Myth Busters – Does lifting weights make women bulky? True or False?


Myth Busters – Does lifting weights make women bulky? True or False?

Part of our jobs as Coaches is too help people reach their goals. We discuss training, lifestyle, mindset, and of course nutrition.

A common question we get is “Will I get bulky from lifting weights?” Or someone will say “I do not want to lift weights because I will get too bulky.”

Usually a goal we hear is people want to “tone” up and burn some body fat.

This article will lay out some facts and myths around this particular topic and then give some insight into what weight training aka “resistance training” actually does for the body.


Sure. Lifting weights can make a woman bulky…. If it is focused on.

Lifting weights can bulk anyone up if we take into consideration their nutrition and overall focus of their training.

There is no scientific fact that if you pick up weights, or do weight lifting its going to get you bigger and you are going to gain weight.

What does have to happen is you need to focus specifically on that. For most people “getting bulky” will require eating more food (mainly carbs and protein) and training specifically for hypertrophy.

Sure, most styles of training will help you gain muscle. I use hypertrophy training in almost all of my programs for most people. If you want to specifically focus on that ask about our Individual Training Programming.

The point is that you don’t have to be afraid of getting “to big”, or “bulking up” from weight training unless you are intentionally training and eating for these results, which takes a lot of energy, discipline, and focus. 

Also remember this, typically a woman’s biological makeup doesn’t make it easy to gain bulky muscles. Can a woman do that? Absolutely! What I am saying is that you have to specifically focus on that. Your nutrition, lifestyle, and exact training program have to target that goal head on.

At the end of the day, You do not have to fear getting bulky from weight training. Unless you want to!

One thing to think about

What can happen from weight training is you can get an increase in appetite from your body burning more calories.

This will often lead to eating more calories because in most cases people aren’t tracking their food.

The increase in appetite and lack of awareness around food intake can technically lead to you getting more bulky. But not the muscle kind.

Getting bulky in this case has nothing to do with the training itself and more to do with the your dietary practices.

Here is the facts

  1. Weight training helps burn more calories.
    • Lifting weights builds more muscle. Which requires more calories. In turn, you burn more calories during muscle contractions and movement throughout the day.
  2. You will gain and retain muscle mass.
    • Women between ages of 30-70 lose and average of 22 percent of their total muscle. This is why the scale isn’t the biggest indicator of fitness. Sometimes you can get the number on the scale down, but your body fat composition is higher. 
  3. Weight training Makes a healthy body.
    • Without training our body will over time become weaker. We move less and contract our muscle less on average as we age in most cases. Weight training can help remedy this. Making muscles stronger will fight against atrophy which occurs over time as we age.


Weightlifting is your best friend. It will make you look better, feel better, and burn more body fat on average. Which is opposite thinking to what most women think will happen.

If you specifically want to get bulky you have to train and plan your life around that focus.

It does not happen automatically when you start lifting. I believe everyone should do resistance training several days per week. It correlates directly to health and longevity.

Have no fear, weightlifting will only do good things for you!

Written by:

Coach Cody Smith