Fitness
Moderators: melkor


Mesomorphs - women who bulk up. Anyone in the same boat?


Quote  |  Reply

Hi,

 I'm 20 and 5"6 and weigh 148lbs. My goal weight is 125... but concidering to weigh 120lbs I'd have to lose muscle I don't know yet how realistic 125 is.

 I'm one of the body tipes that gains muscle easily, they always say that women wont bulk up if they lift weights, NOT TRUE! I do 3 squats and my theighs bulge.

 Is there anyone else on here like that who is trying to lose weight and work out regularly but avoiding bulking up? Right now I'm running and training for a half marathon, I figure just running won't make me huge. Anyone in the same boat?

84 Replies (last)
I am totally like that!  I hate it!  I'm 5'4-5" and 140 right now (22 years old).  I work out with a trainer and followed his really rigorous diet for a while.  I gained 5 pounds of muscle in 7 weeks (I had a body mass evaluation yesterday).  I want to get down to 130, but I don't know if it's going to happen if I work out so much :(... I have noticed though that if I just do a lot of long distance running and a little weight training I don't bulk up as badly.  Good luck!

I am.  At least I used to be.  I gained a ton of muscle and found out that my hormones weren't balanced correctly (I don't know which caused the other).  Years later I am tentatively doing weight lifting again - but much more carefully.  I am doing higher reps, and I only lift twice a week.  I have heard that it is hard to bulk up if you are eating a calorie deficit, which I think is helping me.  Also, I try to combine my weights with cardio - I do 10 minutes to get my heart rate up high to warm up, and I do 5-10 minutes halfway through to keep my heart rate up.

I don't know which of these things are helping the most, but I have been very pleased to see an increase in strength, and more tone and definition without size increase over the last month.

Also, to warn you women who are working your muscles extra hard, I used to get uneven lumps on my muscles - which I later found out were caused by working the muscle too hard without enough recovery time.

I'm sure some women are better at building muscle than others, but this thread is terrifying. It plays on the fears that most women have about weight training, which they should be doing if they value their health. Do some reading into bone loss; it's not pretty.

If you are really that good at bulking, so much that three squats make your thighs too muscular, I'd seriously consider going into competitive body building or be a fitness model and make a fortune. Guys bust their butts to gain muscle and they are physically built for it. People make their entire careers carefully planning out work outs, supplements and meals so they may have enough muscle to be marketable in the fitness field. Women do some scary things to their body chemistry in order to bulk up like men. Imagine how pissed they are going to be when they find out the women of CC can casually stroll into a weight room and bulk up!

I did a quick search and found this article on the matter.

 

It seems like there are a few different things going on in this thread.

One thing to keep in mind is that "bulk" is relative. Bulky thighs mean something different to someone trying to fit into size 6 skinny jeans than it does to a competitive body builder.

Another thing, after working muscles in a new and intense way they may swell a bit. Muscles retail fluid after activity (I learned this from you, SpirocheteSmile).

But with all of that in mind, I think it's good to share experiences.  

#5  
Quote  |  Reply

True 3 squats was an exageration. And true weight training is important for muscle building to be healthy and most women MUST lift weights, it makes all the difference in their fitness and body health and not to mention they look great from doing it.

 But I wanted to post this for those women who are of the small percentage that do bulk up! Everyone is saying that women can't bulk up and yes, I suppose it's true for the majority, but what of those who do!

For my body goals I am trying to train so as to be lean and slim and not bulky. Which is hard, especially when all workout plans are made for those who need to put on some muscle. I feel like if those of us with this body type want to slim down to a shape that's more lean than bulky we need a different approach and work out plan than the usual recommended plan.

This is a post for healthy fitness plan ideas and modivation for those who are Mesomorphs and want to be fit but avoiding gaining more muscle - because we already have muscle, not because muscle is bad.

