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Will weight training make you too big


If you are a male, and the word weight training equals to getting bulky or too big for you, then this post is for you. First of all it needs to be understood that the term "too big" is relative and different for everyone. For eg my manorexic friend considers a guy who is about 5 feet 10 inches and weighs close to 80 kgs to be "too big", whereas for me that weight for that height is on the leaner side. Similarly some might call Arnold in kindergarten cop to be too big, whereas hardcore bodybuilding fans may say that he is of medium build. So it is really hard to decide what is too big since everyone has a different opinion.

For the sake of this post if Russel Brand or one of the Jonas brothers is someone's ideal bodytype, and anything bigger than that is too big for them, then they are on the wrong site, and I hope that they get their image disorder corrected. Anyways moving on, lets say that you want to weight train and get muscular like say Tom Hardy from the movie Warrior or like one of the guys from the movie 300, then this post is for you.



As mentioned earlier that hardcore bodybuilding fans will always admire huge muscle size like that  of Ronnie Coleman, Dorian Yates, Jay Cutler, and other muscle monsters, and will also train and eat to get as close as possible to them . However most men out there would love to be muscular but not as big as a 280 pound bodybuilder. For them someone like a Steve Reeves maybe more suitable or say someone like Hugh Jackman in the movie X-men origins: wolverine. And while probably all know that weight training is necessary to be that muscular, some have the fear, "what if I become too big"? Of course by big we are talking about big muscles with low bodyfat, rather than big weight and an even bigger belly, A.KA. a fat slob.

First of all, it needs to be understood that in life its not easy to become too rich, too good in any art, too good at sports, too educated, etc overnight and too easily. And certainly you will not become any of that without really trying really hard and making it your number one priority. Similarly if you start lifting weights you are not suddenly going to have 20 inch arms and a 5% bodyfat in a few months without really trying to do so. If you dont believe it then go to any gym and look around for guys who have been training for years. Now among them see how many are too big and have 20 plus inches ripped arms. Chances are that you will find very few, unless most members are full time bodybuilders. And of course you are also likely to meet individuals who have not even put on 20 pounds of muscle despite training for almost 10 years. The point is that, even those who try and do everything right to get too big, rarely make it happen. Its simply not that easy. And as far as getting too big like a Mr. Olympia is concerned, well you will not get there unless you take steroids, have incredible genetics, eat 5000 plus calories a day, and even then there will always be ONLY a handful of individuals who will ever get on the Mr. Olympia stage. 

For the rest of us weight training done naturally will lead to better physical and mental health, and a far better looking body. And if you maintain a diet that does not involve too many extra calories then you will keep the excess weight and fat off your body too. Remember, its lifting your spoon too often that is to blame for being too fat or too bulky, and not the act of lifting a weight. And what about heavy weights? Surely being lean means lighter weights for higher reps, right? No! Lifting lighter weights for high reps, especially when you are starting and are weak does almost nothing to build muscle, improve metabolism, burn fat and make any changes in your body. You need to train with weights that dont allow any more than 12 reps to help shape your body. Remember that weight training is not aerobic training, it needs to challenge your strength levels.

Infact if you are really weak and cant even deadlift like half your bodyweight, then what you really need is some serious strength like the 5x5 type program. And even if you happen to be skinny fat, getting strong will do more to help you get ripped than any met-con or circuit workout out there. So start lifting some real iron and get your lifestyle in order to become more muscular rather than fear weight training. 

And yes, one thing that I must emphasize, whether you want to get bigger or lose bodyfat, you must try and maintain some level of athleticism! Its good to look like an athlete but even better when you can perform like one too. Also, the athletic training will help to some degree in keeping the unwanted fat gain in check so that you do not get that "bulky" look. The ideal form of athletic training will involve some form of jumping, sprinting, rope jumping, martial arts, etc rather than long distance running. And if nothing else then atleast do some bodyweight exercises like walking lunges, bear crawls, burpees, etc to get athletic.




So to recap, keep these points in mind if you fear that weight training will make you too big:

  • Getting too big requires steroids, great genetics, and does not happen easily overnight. Plus all the best Hollywood bodies that you can name (not the manorexics) lift weights, and they dont become too huge
  • Done properly, weight training can make you stronger, leaner and feel great 
  • Keep your food intake close to what you burn each day, and a bit more if you want to build some muscle, and a bit less if you need to drop bodyfat. Avoid overeating too much to keep unwanted weight gain in check
  • Do some form of athletic training to maintain low bodyfat levels and to move better

So forget all the unscientific and impractical claims against weight training, try it and see for yourself the difference it makes in your life.


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