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Bulking Up with Weights
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PhoebesMeow
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Wed May 17, 2006 1:53 pm      Reply with quote
Have you ever bulked up while weight training (specifically in the legs)? There's so much contradictory information out there about weight training that I'm really unsure what to believe. Callanetics says it's bad, The Firm says its Good... I recently ordered a book on Ebay called "Escape you Shape" which says its bad (the book hasn't come yet though so I don't know the details). I don't know what to believe! I haven't been working out with weights long enough to know first hand either. I do like working out with weights because I can feel it the next day. Sometimes it feels like when I do my pilates I get through it rather easily and I never feel it the next day. Have you ever bulked up with weights either on purpose or accidently? Where you on a high protein diet? What were the weights you were lifting? I prefer not to bulk up, I'd rather my legs get smaller from working out than larger.. does anyone have any first hand experience with this?

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TheresaL
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Wed May 17, 2006 2:35 pm      Reply with quote
I lifted weights for about 2 years. I used free weights and was very consistent with my workouts. I did not use very heavy weights but I also used more than light weights. My muscles got stronger and more defined but I would not say that they bulked up. I would have described myself at the time as being in shape but not muscular.

I have heard that very few women have the genetics to really bulk up from weight lifting and from what I observed myself I would be inclined to believe this.
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Wed May 17, 2006 9:52 pm      Reply with quote
TheresaL wrote:
I lifted weights for about 2 years. I used free weights and was very consistent with my workouts. I did not use very heavy weights but I also used more than light weights. My muscles got stronger and more defined but I would not say that they bulked up. I would have described myself at the time as being in shape but not muscular.

I have heard that very few women have the genetics to really bulk up from weight lifting and from what I observed myself I would be inclined to believe this.


I am this way as well (when I WAS working out!). I definetely got defined. However, that being said, genetics really play a role in how you put on the muscle. With me, I'm short - I can't over do it because I DO bulk up easily. I stick with low weights (8-15 lbs for me) and don't go any higher. I also do high reps. Just so you know, 15 lbs would be for shoulder work only not biceps!!

For legs, because most people have a much stronger lower body, you could do leg presses at 80-140lbs with no problems. Lunges are great for legs. So are squats. Remember to do calf raises if you want to work out your legs, otherwise you'll look unbalanced!!

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Candy8865
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Wed May 17, 2006 11:18 pm      Reply with quote
Ah! Finally a subject I know something about!

I have been weight training for about 10 years now. Have chickened out 2x on doing fitness competions. I am thisclose to having my certification, but I have been doing personal training (mostly for women, but some men too) for about 7 years.

Rule of thumb is - if you want to 'bulk' (poor term for this, but you know what I mean) you lift heavy weights/low reps. If you are looking to lean out - low weights/high reps. Now of course the rule of thumb is just that, every persons body responds differently to weight training. Pilates in conjunction with the low weight/high reps is a great combo for leaning.

Definition (not bulging muscles, which BTW is extremely difficult for a woman to do, clean) is very attractive in my opinion. I can dig out some of my leg routines if you're interested. Off the top of my head lunge walks & squats w/ a step board & 3-4 risers on each side will have you pleading for mercy 2 days later Bad Grin (a favorite of mine for new clients, cause I'm mean like that, lol) and will strengthen your legs in ways you can't get from a stationary machine.

High protein diets (Atkins type) are not the route to go. Yes - you definitly need more protein and less fats & carbs, but the proteins need to be healthy choices & keep in mind, Your body needs carbs (fuel) & fat (lubrication, in essence) to perform properly. You need to 'feed the machine'!

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Thu May 18, 2006 1:08 am      Reply with quote
Candy8865 wrote:
I can dig out some of my leg routines if you're interested. Off the top of my head lunge walks & squats w/ a step board & 3-4 risers on each side will have you pleading for mercy 2 days later Bad Grin (a favorite of mine for new clients, cause I'm mean like that, lol) and will strengthen your legs in ways you can't get from a stationary machine.


ooh, Candy, please do share!!! i've been doing pilates, yoga, and ballet, but really need to work on my strength. can't find a gym here to save my life, but i do have a full set of weights.
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Thu May 18, 2006 1:49 am      Reply with quote
Yes, Candy, please do share! Wink

and do you have any definition workouts for the arms and upper body?

Ever since becoming an "ex-athlete"- meaning I do not train for competitions anymore... (I wish to get back into this soon....)- I tend to feel kind of lost in the gym b/c I don't have an official workout given to me by a strength trainer or coach. As the "Ex-athlete" that I am, I just try to keep in shape and keep the core of my body strong to support my back. But this is not working so well b/c if I am not sure about what I am doing I tend not to do it. (Does that make any sense at all?) Another contributing factor of my not being in the best shape is that I also enjoyed working out with my teammates. I don't do to well in solo workouts unfortunately...