I'm not "bulked up" just have layer of fat over my muscles which makes me "bigger".  Since doing heavy weights I've gained weight however I wear smaller jeans -- I do have a waist that can fit into an 8 my hips are size 10's though and my thighs well they do better in 12's but I fit fine in 10s that have some stretch.  Sure I want to be able to fit into the size 8's I have in the drawer but need to work on my food intake also read the article spiro mentions alot on Tnation about the impossibility of building muscles while losing fat -- our bodies will do one or the other.  Its very difficult to build muscles with a calorie deficit.  So I know if I started eating better and losing the fat that is over my muscles I'll be less "bulky" as they say
#7  
Quote  |  Reply
read "escape your shape"

you can google it..it really helped me. I totally believe in doing a routine for your body type, and this book is what that's all about. being 5'1, and a former gymnast, I CANNOT do the same thing that someone taller, and less muscular can do, no matter WHAT anyone else may think! I know my body, and thanks to that book, it showed me things I should avoid. Again, it really helped me!
I'm in between an ecto & meso - but I get muscular very easily. And since I lost some weight recently, you can totally tell when I start bulging. I don't like it b/c I prefer to be "softer" so for about 2 weeks I stopped all strength training. I run or do intense cardio just about every day and that tends to get my legs just right. Now I am working back in my strength training only 2x week, just light, light weights, more reps, concentrating on upper body, core and MAYBE butt & legs if I feel  like its needed.   

Hey, I had this problem too. I'm a bit older at 27 but only petite and quite strong for my size. I started doing weights classes and added weight on frequently and built up muscle really easily, not a lot but it was really obvious on my small frame and as I wasn't getting rid of the fat over the top of it, I was expanding!

What I ended up doing was doing lighter weights and lots of reps and very slowly built up strength. I only did it a couple of times a week too. I also started jogging instead of running hell for leather like I used too.

Try doing things in moderation. Smile

I am a little 'bulkier' compared to most, but I still have a lot of weight to lose (about 30-40 lbs, most of it in my upper body).  Its hard to picture what I'll look like after the fat is gone because my legs are already pretty bulky from exercise/weight lifting.  But I don't think of it as a problem - I want to have defined muscles.  I just don't want all this flab.  There's a girl who goes to my kickboxing class and she's really muscular, and I think its great.  Its funny to notice though that some people who have lower body fat have defined muscles but the muscles are smaller, and others just have bigger muscles.  Everyone's body is certainly different.
#11  
Quote  |  Reply
I do agree that there are some women that bulk up more then others. I am one of them. I used to lift weights with my brothers and my arms got as big as their's and they are over 6ft! However, I found do more reps and less weight worked better. I also found that doing pilates toned my muscles and uses alot of your own weight as resistance. I still use free weights and machines but keep it on a low weight and if you go slow enough and do enough of them it works.

i too am a muscle gainer woman-- i know it's frustrating to hear others say women can't bulk up easily- bc yes, some of us can. I can gain muscle in a week and NOT lose fat even with HUGE calorie defs of over 2000 kcal a day! I only eat lean protein & vegs too! so diet is NOT my issue!

right now- i'm 5'7" and 155 or so- i gained some fat this month from a backpacking trip to mexico- my body fat is low (down from 25% in Oct to 17% now & I WEIGH almost the SAME AS OCTOBER!) but i carry like 90% of my fat in my low low abs, butt & thighs-- and all this is six months into a hard core training regimine-- so i can say this, having tried it ALL at this point- the only way to lean up for ME is to do excessive cardio- running, biking, swimming, elliptical, stepper, stairs, and incline tread- anywhere from 2-5 hrs a day-- and keep my weight training in the afternoon no more than 45mins to 60 mins.

and keep it simple for you-- we all don't fit into a box--  if I could lose 20lbs in 2 months by eating 2000kcal a day and working out 30mins a day 5 days a week like 1/2 the people on here-- i'd be happier than a pig in mudsh*t... but alas, NO... i have to work out to extremes to lose fat-- not to gain muscle! I can roll out of bed and gain muscle! Just not lose fat!

you can gain muscle with a calorie def-- i've done it in 6 months going from 25% body fat down to 17% -- and my calories at certain points have been in the 600 range-- my back & shoulders (esp my shoulders) are HUGE to me at this point-- i can squat more than some guys at the gym! My legs are genetically programmed to knock down trees and you know what? My legs look like trees and always have too! after 2 weeks of increasing my squat weight- i gained an inch in each thigh that was muscle -- NOT fat! So YES -- women CAN bulk up & quickly-- and bulk up means BULK up-- whether hormonal or genetic predisposition- it CAN happen!

