Will Lifting Weights Make You Bulky?
When I was experiencing the most severe pain of my back injury, the worst part wasn’t the physical pain. It was the humiliation of not being able to instruct my body to perform on demand.
I literally couldn’t put my shoes on in the morning, but I insisted on doing it myself rather than allowing my wife to help me.
We value our independence. We like to be secure in the knowledge that we can put our own luggage in the overhead compartment, move our own furniture around, and beat our kids at races. When we lose that capacity through injury, disease or disuse, our self esteem gets clobbered. The good news is that developing your physical fitness is highly rewarding! Strength training shapes our bodies and our minds.
Many people want the functional benefits of training, but dont particularly want to look like bodybuilders. They are looking for a natural athletic look, not huge muscles. So how can you use weights to develop great fitness without looking like The Hulk? Here are some rules to follow in your training to get those sleek toned arms and legs:
- Train movements not muscles. Instead of doing machines and exercises which isolate specific muscles and pump them up, choose functional movements which work large muscle groups and take your joints through full ranges of motion. Think squat, hinge, push, pull, carry.
- Variance is the secret sauce. If you prefer light weight high reps, throw in some heavy weight low reps. If you hate running, strap on those shoes and hit the road. Don’t like water? Get in the pool. The key is to not just do the stuff you like. Touch upon the things that make you just a little bit uncomfortable. Doing so will make sure you are challenging your body through a wide range of stimuli, ensuring that you get stronger through central adaptation, not increased cross sectional size.
- Avoid linear bodybuilding schemes. (as in “3 sets of 12 reps” “90 seconds rest between sets” or “add 5 lbs every week”). Aside from being incredibly boring and time consuming, these programs also stop working after a few months. Compare that with CrossFit which can churn out results for years and decades if done right. Don’t get me wrong: Any exercise is good exercise. If you are doing a classic gym program, dont stop! When you get bored, give me a call.
- Have fun in your training! Working out should be a stress reliever, not a stress multiplier. Do it with other people, and try something you haven’t done before. This will keep you engaged and exercising for the long term.
- The most profound changes in body composition come from nutrition, not exercise! The nutrients found in a whole food, plant based diet will automatically gravitate your body to its natural weight in a short period of time. Eating this way will support high strength and energy levels while keeping you lean without any dieting.
Need help? Book a free No Sweat Intro with an expert at https://app.acuityscheduling.com/schedule.php?owner=13876588