My goal is also to get into Pilates. And another goal is that I want to learn a martial art. Would love to be able to defend myself using my body as my only weapon.

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stardust
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Thu May 18, 2006 5:45 am      Reply with quote
I'll second the request for upper body and arm exercises. The ultimate goal would be muscles like Linda Hamilton's in Terminator 2 Laughing, but I don't think I could manage the time and effort required.
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Thu May 18, 2006 6:26 am      Reply with quote
I've been lifting for years and recently got into Triathlon/marathon training and agree that there is a LOT of mixed messages regarding weight training for women!

For starters, people lift weights for different reasons, and many articles are geared towards men. You can lift weight for power (high weight, 2-6 reps), to build muscle (high weight, 10-15 reps) or build muscle endurance (lower weight, 15+ reps.

Bulking is a common myth for women and weight lifting. First, women don't have the testosterone to "bulk" like men and second, women who do look "larger" either take something to achieve that or are genetically prone to "building" which is a small, small minority of women.

However, to get the "toned" look women want, it is essential to BUILD muscle (higher weight, 10-15 reps). Technically, you can't "tone" muscle. When people refer to being tone, they mean having muscle and littel body fat, which allows you to appear more defined. You either build muscle or you don't. You can't "tone" a muscle. While some professional bbers will incorporate lower weight/higher reps, they usually do so to mix things up, and hit smaller muscle groups, but it doesn't build muscle.

High weight also simply means you are lifting enough weight so that when you reach the 10th rep (out of say 12) you are fatiqued. It's not to the point of pure exhaustion. When you do this, you are creating micro-tears in the muscle which then rebuild themselves (creating more muscle) during rest. that's why you should also skip at least a day in between working the same muscle groups, because muscle and strength is increased during rest, not during your actual workout.

While many people are afraid of muscle, think of it this way, muscle is much more compact and dense than fat. SO a person who weighs 130 but had little body fat and decnet muscle, will look "toned" whereas the same 130lb person with higher body fat, little muscle, looks flabbier (can't think of a better word!). I once saw a picture that compares 1lb of fat to 1lb of muscle and WOW, there's a huge difference--I'll see if I can find it.

SO please don't be afraid to lift. yes, heavy to you may just be using your body weight for now, but eventually you'll get stronger and need to lift heavier and get the same effect and keep seeing improvement.

I hoep I'm not coming acrosss as an idiot or know-it-all, or going against what anyone has said, but I've been doign this awhil now, and have trained with a former Mr. Ohio, Marie Kudla (professional bb-er) and her coach. Listening to them has helped me tremendously and using weights with my enduarance activities has made me stronger and faster!

Good luck!
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Thu May 18, 2006 6:28 am      Reply with quote
sorry--1 more thing!

Stardust, it doesn't take that much time. If you lift just 3-4 days a week for 30 mins and do cardio for 30 mins 5 days a week you'll see incredible changes in just weeks I promise (as long as diet is there--that's a HUGE part!)

You can do something like:

Day 1: Back/Bi
Day 2: Chest/Tri
Day 3: Legs
Day 4: Shoulders/Abs

3 exercises for larger body part (chest/back) and 2 for smaller (bi/tri)

I'd be happy to recommend some if you'd like!
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Thu May 18, 2006 7:01 am      Reply with quote
DiverChick wrote:
I hoep I'm not coming acrosss as an idiot or know-it-all, or going against what anyone has said, but I've been doign this awhil now, and have trained with a former Mr. Ohio, Marie Kudla (professional bb-er) and her coach. Listening to them has helped me tremendously and using weights with my enduarance activities has made me stronger and faster!



DiverChick you do not sound like an idiot or a know-it-all. Great explanation!!
PhoebesMeow
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Thu May 18, 2006 7:05 am      Reply with quote
Candy, I didn't know you were into weights! I mentioned to you about cellulite and my new workout regime against it remember... Well the reason I posted this top was because of that. I read numerous reviews that The Firm's Standing Legs is one of the hardest (if not the hardest minus Cathe) for lower body work. Many reviews have even claimed it obliterated any cellulite they had in their lower body within 10 workouts. Now I've tried tons of creams and body wraps and the such but I've had cellulite since I was 12! And I was really thin back then! I'm not overweight now but I still have cellulite. I decided it was time for some old fashioned grueling exercise to get rid of it. So I got out the Standing Legs video (already had it in my collection just was never able to get through it), which I might add is VERY HARD! A reviewer on Amazon mentions how it makes you almost throw up its so hard! But in the name of getting rid of cellulite I decided to give it a chance. 10 workouts may take me over a month, I'm aiming for 2-3 a week. I've done 2 so far. The first time I did it I couldn't get up off the toilet without screaming and forget walking up and down the stairs. The second time surprisingly I was fine! I'm in pretty good shape already though so I imagine it would be a lot harder for someone just beginning to get in shape. So yeah.. I'm using two ten pound dumbells to do the squats and lunges. It's about 45 minutes long so I'm guessing thats low weights high reps. I measured my legs before and I'm going to closely monitor during and after because I feel like I bulk easily and my legs are already big muscularly. I want them to LEAN out! And I want NO cellulite! Haha.. is that too much to ask?
Candy what is a step board & 3-4 risers? I use a stepper that's about 9 inches tall. Its the tallest I've got Sad Is that good enough? So basically my question stemmed from wanting to know if the particular workout in The Firm's Standing Legs would bulk my legs...