 just keep going-- try to find what works-- swimming & running lean me out but I do gain excessive shoulder muscle with swimming and excessive quad/calves with running...

again- cut back on total load weight-- stay at a comfortable weight level with about 10-12 reps for 3 sets so you keep muscle but don't bulk so much-- and run or swim or cardio to your hearts content. Keep your protein up too-- when you have a ton of protein, you tend to be more full and it's just easier if you want to trim fat- you know the evil white carbs just go to fat... stick to veggies and whole grain anything in the morning only if you must. and, i for one am a firm believer in cardio on an empty stomach-- followed by extreme amounts of water/electrolytes-- no sugar tho-- meaning, no gatorade! propel is good!

would be curious to see how it goes for you! keep me posted-- I know exactly what you mean!

 

I gain muscle very easily and I retain it easily too. Lucky ME :) Last year I tried to get my weight down to around 110-113. yeah, that is not gonna happen. I realize that in order for me to be this size and weight I would have to lose a lot of other things besides fat like bone density, and muscle... possibly even brain matter if I were dumb enough to try and get that low again.

But I like the fact that I have thighs that could crush a supermodel.

That being said I feel your pain, Instead of eliminating my weight lifting routine I have added something to lengthen out those muscles and give me more flexibility... so I won't waddle like those over-muscled guys who look like they are so tight that a bicep could snap if he reached to far over his head. I added pilates. I am sure Yoga would be a good option too. But you know I have seen added strength, tone and a smoother form. I would try it might help you!

Ok, here it goes:

I am 27, had a baby 2 years ago and REALLY need to get back i shape. I bulk up very easily. In my lifetime had 4 trainers and all ot them had different approach to my problem. So i know how frustrating it is.

Here is the ONLY thing that helps me not to bulk up (you do it 3 or 4 times a week):

30 minutes heavy/vigorous cardio (STEP aerobics works wonders) broken-up like this: 7-10 minutes of warm-up+Main step-dancing portion+5 minutes cool-down AND stretching!!!

Followed by 30 minutes of "floor work": abs, legs, back, arms. When you do weight, use only LIGHT weights (3 pounds-max), do high repetitions and do them moderate to fast. NEVER slow! because only fast movement + stretching afterwards actually help build that lean muscle that we all want. Try to use weights every other time you work out, not every time. And ALWAYS stretch afterwards (pretty much after working each group of muscles).

Hope this will help someone else, just like it does help me!!!

 

Yep, that's me! I hate it when ppl claim it is totally impossible to be a woman who bulks up with no effort. Freaking Barbie weights (i.e. 2.5 - 5 lbs.)make me look like Madonna if I do more than one strength training session per week. I'm friends with several women recovering from EDs who stare at me with horror when I wear tank tops and shorts (muscle mass scares them.) And, I used to exercise way more then I do now - I discovered that more workouts make me both larger and heavier, which was what I was fighting in the first place!

And I do not want to capitalize on my icky ability to be huge - I hate it :(

I had no idea that there were so many women on CC with such out of whack testosterone imbalances that they bulk up faster than men. Weird.

 Your frame of reference is off, apparently. So let's do a visual.

Muscle Bulk. Also muscle bulk. And there's muscle, under all that bulk.

Not muscle bulk. Also not muscle bulk. And not muscle bulk either

 Of course, if your frame of reference is Masha Tyelna or some other living skeleton then you're more likely to believe that what a normal woman looks like is "huge", but that's a problem with your frame of reference, not your body.

Okay, I grant you Iris Kyle as an example of muscle bulk, but she has more steroids than any three pharmacies runing through her at any given moment.

 So don't do steroids and don't eat like it's your job, and you won't bulk up.

Good grief that model was scary skinny!

I have unusually high testosterone levels for a woman.  It sucks in many ways, believe me.  But even I'm not bulking up doing NROLFW (only three weeks in - but I did some other as-heavy-as-I-could lifting for most of the summer).  Based on my spreadsheet and bodyfat% calculated from height/waist/hip/neck, I've only gained 3 pounds of muscle since July 1 (was up to 5 pounds muscle gained in Sept. but have since dropped 2 of them as the newbie effect wore off) - and it's really not visible at all, other than looking slightly more "toned" (which I think is more from losing fat over the muscles than anything else).  

