Zionsville Times Sentinel

Commentary

March 21, 2012

Ladies, don’t be afraid of “bulking up”

I love great muscles on ladies. I appreciate how they look, what they are capable of, and how hard that woman has worked to get them. 

I can also appreciate the genuine concern that comes when women are considering strength training. Ladies don’t want to look like men. If you are scared of this as well, read on for some info on “bulking up.”

First, what does your muscle do for you?

• Muscle is the only way you move yourself. Its condition determines your movement options.

• Your muscle is the primary engine that burns calories and allows you to control body fat.

• Your muscles are what provide “firmness” to your body.

• Your muscles, coupled with your hormones, determine your metabolic rate. Improve your muscle and you improve your metabolism.

Hopefully you can see that your muscle is more precious than gold, and that having more of it could be very beneficial. Let’s address the factors that influence how your muscles grow in response to exercise and see if you are at risk of “bulking up.”

Your Hormones

First, testosterone is the hormone that grows muscles. While both men and women have natural levels of testosterone occurring in their bodies, men have greater testosterone levels (that’s what makes them men) and therefore have a greater potential to grow bigger muscles. Ladies, you can’t grow man muscles without man testosterone levels. Feminine hormones develop feminine, firm, strong, pretty muscles appropriate for women.

Your Genetics

Now, genetics can mess with the above rule a little. Yes, some women have a tendency to develop muscle faster than other women. Thank your mom for this, since you can usually look at the women in your family and predict how your body is going to respond to strength training. (Unless they are over-fat, then it’s hard to tell.) Even with this, you are unique and still won’t know exactly how your body will respond until you test it out and measure what happens. I’ve seen people do amazing things with crappy genetics, so don’t surrender due to an unknown variable.

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