The Truth Behind the Bulk, Article and Audio Interview / by Stephen Cooper

Audio interview (About 10 minutes.)


The Truth Behind the Bulk

By Janet Bertrand  

There is one question I receive from women and it is a question I can’t stand. There are days when I don’t hear women say this, maybe even three days in row will go by, but then out of nowhere the dreaded question will be asked.  This question will go something like this; “I don’t want to get real buff, so no heavy weights, Ok?”  I always marvel at this question, fascinated that there are women out there that actually believe that if they lift heavy weights they will get bulky and “too” muscular.  I want to say in return “well I don’t want to be a giraffe so I am going to stop reaching up to look over my back fence!” Although I do not say that, I do explain the misunderstanding about lifting heavy. 

To me the word lifting means “hard A** work. It means that I lifted enough weight for my body to adjust, burn fat, and build muscle.  Yes, BUILD MUSCLE. We women need to get used to saying that and not be so scared. I know that you’re scared of getting “bigger,” right?  Be honest, that is the fear of lifting heavy weights, isn’t it? Let me ask you a question, do you want to burn more calories and have an overall firmer body?  What about losing body fat, do you want to do that too?  If you answered yes to any of these questions then you need to lift as much weight, with good form, as you possibly can handle.  

The more muscle you have on your body the more calories you’re burning, period. A pound of muscle burns 10-20 calories a day. A pound of fat burns 5 calories a day.  Your metabolism is going to change if you have more muscle mass on your body.  I was taught to view this process as “absence of fat, presence of muscle”. It is like taking a plastic sandwich bag filled with pudding – this is a body with no muscle mass. Now imagine a plastic sandwich bag with a cooked chicken breast inside it. Which one would be firmer, more solid and trim looking?  You can not get results like that without lifting heavy enough weights.  

What are some of the other benefits of weight lifting? 

·       Increased Bone Density. When the muscle pulls on the bone, the bone reacts by getting denser in reaction to the weight being placed on it. That’s why if we go back and look at the bones of people who lived in Europe thousands of years ago, we see some very thick fossils. These people must have lifted some heavy stuff on a regular basis, and as a result, they probably did not die from Osteoporosis.

·       Increased Metabolism. As stated before, the more muscle that covers your body the faster your body will burn fat, period.

·       Overall Self Confidence. With the increased fat burning, you will also increase your stability and overall self awareness. You will start believing you’re capable of things. You will start to see challenges as possibilities.

·       Stronger Ligaments and Joints.  Ligaments and joints will strengthen, decreasing your chance of injury. Weight lifting will also strengthen connective tissue and increase the longevity of joints. 

So are you still holding back? Are you still not sure about those heavy weights?  I can see if you do not have the proper coaching how you could be a little scared.  At first, I did not understand it either. Then one day at the gym I met to lady who was a body builder. She was about 5’4, and weighed about 115 pounds of pure muscle. She was so tiny!  She showed me her whole routine and I was blown away. This woman was lifting 40 pound dumbbells and squatting around 350 pounds.  That blew me away!  How could someone so small and LEAN lift so much?  That day I changed my mind about weight lifting. 

What are some your fears? 

·       Getting “BIG.” This concept annoys me, so let’s put it to rest. To get big you have to consume a lot of calories. To get smaller, you have to eat fewer calories. No magic pill, no rocket science. Calories in, calories out. What you put into your mouth will determine how big you are a lot more than anything else!

·       Not knowing how much is “heavy.” I understand this one the most. I can see how it might be confusing. On one hand I am saying lift heavy, and then on the other hand I want you to be safe as well. I would say as long as you can maintain perfect form and you’re feeling it mainly in the area you’re supposed to be working, you’re good to go. Load it up. Make sure you have a spotter to assist you and skilled fitness professional to show you proper form. Then go for it.  You’ll know its heavy when you hit number 5 and it takes all heaven and hell to get to ten!

·       Not used to that “kind” of working out. In today’s society we have instant everything.  We no longer know what truly qualifies as “hard work.” We do not know that level of discomfort and are not used to it. It seems scary and not natural. The sad truth is it is totally natural for us humans. We should be out there pushing, pulling, walking and standing for the majority of the day. The fact that we can now go an entire day and sit on our behinds is actually killing us.  So yes, it should be really hard, that is if you desire to really CHANGE your body!

·       The one specific ingredient that women lackLastly, women lack a very important ingredient for building massive size and without this factor women will always have curves, small features, and be unable to build signifagnt size. That one ingredient is TESTOSTERONE!!!  Women do not produce enough testosterone to build “big muscles.  Enough said! 

So to end this question once and for all, No, you will not be bulky if you lift weights”. In fact you may even be LESS bulky by lifting heavy weights!  As for me turning into a giraffe, well, who knows?  

Janet Bertrand, a personal fitness trainer, started her love of fitness while still in high school. After starting her family and increasing her own personal knowledge of health and fitness, a passion to help other people became a natural next step toward a career. While attending San Diego State University for their personal trainer course, she met instructors familiar with Fitness Quest 10 and their phenomenal reputation. She began her internship at FQ10 in 2003, after receiving her Personal Fitness Trainer Certificate from SDSU and PFT Certification from American Council of Exercise (ACE).