Friday, December 4, 2009

Strength vs. Bulk

I am a HUGE supporter of strong (physically as well as emotionally) women.  I've been weight training on and off (obviously more off than on, other than recently) for over 20 years.  I love seeing how much heavier I can lift.  More than that, I love being strong.  I can open doors with my arm only ... don't have to get my whole body into it.  And yes, I do tend to be on the bulkier side naturally.  So when I train, and train hard, I tend to look it.

So many women are afraid to train with weights ... I mean train, not use 5 or 10 pounds.  Obviously you have to start light, but then you need to increase the weights you're using in order to build strength and muscle tone.  I know, the standard the response I get from so many women ... "I don't want to get bulky".  Well trust me, you don't have the testosterone levels needed to get bulky.  If you have a body type like mine, you'll get bulkier than someone who has the structure of a model (you know, long, lean limbs).

My favourite example is a local firefighter.  The woman is only about 5'4" maybe, ripped like you wouldn't believe, but not at all bulky.  And strong!  OMG ... she made me look like a wimp.  And I'm not.  But compared to her ... mind you her profession has something to do with it too.

Ultimately you have a lot of control over how big you get ... which the vast majority of women won't if they're just following a healthy nutrition plan, and weight training for health.

But think of the benefits of being strong.  You're more self sufficient.  You can open a door by yourself.  My height probably helps a little (5'7") but only a little.  So I encourage you to pick up a set dumbells (I highly recommend PowerBlocks (pictured above) if you can get ahold of them).

Here's to girl power!

Happy Friday ... enjoy.


  1. In high school I used to throw the shot put, discus, javelin, & hammer(it's the metal ball shotput on a wire string). I used to feel so cool cuz I could do it & had the strength to these things. I felt like an amazon. I think a woman needs to be strong physically. You never know. Good point!!

  2. It's funny, I have always been scared of weights b/c I was worried about getting bulky. I didn't want to have the arms of Popeye or something. Lol. But now with this post I realize that probably isn't the case...I might actually have to try this out. Perhaps walk with weights? Is that a good way to go?

  3. Go Melanie! Good for you. I was never into sports per se but fell in love with weight training in my early 20's.

    Jennifer, firstly, thank you so much for your encouragement on yesterday's post. You are so sweet. Regarding today's post - never worry about bulking up. You don't have the body structure for it, which is good if that's what you want to avoid. Walking with weights is ok, just make sure that they're hand-held weights, NEVER on your ankles ... they can cause a lot of problems. I would suggest that you check out They have an exercise section that shows you what to do. If you can only start with 5 pounds, then start with 5 pounds. We all have to start somewhere. The secret to gaining strength is to increase the weight when 5 pounds becomes easy.

    For both Melanie and Jennifer ... we actually pay a flat fee for 1,000 minutes a month anywhere in Canada or the U.S. Lemme know if you want to actually chat. If not, that's cool too.

    I'm really glad you see me as an inspiration. That means so much to me. I love reading both of your blogs, even though I don't always comment. I don't spend a lot of time on the computer after work ... I kinda shut down in the evenings but when I'm not at work ... look at world LOL

    Have a fabulous day! And Melanie ... good luck with the party.

    I feel like I just wrote another post. Wordy, I know. :)

  4. I have to check my plan and see if Canada is included in my long distance minutes. If so, that would be AWESOME if we could chat!!

  5. Yay to girl power... that's why I've been saying that I'm not a girly girl. I'm so like you. I believe in women being strong physically and emotionally. Although I don't lift weights, but I do boxing.