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Will lifting weights make me bulk up?

by Melinda Jennings on Thursday 20 September 2018


A common misconception is that one day you’ll lifting weights, the next your arms are the size of boulders. OK, so maybe not quite that extreme, but many women (and sometimes men) do have this fear that if they pick up the dumbbells too many times, they’re going to become a bulking, hulking mass of arm muscles.  

However, that really couldn’t be further from the truth. While everyone’s body does responds to training differently, it would take a very specific training, eating and supplement-taking regime to turn you into a body builder.

What happens when we lift weights? 

Lifting weights is certainly good for training your muscles and making them stronger (surprise, surprise). But, unless your body is producing high levels of testosterone – or you’re taking supplements for it – or you’re going way over your recommended daily calories, it’s not going to make your muscles huge.  

So, if you build and stick to a strength training regime, you’re likely to end up with toned, strong muscles.

Big guns? Not so much. 

Other benefits of weight training  

Apart from giving you strong, toned arms, there are other benefits that you can gain (pun intended) from lifting weights. Some of these include:

Burn more calories  

A lot of people think that cardio is the only way to burn off those pesky calories. Whilst hitting the treadmill is definitely going to do a world of good, weight training works in a unique way to elevate your metabolism for longer.

The result is that when you’re on the couch, hours after you’ve done some bench presses, your body is still working to burn, baby, burn those calories.

Shape and tone 

You can shape and tone your body (and not just make it big and bulky, as we’ve already covered). You can train specifically for the body or results you want.

Weights help you target certain areas that you’re wanting to tone or shape, in a much more concentrated and intentional way than simply doing cardio. 

Tip: mix it up! 

Of course, the best training regime is going to be a mixture of different exercises, and tailored to your body type, skills, and goals. That’s why it’s so beneficial to have someone who’s in the know to help craft a plan for you. 

It’s also why, when you join Virgin Active, you’ll get an initial assessment from one of our fitness gurus, and a 30-day plan to help you get started. Our knowledgeable team is also always on hand to help you out with any questions. 

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