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your look ● ﬁtness Avoid the Incredible BULK Lifting weights will not make you ‘big and bulky,’ so much as it will give you valuable and healthy muscle for an amazing body T he primary concern a lot of women have when it comes to weight training is: “I don’t want to get big or bulky.” Well, I hate to be the one to break it to you, ladies, but it’s not the heavy weights that will give you a bulky appearance—excess body fat is the main culprit. Period. It’s no surprise that this is still the most common female strength training myth, and many women are hesitant to lift heavy weights because this myth is so prevalent. Fre- quent, progressive heavy weight lifting with basic com- pound exercises do not make women big ‘n bulky. Bottom line—progressive strength training helps women build the bodies they truly want, and it helps increase self-conﬁ- dence, which is an incredible bonus. After a few weeks of weight training, you’ll love the physical and mental results you achieve. Now you may be saying, “I have seen some fe- male bodybuilders who are very muscular and look similar to men in their build. They work out with weights and they’re bulky, right?” YEAH, WHAT ABOUT THE FEMALE BODYBUILDERS? The real reason they look big ‘n bulky is they are likely using testosterone-boosting supplements, exogenous testosterone injections and/or other anabolic steroids. When women use exogenous testosterone/steroids they may show signs of hair growth on the face and chest, in- creased muscle mass, a redistribution of body fat from a fe- male pattern of storage to a male pattern of storage, deepening of the voice, and other effects. The point of say- ing this is that unless you are on exogenous testosterone or other anabolic steroids, you will not become big and bulky from lifting weights. 86 PAGEANTRY HULK SMASH: If you've been avoiding weights because you think that building muscle means that you'll look like a “She-Hulk,” think again. Bodybuilders spend many hours in the gym lifting extremely heavy weights and eat a very strict diet that promotes muscle gain. The average person's workout and diet plan doesn’t result in the same effects... plus, She-Hulk is green and has gamma irradiated blood. This is not to say that you will not gain any muscle—you will—but you will not gain muscle like a man. Instead, you will become toned and shapely. Women are nearly inca- pable of developing massive amounts of muscle even when they are lifting heavy weights. TESTOSTERONE’S TERRITORY The hormone testosterone is accountable for the large increases in muscle mass you can see when men lift weights. Women’s testosterone levels are a fraction of men’s testosterone levels. Normal testosterone levels in men are 200-1200 ng/dl, while 15-70 ng/dl are normal in women. Evidentially, men’s testosterone levels are signiﬁcantly higher than women’s. The difference is so substantial that even if a man is at the lowest end of the men’s normal testosterone range (200 ng/dl), he still has more than twice the amount of testosterone as a woman at the high end of the women’s normal testosterone range (70 ng/dl). If we look at the median or mid-range testosterone lev- els in men and women, men = 700 and women = 42.5. So on an average, men have 16.47 times more testosterone than women. It is clear that women do not have the hor- monal support (testosterone) to gain muscle mass like men. Therefore, the fear of becoming big and bulky and looking like She-Hulk is unwarranted. Trust us, these female body builders did not get that big overnight. For a female to attain the results of a massive FITNESS continued on page 114