Bulky Muscles for Women? Who's Kidding Whom?
Roger Schwab

This is an article that should never have had to be written. With the fitness, craze hitting gargantuan proportions I guess we should have expected outrage in some quarters. Unfortunately, this subject has gone too far, too fast, and is threatening the entire "guts" of the fitness movement for women.

Somehow, along the way, women have been told, read, or believed that the "wrong" type of exercise (in this case, progressive weight--resistance exercise) would build "bulky", masculine-type ... should I even whisper the word, "muscles". The person or persons who propagandized this physiologically absurd innuendo must have been a super salesman with a personal vendetta against females. The ominous outcome is the evident signpost directing women's physical fitness back to the dark ages. And if the lies and misunderstandings of the female physical potential are continually nourished rather than countered with physiological fact, meaningful exercise for women will die an early, shameful death.

Such a paradox. The only way to maximize results in the feminine physique, to prevent and rehabilitate injury, to possibly retard atrophy in bone mass and combat osteoporosis in the elderly - is being downplayed out of sheer ignorance. And just what is the missing piece to the puzzle? Strength, of course! And the reactionary forces that be lead one to believe that with the acquisition of strength comes - you guessed it - big muscles! Nonsense! If women really were developing these huge muscles from light weight- resistance exercises, the male and female athletes who have been training hard for years would be nothing less than I gorillas, and I tell I you clearly, this has never been nor ever will be the case. It is very, very difficult for, most men, even men who have the potential (high testosterone levels and long muscles) to develop huge muscles. Muscles just do not grow on trees. It is brutally hard to develop large muscles for those who want them, let alone for those who dread them.

So exercise, women, and if you are seeking results - 1. a firmer, tighter figure, 2. a body less prone to injury, 3. improved flexibility and cardiovascular efficiency, and 4. yes, even a stronger physique - then train sensibly. This means train hard; the harder and briefer, the better.

Follow these simple guidelines:

1. If you are exercising seriously and begin to notice "bulky muscles", have a skin fold measurement taken. Chances are that it is not bulky muscles you are seeing but rather too much body fat. There is a big, big difference.

2. Big muscles on women are nearly always the result of either genetics (inherited characteristics) or long muscles (not long bones).

3. Most women, 99 percent, do not have the potential to develop large muscles even if they wanted them.

4. If, by hard exercise, a woman develops some muscle size (which will be, must be minimal), it will probably improve her figure so markedly she will never look back. Smart person! She will have unlocked the key to strength, the final breakthrough to the total woman.