Busting Fitness Myths: does strength training make women bulky?

Busting Fitness Myths: does strength training make women bulky?

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Many women might avoid strength training in fear of becoming bulky.

Fitness expert Tamatha Crowson says the chances of that happening is extremely rare.

"Most women don't actually have the right amount of testosterone that it takes to build muscle mass," Crowson said. "In fact, women have 15 to 20 times less than the average male.  It peaks in your 20s and continues to decline.  So by the time we reach 40 or 50, we're hardly going to build muscle mass at all unless we really, really try."

For someone looking to tone, Crowson says strength training is is way to go. 
"There is no difference between toning and building muscle," Crowson said. "It's the same thing.  I will tell you though.  It can feel like you're bulking up. When you first start lifting weight there can be a period of inflammation and there could also be water retention."

Crowson also says exercise can increase appetite, which makes balanced diet valuable to avoid gaining fat.

"The other thing when you start strength training, our muscles feel different," Crowson said. "They feel tighter. They feel more pronounced and if we're not paying attention we could perceive this just in our minds as bulk."

Crowson adds for those who want to lose weight, strength training is important from the beginning.

Without it, losing weight becomes more difficult, and weight lost could actually result in the loss of lean muscle mass instead.

"That's going to decrease your metabolism," Crowson said. "It's going to make it harder to lose weight.  Weight training can actually make your waist appear tighter. Your butt's going to get more lifted and firm. Your arms and legs are going to be more defined.  I mean it is just so important to do it from the beginning for any person trying to lose weight."

If you have a fitness question for Tamatha.

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