Are you guys sure you're not just seeing muscles retaining water (as they'll do for the first couple of weeks of a new workout routine - but it goes away after that)?

Original Post by iamme1270:

i too am a muscle gainer woman-- i know it's frustrating to hear others say women can't bulk up easily- bc yes, some of us can. I can gain muscle in a week and NOT lose fat even with HUGE calorie defs of over 2000 kcal a day! I only eat lean protein & vegs too! so diet is NOT my issue!

right now- i'm 5'7" and 155 or so- i gained some fat this month from a backpacking trip to mexico- my body fat is low (down from 25% in Oct to 17% now & I WEIGH almost the SAME AS OCTOBER!) but i carry like 90% of my fat in my low low abs, butt & thighs-- and all this is six months into a hard core training regimine-- so i can say this, having tried it ALL at this point- the only way to lean up for ME is to do excessive cardio- running, biking, swimming, elliptical, stepper, stairs, and incline tread- anywhere from 2-5 hrs a day-- and keep my weight training in the afternoon no more than 45mins to 60 mins.

and keep it simple for you-- we all don't fit into a box--  if I could lose 20lbs in 2 months by eating 2000kcal a day and working out 30mins a day 5 days a week like 1/2 the people on here-- i'd be happier than a pig in mudsh*t... but alas, NO... i have to work out to extremes to lose fat-- not to gain muscle! I can roll out of bed and gain muscle! Just not lose fat!

you can gain muscle with a calorie def-- i've done it in 6 months going from 25% body fat down to 17% -- and my calories at certain points have been in the 600 range-- my back & shoulders (esp my shoulders) are HUGE to me at this point-- i can squat more than some guys at the gym! My legs are genetically programmed to knock down trees and you know what? My legs look like trees and always have too! after 2 weeks of increasing my squat weight- i gained an inch in each thigh that was muscle -- NOT fat! So YES -- women CAN bulk up & quickly-- and bulk up means BULK up-- whether hormonal or genetic predisposition- it CAN happen!

 just keep going-- try to find what works-- swimming & running lean me out but I do gain excessive shoulder muscle with swimming and excessive quad/calves with running...

again- cut back on total load weight-- stay at a comfortable weight level with about 10-12 reps for 3 sets so you keep muscle but don't bulk so much-- and run or swim or cardio to your hearts content. Keep your protein up too-- when you have a ton of protein, you tend to be more full and it's just easier if you want to trim fat- you know the evil white carbs just go to fat... stick to veggies and whole grain anything in the morning only if you must. and, i for one am a firm believer in cardio on an empty stomach-- followed by extreme amounts of water/electrolytes-- no sugar tho-- meaning, no gatorade! propel is good!

would be curious to see how it goes for you! keep me posted-- I know exactly what you mean!

 

um, maybe my frame of reference is off, but iamme, i would not consider you bulky at all. where's the bulk? yes, your muscles give you a nice shape but bulky???? and i am not talking about your pics when you are flexing, but the ones on the beach in your bikini. flexing does not count as i know i look different flexing.

the only thing is, if you have a high enough percentage of body fat, you can't really tell if you bulk up with muscle that easily until the newbie gains & water retention are over & you have a low enough body fat to actually see your muscle.

Women with alot of muscle and alot of fat may look bulky .... but the problem there is the fat not the muscle.

Some women gain muscle easier than other's it's true, but i've never seen a lean woman not on seroids get really bulky, besides getting bulky is a choice even for men with ALOT of testerone it takes months and years of dedicated hard work to get big!!!

what you might see happening it water retention in the first few weeks you can retain alot of water, and there is the whole "newbie gains" issue ... but trust me what might seem like rapid gains in the first few months slow's down to an unbarable crawl far too quickly.

Besides you can lift till you get as "big" as you want, then focus on "maintaining it" making muscle gains requires WORK ... you need the right food, the right workout it doens't happen by accident.  People don't "stop" lifiting when they get to the size they want, they just feed and train differently.

 

 

 

 

84 Replies (last)
Recent Blog Post
After many unsuccessful attempts, Kafination took a good look at herself and realized that enough is enough. Despite multiple stressors, she made herself a warrior and battled through a long, hard journey, which was worth every minute. She is now 150 pounds lighter, with a new outlook on life and trying things she'd never thought of doing before.  

Continue reading...