Q: I’ve heard that using weights makes women bulky so should I just take it easy with weights?

A: The myth that lifting weights will make women bulky has been around for decades. As such, women often think that they can ‘tone’ their muscles by gently lifting lighter weights with less exertion.

Recent studies have focused on this strongly-held misconception and shown that the average woman will self-select a weight that is only 57% of the actual weight that is required to actually stimulate the body-shaping results she desires.

This fear of bulkiness often leads to low-effort workouts which explains why most women don’t make much progress in the gym and therefore don’t achieve their desired fat-loss and body-shaping goals.

Researchers at Carolina University put female test subjects through an 8 week resistance training program. They varied the amount of weight used per exercise but one thing remained constant across all subjects: they had to push each set to momentary failure by exerting maximum effort.

The results conclusively showed that the women all improved strength, range of motion and also lost significant amounts of body fat. None of the women gained significant amounts of muscle and therefore didn’t resemble anything that could be considered bulky or manly.