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Thu May 18, 2006 7:40 am      Reply with quote
PhoebesMeow wrote:
Candy what is a step board & 3-4 risers? I use a stepper that's about 9 inches tall. Its the tallest I've got Sad Is that good enough? So basically my question stemmed from wanting to know if the particular workout in The Firm's Standing Legs would bulk my legs...


Not having any knowledge of this workout program I really couldn't say but my 1st thought would be no, it wouldn't 'bulk' your legs. To bulk, as I said earlier & DiverChick reinterated is SO difficult to do as a woman cleanly (without the use of steroids, etc). I regularly squat my body weight and a myriad of other exercises and I have never bulked. My legs are defined and strong and unfortunately yes, I do still have cellulite. Not bad, but it's there.

Step board is Image the top is the step - the purple things on the bottom are risers. You add more to intensify the workout.

It sounds like what you're using is just fine. Just keep at it. You may not rid yourself of the cheezy thighs, but you can make it less noticable & feel alot better physically too!!

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Candy8865
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Thu May 18, 2006 7:42 am      Reply with quote
DiverChick wrote:
I hoep I'm not coming acrosss as an idiot or know-it-all, or going against what anyone has said, but I've been doign this awhil now, and have trained with a former Mr. Ohio, Marie Kudla (professional bb-er) and her coach. Listening to them has helped me tremendously and using weights with my enduarance activities has made me stronger and faster!

Good luck!


LOL - seems to me we said the same thing essentially, you just said it much better than I Laughing

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Thu May 18, 2006 7:53 am      Reply with quote
Very Happy

I don't think I said it better--I guess I just remember being so incredibly confused before and until someone spelled it out for me, I didn't trust them!

So when are you going to compete? Wink Fitness, not figure correct? I always loved watching the fitness competitions!

I recently hit the tri bug, but maybe in the future! Shock
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Thu May 18, 2006 7:55 am      Reply with quote
amnis wrote:

My goal is also to get into Pilates. And another goal is that I want to learn a martial art. Would love to be able to defend myself using my body as my only weapon.


Excellant goals - so why not get movin??? Martial arts training is excellant for the 'core' workouts you mentioned.

I think the hardest part for anyone is just getting in there and doing it. The stress comes from the 'I'll do it tomorrows'.

And I do know what you mean about the not being sure so just don't do anything. Start off simple. Do what you know. You will pick things up along the way. Because I'm getting older and my metabolism doesn't co-operate like it once did I have found (for myself) that resistance training with little or no weight has been the most beneficial for me to lose body fat. Alot of lunges, crabwalks, step-board squats and various positioned push ups has worked really well. And those you can do anywhere, no gym required.

And finally, if you find you do better working out with someone else - find someone. Family member, friend, even at your local gym. I have met & worked out with some really cool people that I just approached at the gym.

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Thu May 18, 2006 8:00 am      Reply with quote
DiverChick wrote:
Very Happy

I don't think I said it better--I guess I just remember being so incredibly confused before and until someone spelled it out for me, I didn't trust them!

So when are you going to compete? Wink Fitness, not figure correct? I always loved watching the fitness competitions!

I recently hit the tri bug, but maybe in the future! Shock


LOL - yes it WAS fitness not figure. I'm tooooo long in the tooth for that now (41 comin up quick!, yipes!!!)

I SO admire triathletes and marathoners. I have never been a runner. I can chase a bad guy for a few blocks & still flip a fence or 2 while doin it, but to run for no other reason than to run....not for me. LOL - guess I'm more like they greyhounds at the track, got to have that bunny to chase Rolling Eyes Laughing Though don't think anyone would ever accuse me of having the speed of a greyhound, bassett hound maybe......

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Thu May 18, 2006 8:06 am      Reply with quote
Very Happy

I actually don't like running much either. Then, this time last year, I made an off comment to someone that I wished I could run a marathon and they rolled their eyes at me, like "yeah, right."

