Does Lifting Heavy Weights Make You Bulky?

Yes & no.

This is a kind of a complicated question. It’s one of the most searched questions on Google {in relation to fitness / lifting}. I have a feeling it’s mostly searched by women {no offense, ladies} but we typically don’t want to ‘bulk up’…. but maybe add muscle {this is not to offend anyone who likes to ‘bulk’!}. I’ll admit, when I first started lifting I was worried that I would ‘get bulky’ and it impacted my results.

First off, I want to advise everyone to check out for fitness-related articles and as a general resource for health and fitness. {Connect with my on BodySpace to see more of my workouts!}

Lifting heavy weight can make you build muscle / bulk. With the right recipe of eating the right macros, lifting the right load, etc. you will experience hypertrophy {extreme muscle tension}. Hypertrophy happens when you increase your muscle size. In your workouts, you’ll have high volume, moderate to high loads and moderate or low repetitions. For example, 3-5 sets of 6-12 reps of 70-80% one repetition maximum and longer rest periods. So, this style of lifting / dieting can’t make you build muscles or as some say “bulk”.

There are other elements to lifting heavier weight that will determine if you build a lot of muscle and that mostly plays on genetics, intensity of exercise and gender. At the end of the day, the only element you can fix is the intensity. Genetics and gender you can’t do too much about.

Lifting weights will not make you bulk if you are lifting, moderate {but challenging} weight with low to medium repetitions and a low carb diet. With the combination of a good diet, {diet plays a BIG impact on results} you will more than likely tone up. After all, that is the natural outcome of exercising and eating healthy.

If you want to build muscle or if you want to tone up, form and muscle mind connection play a big part in your success. Don’t just swing weights around thinking that it will work. Focus on form and focus on the movement you’re doing for best results!

Keep pumpin’

PS: You can get trim with Jenn 🙂 

PPS: When you start to lift weight make sure to start with low weight and work your way up to heavier weight. A lot of accidents can happen from lifting so make sure to start low, stretch, hydrate and practice good form!

About trimwithjenn

My blogging goal is to give you at least one health, fitness and / or wellness tip!

7 Responses

  1. This was a great post! So many of us want to look lean and toned without the “bulk” I think you explained everything so well for many to understand especially us females! Who doesn’t want a rockin bod?! I used to have the same thought I had no idea you could lift weights and not get bulky! Plus it does take so long for muscles to grow ( like my damn quads!) but still many women out there aren’t trying to look huge and macho just lean and toned! Awesome job!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The problem is that people make a distinction between “lifting” and “lifting heavy”. In theory there shouldn’t be one or the other. In order to elicit a hypertrophy response you need to be able to place your muscles under maximum tension, not maximum load. A muscle doesn’t know if you have a 10 pound dumbbell or a 50 pound dumbbell in your hand, all it knows is that it can only create enough tension within a specific muscle to be able to lift either a certain amount of that load, or the whole load, and that is it. If it can’t isolate the whole load within a specific muscle, it will disperse it to other places in the body in the form of things such as inertia, jerking, twisting, bouncing, launching etc. With that being said, if you’re using too little weight you can’t create optimal tension, and if you are using too much weight you’re not doing yourself, your muscles, or your joints any favors.

    And as far as to answer your question “will lifting make me bulky” the answer is not if you don’t want it too. Building muscle is NOT easy. And you’re right, nutrition, genetics, age will all play major roles in your ability to build actual layers of dense proteins. But for someone looking to make a significant change to their physique, or trying to feel better, or trying to “tone” as most girls like to say, lifting “moderate weight” with low to medium repetitions isn’t going to do much for you. It’s mindless and ineffective. Lifting optimal weight, with perfect execution for a significant time under tension, with mindful intent on the muscle you’re attempting to train, within a range that you can own, control, and your body allows for is how you’re going to make physical adaptations. Check out Ben Pakulski, Tom Purvis of RTS (personal on youtube), or someone else with at least some understanding of isn’t the best for that.

    Liked by 2 people

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