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I believe that everyone should include some type of resistance training as part of their healthy lifestyle, whether it be body weight resistance, weight machines or free weights, as they all can help you build muscle and strength. But you may ask why is that so important.

I have heard a lot of women say that they don’t weight train because they don’t want to build muscle and get “bulky”. This makes me smile, reminding me that long before I was a trainer but not so long ago, in the 1970s I believe, the prevailing school of thought was that women should not lift weights. My simplest response to that is, “I weight train all the time, do I look bulky to you?” That usually gets them thinking.

“How long have you been trying to reach your goals without weight training?” Is my typical follow-up question.

The truth is that the more muscle that you have, the shapelier your body will be and the more calories you burn all the time – even while at rest. Having muscles ramps up your metabolism! That alone is an excellent reason to build muscle.

“What about your bones?” I ask a woman that doesn’t currently include resistance training in their fitness scheme. More and more doctors are telling their patients that building muscle is good for their bones and here is why. When you resistance train and lift a weight in the manner that will build muscle it makes tiny tears in that muscle and it may cause the corresponding bone to bend slightly. The body says, “hey now, my bones aren’t supposed to bend” and it will send more calcium to that bone, which will then add to the bone, strengthening and thickening it. Having strong and solid bones is a good thing, as we all know.

Over time as we age, the body loses some bone mass so if we have more to begin with, from our resistance training, then when you lose some, it won’t be a problem. It’s an investment, like an IRA, for your bones to weight train. How cool is that?


  • I think it’s a little bit funny too thinking that you can get bulky just like that unless you are predisposed to it. Because I have trained with weights hoping to get bigger at one point in my life and it didn’t work for me. Maybe I was not eating enough protein and carbs but anyway, it got me in great shape regardless.

    I didn’t know though that weight training could help with your bones.

    • Patricia Sullivan
      7 years ago

      Hi Guy, You are right, you can gain muscle and get in great shape but you can’t get very bulky like Arnold without some performance enhancing drugs like steroids. The good news is that you do help your bones when you build muscle! Thanks for your comments.

  • A sound advice – everyone should weight train, regardless of gender. Women want emancipation yet they’re afraid to lift anything heavier than a bottle of water in the gym.

    I simply CANNOT agree more with what you said about bone density. Old people suffer from osteoporosis a lot these days and I’d imagine having thicker bones would help an awful lot for such conditions.

    Besides, resistance training makes you stronger overall which is a positive thing – who wouldn’t want to be more buff than the rest. What are your thoughts on supplements though?

    • Patricia Sullivan
      7 years ago

      Hi Simon, thank you for your comments and question. You are right, a lot of older adults suffer from osteoporosis these days and I believe that is from dietary choices. From what I have read, diary products work against us by making our body more acidic, forcing the body to pull calcium from the bones to neutralize the acid. I try to be largely diary free. Supplementation is useful for some who are trying to gain muscle mass. Most women do not need to take supplementation because we are not trying to bulk up. If you are trying to bulk up your muscle mass, be sure to take a high quality pea protein based supplement to avoid the diary (whey & casein products are milk based). That is my recommendation. Good luck in your journey!

  • Hello,

    I have been an aerobic instructor for most of adult life. I have heard many women make that comment about not wanting bulky muscles from weight training I don’t know any women that’s gotten big and bulky from with training unless they were taken steroids. I agree with you on resistance training. It has many benefits.

    Thank you,


    • Patricia Sullivan
      7 years ago

      Hi Caryn,

      Thank you for your comment and affirmation that women don’t get bulky without steroids! Best wishes for your fitness journey as well.

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