So I'm running my first this Sunday. Wink

Yes, like a basset hound, but guess who I'll be calling first when I finish? Laughing
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Thu May 18, 2006 8:14 am      Reply with quote
stardust wrote:
I'll second the request for upper body and arm exercises. The ultimate goal would be muscles like Linda Hamilton's in Terminator 2 Laughing, but I don't think I could manage the time and effort required.


LOL - wouldn't we all!! Truth be known, yes she worked out and hard but the majority of what you saw was the result of a tight clean diet.

Diver added a easy 4 day routine to this thread. Remember - you do not need a gym or free weights.

Your own body weight for push ups & pull ups as an example. For smaller muscle groups I always started my clients off with exercise bands. I 1st was introduced to them while re-habbing from my 1st shoulder surgery. You wouldn't think pullin a giant rubber band could do much, HA! - I've nearly maimed myself with those things.

You can find these everywhere now (my PT is so happy cause now I don't bug him anymore for more). Even simple things like a can of beans or soup from the kitchen can be used for upper body work. Have kids? I use my Jake for leg lifts & ab work. He thinks it's a game and I get a pretty decent workout.

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Thu May 18, 2006 8:21 am      Reply with quote
DiverChick wrote:
Very Happy

I actually don't like running much either. Then, this time last year, I made an off comment to someone that I wished I could run a marathon and they rolled their eyes at me, like "yeah, right."

So I'm running my first this Sunday. Wink

Yes, like a basset hound, but guess who I'll be calling first when I finish? Laughing


Go get em Girl!!! So proud of you! Oh, I do have a friend who is a marathoner (yes, I think she's nuts) swears by the little Power Gel packets. Nectar of the Gods she calls em, lol. Apparently it gave her the boost she needed for the Chicago Marathon this last October. Also - she keeps Atomic Fire Balls (the red-hot jawbreakers, you know what I'm talking about?) in her shorts. Says it helps to keep her mouth from drying out while running. I take a Fitness Test every every for the Department for the $300 bonus check and use the Fireballs while doing the mile & a half run, it does help.

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Thu May 18, 2006 8:21 am      Reply with quote
DiverChick is used to run and loved it!! I even wanted to run a marathon but had to give up that goal when I found out I have arthritis in my one knee. I think that my love of running would have made training for a marathon bearable. How did you endure all the training when you don't really like running? I know training for a marathon takes incredible discipline no matter what but I would think that you must have tremendous discipline to stick with it when it is not somehthing that you love.

Good Luck on Sunday!!! Let us know how it goes.
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Thu May 18, 2006 9:15 am      Reply with quote
Candy8865 wrote:
I can chase a bad guy for a few blocks & still flip a fence or 2 while doin it,


Laughing I love it!!! Is that an expression or are you a police officer? If that's an expression I'm gonna start using it!

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Thu May 18, 2006 9:33 am      Reply with quote
PhoebesMeow wrote:
Candy8865 wrote:
I can chase a bad guy for a few blocks & still flip a fence or 2 while doin it,


Laughing I love it!!! Is that an expression or are you a police officer? If that's an expression I'm gonna start using it!


I am a police officer - but please...feel free to use it! Laughing

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Thu May 18, 2006 9:53 am      Reply with quote
DiverChick,
merde! (that's what they say here in paris and always used to say in ballet as 'break a leg' just isn't appropriate Very Happy ) i did the same thing with cycling and it was such a rush when i finished my first long ride/race. (i personally swear by Jolly Ranchers, vanilla Gu gel, and god bless CamelBack.)

stardust,
Candy is right. the only time i had linda hamilton arms was when i had very low body fat. i was rockclimbing at the time and doing a great corrie everson tape for arms and shoulders, but the biggest difference was the body fat.

so, officer Candy???
we're all eagerly awaiting some great training tips from you. maybe you could post them each day so we can all brag, compare, and grumble about your gestapo tendencies and feel like we've been working out amongst friends.... Laughing internet exercising.
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Thu May 18, 2006 10:16 am      Reply with quote
I love internet exercising! Very Happy

Hey, just a quick thanks for the support--love the fireballs idea--I used to eat those everyday!

Yes, I hate running, but love triathlons and actually running AFTER a bike ride! GO figure.

My ultimate goal is Ironman July 07, so running the marathon is just a mental push, because with IM training, you don't run more than 2.5 hours in trainng, but still have to do a full marathon. I may regret this Sunday!
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Thu May 18, 2006 7:37 pm      Reply with quote
To DiverChick, Candy8865 and La Vie en Rose - thanks so much for all your great suggestions. I'm going to print them out for future reference. Very Happy
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