The HUGE misconception about working out and bulking up!

Thursday Mar 29, 2012

Working in the fitness industry I get a lot of questions about “bulking up”.  People are afraid to work out because they think that they will gain muscle weight and look “big”.  I figured out one effective way to show those concerned individuals the answer to their worries.  I just say: “look around the fitness center, how many people you see here that are big and buff?” (Usually no one is, besides possibly a few men where their goal and workout plan is to bulk up).  After I make this comment the individual will usually look around the room and agree with me. 

There is a HUGE misconception about working out and bulking up, especially for women.  I can’t stress enough how hard it is for women to bulk up: it requires a lot of hard work, many hours at the gym, and the right diet.  As a matter of fact, it’s so hard that women that do try to build muscle weight will turn to ergogenic aids, or in worse case, illegal supplements. 

So, why is the general population so concerned and confused about the matter? Same reason we are confused and mislead about everything else that we may see in the media.  The fitness magazine buffed cover girls, or the commercials that sell fitness equipment.  I can guarantee you that they did not get to look the way they do by “using an ab-chair for 10 minutes a day”! It took them many hours of hard work and training with professionals to get the look. 

As a fitness professional, I see it as part of my job to address this concern and to try and fix what the media has ruined.  Exercise is good for you in so many ways besides “building muscle”. Do not use the excuse of “I will bulk up if I exercise,” or blame your lack of weight loss on “building muscle underneath the fat” – I’ve heard that too many times!

Try to get at least one hour of cardio three days a week and at least two days of resistance training. I can guarantee you that you will not bulk up, but will get in great shape!

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