January 2020 – by 1Rebel

Busting the myths of getting bulky

Rebels, the Reshape weights need no introduction. They’re a core part of every session and are the cause of a whole lot of burn.

When it’s that time in every session to reach for a pair, what’s your go to? Do you play it safe with a nice pair of 5kgs, or do you get down and dirty with a beast of a weight? We talk to a lot of Rebels who are sticking to the 5kgs because they’re worried about getting ‘bulky’. Ladies, we’re particularly looking at you on this one.

We get it, we know there’s the perception that lifting heavy will make you bulky, but we’re here to tell you it just ain’t true. To convince you you’re not going to be turning into Arnold Schwarzenegger by going heavier, we got the lowdown from one of our legendary Rebel trainers and strength training advocate, Bryony May…

There are huge misconceptions that lifting weights will make you ‘bulky’. What do we even mean by the term ‘bulky’? This in itself is problematic as it’s very subjective. For the sake of keeping it simple though, let’s assume that bulking meanings gaining significant muscle mass and getting bigger.

For someone to ‘bulk’ this would take some serious grafting. Greatly increasing their calorie intake and training specific muscle groups intensely six times a week. So much hard work goes into building a ‘bulky’ physique.

Lifting a heavier set of dumbbells in Reshape a few times a week will actually have the opposite effect. You’ll start to build lean muscle mass and reduce body fat, which will help you tone up as opposed to get bigger. Your overall fitness will also improve massively, your energy levels will increase, and you’ll burn more calories. The benefits really are endless. And to top it off…’ll feel like a total badass!!!

We need to eliminate the fear of bulking.

It’s important to understand that building muscle has far more important functions than just ‘looking good’. From enhancing bone and joint health, increasing mobility and reducing our risk of injury, to improving our mental health or helping us to smash a running PB. Lifting weights has some wonderful perks that you can’t get from cardio alone.

I discovered lifting when I stumbled into CrossFit about five years ago. This was a game changer for me and where my passion for fitness really grew. Suddenly it wasn’t just about training for aesthetics, but it became goal driven.

Strength training comes with a motivation and sense of achievement that’s often harder to achieve with other exercises. Your base line is always shifting up a notch as you start to get stronger and more comfortable with this way of training, allowing you to constantly work towards new PBs.

I believe that having visible motivation is key in finding a workout routine that can become part of your lifestyle and not just a punishment for your weekend antics. Seeing the results, not just aesthetically, but in what your body is capable of achieving, it’s an incredible feeling.

Weight training can sound intimidating at first but don’t forget that everyone has to start somewhere. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Doing a couple of days a week of some form of strength training is a great place to start. Whether it’s a gym session, a body weight circuit or a fitness class.

Next time you step into Reshape try going a little heavier. You want to be going for a weight which feels challenging but that won’t jeopardise your form. Very often in class I tell people to trust their bodies and allow themselves the opportunity to lift something a little heavier or more challenging, and to just take a little more rest between reps if needed.

Embrace your body and trust that you are stronger than you think!!!

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