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From the CFI Vault – Debunking Conventional Myths: Lifting Makes Women Bulky

By admin | In Psychology | on April 15, 2011


I know how people feel about us reposting articles, but lately some women have addressed their fears about lifting making them ‘bulky.’ Therefore, it merits this repost not only for the women, but for any guys that have a hard time selling strength building to their female friends, girlfriends, relatives, etc.

Quite unfortunately, when most people associate women with lifting weights, they immediately conjure up the above image: masculine jawline, orange skin, freakish muscles, and itty bitty bikinis. This is because most of our lives, we’ve only been exposed to the women in the ‘sport’ of bodybuilding who are mostly hormonally enhanced (putting it nicely) to look that way. Since bodybuilders lift weights, people naturally then think that it leads to bulky masculine muscles.

Let’s go ahead and state the obvious:

1. Bulking up requires testosterone levels that women just don’t have. Unless they ‘augment’ those levels, we just can’t get there. That being said, there are plenty of figure models who have beautiful defined physiques.

2. Bulking up (even for men) requires a rigorous diet that involves taking in LOTS of food. Ever see bodybuilders in their every day lives? Almost without fail, they’ll have a giant cooler of some sort that contains heaps of protein that they consume every couple of hours.

3. Muscle takes up less space than fat. As your lean body mass increases so does your resting metabolism, so muscle burns more calories.

4. Muscles = smokin’ hot body. Check out some of the elite CrossFittin women below.  Need I say more? Boys, why don’t you weigh in on this and post your thoughts to comments. The ladies might need a little encouragement!

Jenni Orr

Jolie Gentry (CF Games Fittest Woman 2007)

Nicole Carroll

Now, I’m not going to lie.  You will build muscle.  What this will do for you, though, is give you the best physique for your body type.  Everyone puts on lean body mass differently.  The end result is fitness.  The byproduct is just happens to be beauty.


Yesterday, we said goodbye to Pistol Pete who recently moved out of the South Bay. He has only been with us a short time but has made huge gains, especially earning many nicknames after movements he picks up with ridiculous ease (pistols, l-sits, handstands, etc). We’ll be getting together for a post wod brunch on an upcoming Saturday to give him a proper send off, so stay tuned for details!

Take care, Pete and keep us posted on what other nicknames you earn at CrossFit Pasadena!


WOD 4.15.11

Front Squat 3×3

CrossFit Games WOD 11.4
As many rounds/reps as possible in 10 minutes:
60 Burpees
30 OHS (120/90)
10 Muscle Ups

5 Comments to "From the CFI Vault – Debunking Conventional Myths: Lifting Makes Women Bulky"

  • Scott says:

    April 15, 2011 at 8:24 AM -

    I don’t know who those chumps are at the bottom of this post, I prefer the sexy ladies at the top of the page. I think Ruth is just re-posting for an excuse to put their pictures on the website. This will probably lead to 10 girls signing up who want to look like our CFI Ladies and 10 guys signing up hoping to “pull a Sean”.

    I know Michelle was hesitant to try Crossfit for over a year for exactly this reason. It wasn’t until she went to the CF Games and saw all the beautiful women who do CF that she was convinced to really give it a try. And of course she became one of the most obsessed CFI members.

  • melissa says:

    April 15, 2011 at 8:58 AM -

    ditto scott’s whole post!

    although the girl in the uggs is pretty hot… she’s still no intrepid!

  • Xuan says:

    April 15, 2011 at 10:43 AM -

    Big ups to all the beautiful ladies of Intrepid!…Ruth, Avelyne, Holley, Anna, Michelle, Kathy, Becky, Viv (come back!), Grace, Mercy, Susan, Melissa (miss you homey), Jenna (far but never forgotten), Alia, Steph, Keron, Melina, Tammy, Tamme, Pooja!

    Nice meeting you Pete! Hopefully you stop in some time when you’re on this side of town.

    Just curious, but when is some lovely lady going to come in and “pull a Sean” on Marcus?

  • Jeff says:

    April 15, 2011 at 7:58 PM -

    Thanks Ruth, Sean and the CFI team for a fun week in California. You are a fantastic group of athletes. And your gym is outstanding. I never would have thought that my first muscle up would come from a gym in California while I was traveling for work…Ruth I owe that to you, the muscle up master.

    Good luck to all those participating in the games.

    1. ruth says:

      April 15, 2011 at 8:41 PM -

      Thanks for the kind words Jeff! Congrats on your muscle up and please drop in if you’re ever in Cali again!

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