Does Lifting Heavy Weights Make You Look Bulky?

Jan 29, 2021 | Written by Aarvi | 0 comments

Hi Guys, Aarvi here.

This is a common thought or question a lot of people especially women attain when they associate weight training with lifting heavy. There have been a number of times when I have been asked this question or have been given this answer when I posed the question about progressing their load.

Strength training is an important element of a balanced fitness regimen and, in fact, is included in the recommendations from the Department of Health and Human Services. The number of benefits of strength lifting are second to none.

P.S. You can never be too strong.


Simply said it will not make you bulky or make you look masculine but instead will do the opposite.

How is that possible?

Well lifting heavy will assist in increasing the muscle tone all over your body a lot faster due to muscles having more time under tension with heavy loads.

Toning requires strengthening and building up a muscle’ If there is no muscle there, to begin with, you can lose all the body fat in the world but you’ll never have a toned look. So adding some high resistance strength training will shape your body/curves exactly how you want them whilst also make you burn a lot more fat.



Of course if you are in an excessive surplus and lifting heavy weights you increase the chance of gaining weight but that is only if you are eating that amount.

If you are eating in a maintenance (calories you eat where you keep the same weight) or in a slight deficit (lower than maintenance) you will burn more fat and get toned a lot faster. Because studies have shown that you will burn a lot more calories during a heavy weight training session compared to a light weight session for the same amount of time.



When you perform intense workouts from heavy lifting, the body continues to burn calories at a higher rate for hours post training. You’ll be burning more calories outside the gym, even when you’re chillin’ on the couch or typing away at work. Surely this is a big win win

Also, the stress imposed on the muscle tissue means the body needs to repair and rebuild damaged tissue—another energy need. As the damage done to a muscle on a high-rep, light-weight type workout is so low you do not get these post-training energy demands.

Studies have also shown that lifting heavy weights makes the body more insulin sensitive — in layman’s terms, this just means that the body is better able to utilise sugars and carbohydrates for fuel, Wouldn’t you rather the food you eat be used up efficiently?

Number of studies have shown that heavy lifting and looking bulky is a big misconception. One study by Mayhew & Gross (1974) followed 17 college women over the 9-wk training period, substantiates the contention that high resistance weight training can enhance feminine body composition without concomitant masculinizing effects or marked changes in body weight. Another study from The Journal of Bone and Mineral Research found that Australian women with osteoporosis improved their bone density by about 3 percent over eight months of high-intensity weight training (Watson et al, 2018).



Also for the women worried about getting bulky or huge from lifting big weights: thanks to hormones, you almost certainly won’t pack on muscle like a man. If that is your fear. Reason being that women don’t have the same amount of testosterone as men, so lifting weights doesn’t automatically equal muscle mass. That testosterone difference means men will get bigger much faster.



Cardio is great for you such as running, cycling, and other aerobic exercises. It increase your endurance, improve your circulation, and help regulate blood sugar which is all great and should still be considered.

But cardio won’t help you build strength, define muscles, or lose weight as effectively as weight training.

While you might burn more overall calories during a cardio workout, weight training increases your ability to torch calories long after you leave the weight room. That is a big win win.

It also helps elevate your metabolism for up to three days post-workout — increasing the efficiency of a healthy diet.



Less fat, more toned muscles, and a better metabolism.

So you probably get the idea that lifting weights heavy has a big impact on improving your overall performance and health. With that being said heavy lifting should not be sacrificed for poor technique. Always master the movement first before earning the right to go up in weight.

Now go lift some heavy weights – with good technique that is!