Will increasing weight make me bigger?

  • As a woman, I have always learned that I should do higher reps and less weight in order to trim down.  When I do BFL, I'm going as high as 25lbs in dumbbells for my biceps.  I'm just deathly afraid that I will get bigger.  Should I increase the reps to 16-14-12-10 instead of 12-10-8-6?  Thoughts?  I have only been doing BFL for two weeks, but I have completed two sessions of P90X.  I toned up quite a bit with P90X, but I didn't lose any weight and very few inches.  I was also doing Weight Watchers while doing P90X, so I know my calorie intake was good.  I'm just frustrated with how hard I work and how little change I actually see.  Sorry for venting...this has been a lifelong struggle for me!

  • That's actually a myth, that more weight will bulk you.  Muscle takes up 1/3 the space as fat so it will actually cause you to be leaner.  For you to bulk up you would need more testosterone because that's what causes you to be bigger and a woman lacks enough for that to happen.  A woman can naturally increase hers by lifting for over 3 hours a day, which you are not.  You aren't even lifting that much per week.  

    Make sure you're dong BFL eating and not WW!

    Jessica Mighty Max ~ 2013 Body-for-LIFE Champion ~ Champion is a VERB!

  • I agree with everything Jessica says.  My wife ended up with better muscle definition but they were actually thinner because they were lean.  Don't  mix and match programs.  Pick one and stick with it. When  you mix and match you create an entirely new program that isn't proven and you are the first person to try it. Why complicate things? Go with something proven, BFL!

  • I agree! I lift very heavy and my body is smaller and tighter all over as a result. My butt has never looked better and I am squatting 195 lbs. I also curl 25 pound dumbells and my husband told me my arms look the best he has ever seen them. Sometimes we equate toned muscle with bigger muscles. In other words a very cut set of arms may look big just because you can see so much definition versus someone who has larger, softer, fat covered arms. When I flex I think my arms look pretty big, but when they are relaxed I think I need to hit the gym harder cause they look so skinny. lol. I personally don't want to look like a body builder either, but I have found to get the body you want, you have to go heavy or go home.

  • Thank you!  I needed some reassurance.  And I stopped WW to start BFL, so I'm good there!

  • Good point.  I'm only on week 1.5, so hopefully this program will actually work for me.

  • When my arms are flexed, I think I look tough, but when they are relaxed, I think they look fat!  So I guess I'm the opposite.  :-P  If I lost the fat, I'm sure I would have the same dilemma as you.  Although, I don't think I would ever worry about my arms looking too skinny!  Btw, that's my new phrase for the week: "go heavy or go home."  

  • Haha.  I got a good chuckle out of your comments. Keeping pushing! The program really does work, but not always the way you expect. There will be days you feel you are making progress and days you think nothing is happening. This program changes you from the inside out. Stay committed and don't get discouraged if you don't see changes in the mirror right away.

  • The only thing that will make you bigger is being in a calorie surplus (i.e. eating more cals than you require).  The only thing weight lifting does, whether lifting heavy with less reps or light with more reps, is to tear the muscle fibres apart.

  • Thanks, marathonmama!  Btw, I just looked at your profile because I really like all the comments you've made, and I can only hope that my before and after pics look that good!  I have 5-6 months until my wedding, so I really hope to have the same results...fingers crossed.  It's also really inspiring to me that you were running marathons beforehand.  I'm always afraid that the people who lose weight are the ones who never do anything, which isn't me.  Anyway, thanks for the laughs and inspiration!

  • Thanks for the compliment! I know how hard it is for people who have been working out for awhile to scale back on the cardio. Very scary. It's not that lots of cardio is bad (elite marathone'rs have no visible fat), but I have found at least for me,  I often justify an excessive amount of calories when I do lots of cardio, tell myself I will just work it off later (even if I don't) or I just feel starving and overeat. Plus tons of cardio does little for tightening my muscles. Congrats on your upcoming wedding! With 5-6 months of BFL training you are going to be smoking! What a great gift for your lucky soon to be hubby!