I often hear women saying they don’t want to lift weights because they might get ‘bulky’. Or they don’t do spin classes because they will get big legs. I just reply, ‘Am I bulky? Do I have big legs?’ Because I lift weights five days a week and teach 4+ spin classes a week.
Sure everyone is different, and a very low percentage of women can build ‘big’ muscles (unusually high testosterone levels or some African-American women), but most will just get lean and toned.
There is one reason why you might not get the lean and toned look you’re after, it’s DIET.
Here are three simple rules for a general, healthy weight-loss client (these do not apply to endurance athletes or bodybuilders):
1. Eat clean
2. Eat low carb
3. Eat like you don’t exercise
For the last point, I definitely don’t mean neglect post-workout fueling. I mean, don’t consume extra calories just because you worked out that day. An average 60 minute workout may help you achieve a small calorie deficit (which is what you need for gradual weight loss) but it certainly won’t if you eat an extra muffin (400+ cals) an extra beer (200+ cals) or an extra slice of pizza (300+ cals).
In a nutshell, if you’re healthy, exercising and not losing weight: eat less.