reason, this message is for you. Women often hear they’ll look “manly” when they reach a certain fitness level. However, women naturally have lower levels of testosterone than men, something that’s a huge factor in muscle growth. So, without extreme training and strict dieting habits, your body isn’t going to “naturally” start looking like the Hulk. It’s not realistic to expect to look like a football player as a result of getting a standard amount of exercise on a regular basis. If that were the case, you would probably see more bodybuilders walking around!

Use weights as a chance to get out of your comfort zone during workouts. It’s important to use weights that work for your fitness level and the exercise at hand to avoid any injuries, but don’t be afraid to ditch the 5-lb weights for something a little more challenging. You can easily get stuck in a fitness rut if you stick to the lightest weights every time, and then working out can become boring and it could take a toll on your motivation. Opting for weights in the 10-12-lb range (or higher) might be the extra push your routine needs. If you have any questions about what weight to start with, you can always ask your 9Round Trainers the next time you come in for a workout!

Now that we’ve debunked this fitness falsie, stay tuned for the next myth we’re busting: “No pain, no gain.”  This is possibly the most common phrase when you think about working out, so, what does it mean if you’re not sore the day after a hard-hitting workout?