Will CrossFit make me bulky?

Maybe…here’s a step-by-step on how:

  1. Train 6 hours each day
  2. Eat 4000 calories worth of egg whites, broccoli, and protein shakes
  3. Hook yourself up to a steroid drip
  4. And tack on a few hundred bicep curls for good measure.

There you go! Bulky and swole in 6 weeks!

Do you think you just touch a few weights and get big?

If it were that easy, ladies would be able to sell that formula to every guy they know! We could make millions!

One of the most common questions we hear from ladies at the gym is, “Will CrossFit make me bulky?

We’ve all thought it at some point. Some of us (including me) have wondered, or worried, what our friends and significant other would think if we started looking too burly in our fancy dresses.

What exactly is “bulky” anyway?

Bulky as in: I’m trying to get skinny and I’m worried that I’m going to get bigger.

Or, bulky as in: I am concerned that I’ll build too much muscle and look like The Hulk.

If you’re looking for a “thigh gap,” you’re in the wrong place.

Is your main inspiration to look like one of the girls in the fashion magazines? CrossFit is probably not the right program for you. Maybe she’s born with it…maybe it’s photoshop…maybe it’s a severely restricted diet of cabbage combined with hours of cardio and simple genetics!

Either way, if you’re using someone else’s body (and their genetics) as your goal, you’re going to be disappointed.

CrossFit will NOT make you skinny. It will, however, help you shed the extra weight that keeps you from feeling incredible in your skinny jeans. The movements we do will help you build strength, confidence, and your own personal best body. If you’re naturally very thin, this may even mean you add some muscle and weight to your frame.

“I’d really hate to have a firm, round booty.”  “I’d be really disgusted if my arms didn’t jiggle.”

No Woman ever

Things like squats, pushups, high intensity workouts, and balanced nutrition make this a reality.

A lemon juice and cabbage diet doesn’t cut it. Besides, the faster your legs can run, the more likely you are to nail your next easy, breezy beach, flowy-haired profile pic.

Many of our athletes find their priorities change as they learn what the body is capable of. While many of us set out with a primary goal of “losing weight and getting lean,” the side effects, such as having energy, feeling great, having less pain, reversing chronic allergies/diseases, sleeping better, are also worth celebrating.

More muscle = more calories burned = bring on those skinny jeans!

Even if you are trying to lose weight and slim down, YOU WANT SOME MUSCLE!

Muscle is more dense than fat, and body weight alone is not a good representation of your progress. As you begin to build muscle and reduce fat through nutrition and exercise, you may not lose any weight, especially at first. You will, however, lose inches and increase your fat burning potential. Take a look at the relative size of 5lbs of muscle versus fat–gaining weight does NOT mean you’re getting bigger!

Increased muscle mass leads to a higher resting metabolic rate (RMR) as your body needs to burn more calories to maintain and regenerate your cells and tissues. Even after you’ve finished your workout or if you’ve taken a day off, your body is burning through calories and fat stores more quickly than if you had less muscle!

I’ve seen the ladies in the CrossFit Games… they’re HUGE!

This was my biggest fear when I started…would my boyfriend freak out if my shoulders were suddenly bigger than his? (editor’s note: Wanna get your man motivated to get off his ass and move? Start out-lifting him!)

Plain and simple: these ladies are professional athletes and train as such. They’re in the gym 6+ hours each day and eating to support the muscle growth. Your progress and results will be relative to you–your genetics, your training, and your goals.

The photos and competitions you see reflect elite athletes, at the peak of their conditioning, in the midst incredible feats of strength and fitness. These ladies are admirable for so many reasons: strength, composure, and mental toughness but, again, there’s no comparison in how they train for competition and how we train for life.

You may also be surprised to see that they look pretty dang normal in real life. Imagine my shock when I found out that Miranda Oldroyd, one of the most ripped ladies in CrossFit, is actually smaller than I am.

So let’s go back to that original question: “Will CrossFit make me bulky?” The straightforward answer is a big, resounding “NO.”

Will it make your muscles bigger and more defined? Yes, most likely.

Will that make you look anything more than lean, strong, and healthy? No way.

Bring on the sundresses. Sun’s out, guns out!

Want to learn more about how we help ladies get fit without getting bulky?  Book a free intro using the button below!

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Jay Williams, Founder

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