Friday, January 17, 2014

Women: Lifting Won't Make You Bulky

Ok, seriously, can we all drop the word "tone" when we reference fitness goals. TONE DOES NOT EXIST. IT IS NOT REAL. This "tone"concept that most women set as a goal (which isn't really a goal because a goal needs to be measurable- rant in a different blog post) is a combination of gaining muscle mass and reducing excess body fat. It's that simple and that complicated.

This mainstream, bullshit view about "muscle tone" does not reflect any concept of reality or how to achieve it. You ALL have seen the magazine covers with a women lifting a 3lb pink dumbbell with the headline "tone your muscles now". Sorry, but lifting a dumbbell that weighs less than your purse for 3 sets of 100 will not achieve the look you're going for- unless of course, that look is flabby and leaves you with little to no results.

Ok, science time: Muscles are fixed at all ends by tendons and bone. Ok, that's simple. Muscles do not magically assume different shapes- obvious right, this isn't Hogwarts.  Sets of 2-3 reps do NOT product the shape of a triangle while 10-12 reps product the shape of a sphere. Muscles aren't Picasao, they aren't artistic.

Honestly, if I had a dollar for every woman who told me they wanted to "tone", I could fly out on my personal jet and train you all in person.

Back to science- muscles do change shape by GROWING in response to exercise. That's part 1 of the equation in achieving what most people want when they reference muscle tone: LARGER MUSCLES. Ladies, YES- when you talk about getting "toned" you really are saying two things- I want to lose fat and I want BIGGER MUSCLES.

Don't lose your sports bras- women simply do not possess the hormonal profile needed to mass up under heavy weight (that EWWW i don't want to be bulky and look like a man mentality). WOMEN DO NOT POSSESS ENOUGH TESTOSTERONE. So, point blank, if you are a woman and you are lifting heavy and gaining dirty size or dirty mass then you are either eating shit, taking steroids, or both. Dirty size and dirty mass are different than a clean bulk.

We like easy. Easy is good. But easy doesn't get you results.

The second half of "toning": body fat is all that really determines how well your muscles can be seen. And the VISUAL of a lean, sculpted, muscular body is what most women want when they say that stupid word. The truth is- diet is the dominant factor controlling your body fat. Abs are made in the kitchen- not on an Abmat. Lifting heavy won't make you gain size, but everything anything and everything in sight surely will.

To summarize:
1. Stop calling it muscle tone. You want bigger muscles and less body fat covering them.
2. Eat to meet your goals
3. Pick up a barbell. NOW LIFT


  1. I like this article! I eat clean, lift ''heavy'' and eat 1900 calories a day but I feel like I do get bigger. Is this normal at the beginning and will it 'shrink' later on? Maybe it's the muscles getting bigger but all the fat still covering it. OR I just eat too many calories....

    1. Eating clean isn't real- you need to eat to hit your macros. if you are eating the wrong combination of macros- then yea, you will gain weight regardless of lifting. also, you need to incorporate cardio to reduce overall body fat in conjunction with macro eating

    2. So you mean that if I normally eat 1500 calories a day, I can fill that with junk instead of healthy foods? Do you have a post about those combination of macro's? I eat 100+ grams of protein a day (chicken breast, salmon, tilapia, whey, peanut butter, almonds) and try to limit grains to 2 servings a day (whole wheat bread, brown rice, oats, rice waffles). I eat my veggies and eat 4 pieces of fruit a day. I've read hundreds of articles but everyone is saying something different and I can not seem to find a good/right plan for me. I thought this was pretty good.... but I'll try to incorporate more cardio and lower my calories to 1600 (I reduced the amount of cardio and started focussing more on lifting). Thanks anyway! Maybe check out my instagram? Yadelgokalp! x

      btw, you're looking great. keep up the good work girll!

    3. no.... that is the worst thing to do- there are a lot of misconceptions about macros and a lot of people brag about how much junk they eat to hit their macros. i offer consultations if you're interested. my email is I can't speak for anything you have read but 100% of my clients have seen results- that's the only thing i can guarantee. i'm not saying lowering your calories to 1600 will do anything- where did you get that number?

    4. You said that eating clean wasn't real, so that's why I said the thing about junkfood. I will never do that. I fill my macro's with healthy (''clean'') foods. My BMR is 1350 and with exercising 3/4 times a week, calculators on the internet told me that I had to eat 2000/2100 to maintain. Cut -500 calories for fat loss = 1500/1600 calories. I'm interested though! Can I read more about it somewhere? It's not for free, is it?

    5. when i say clean eating isn't real... this is what i mean: eating 10,000 calories is no different than eating 10,000 calories of snickers- anything in excess will cause of a gain in weight. if you email me, i can send you all the information

  2. I have read your post. So great!
    thank you for your post.
    Fitness Model at Workout Music Motivation videos