I’m often asked, given my affinity for telling people to lift heavy stuff, whether or not I’m ever concerned about lower body hypertrophy (muscle growth) in women.
Short answer: no, not really. While there are definitely some exceptions to the rule, I’ve often found that the vast majority of women who complain that they don’t fit into their favorite pair of jeans anymore are more culprits of the two mocha lattes they’ve had every day for the past three years rather than the additional weight put on the barbell.
That said, on occasion, there are instances where I have to make adjustments from a programming standpoint for clients who, despite getting stronger, looking leaner, feeling better, and being infinitely more badass, feel they’re adding too much mass on their thighs.
- The fact is that most women go to the gym for 5 reasons, in no particular order: weight loss, maintaining health, getting fit, gaining strength, and to train for a sport. So my only question, and this might come as a shock, is why are women afraid to lift heavy? The answers I usually get are “It will make me gain weight, not lose it”, and the ever-so-popular “I don’t want to get too big and bulky”. The truth is that women who train with heavier weights tend to have lower body fat percentages, a lower BMI, more energy, lean muscles, and are very happy with their bodies. Don’t take my word for it though, here are a few sites that debunk some of the myths about women who lift heavy weights: Reader’sDigest.com, About.com, and another… Get the picture yet?