T Nation

Can women really get huge naturally?

Here is something that has been bothering me for a while and i am about to vent. I am sick of women telling me that they do not go up in weight because they don’t want to get bulky. I posted something the other day about trying to motivate people like my mom to workout harder and push themselves. Anyways this one woman said that maybe she doesn’t want to get big(muscular). Thats the same d@mn thing my mom said. Look I seriously doubt any of these d@mn women will get huge by going up in their workout weight. If anything they would gain some muscle mass and there for increase their metabolizm. For starters they are only doing like 20 or 30 pounds on some freakin machine. I mean i believe a woman can get very muscular with years of weight training and good eating habits, and especially the pharmaceutical enhanced. My point is I am sick of women telling me they don’t want to get big so they do the same damn weight and same damn reps and the same damn routine for freakin years then bitch about how they can’t lose weight or how flaby their arms are. So for any women out their that use the excuse they dont want to get big and muscular to get out of busting their ass in the gym I say to you shut up you lazy ignorant fouls!!! Sorry to be mean but things have got to change. Seriously I would rather have a woman with extreme muscularity than some fat ass who looks like she hits the aerobics seen once a decade and calls dieting not eating anything. Time to wise up!!! Anyways I would love to hear what you women have to say to me and any other guys who agree with me. This ought to be interesting.


AMEN preach it brother!!!

That was the best damn thing I’ve read all day, thanks Drax!

Give them my email address. I’ll tell them personally. I have been TRYING to get bigger for over a year now, my weights are decent (I think) but my growth is disgustingly slow. If I can’t get big on purpose how the hell do they think they’ll get big BY MISTAKE! WTF? sorry… BIG pet peeve for me. Really, that’s just an excuse to not work all that hard. My favorite are the women who ‘workout’ doing curls with less weight than they carry around routinely in a day (my biggest cat weighs more than some of these idiots ‘workout’ with!) AAAAHHHHH!

My wife notices the same group of women dressup before their workouts–makeup, tighties and perfect hair. These same will leave their workouts looking the same perfect dressed, Max Factor still in place, to strip it all off and redo it all. Some workout. On the positive side, females use way better excercise form than most males. Never seen a woman sway their back for standing arm curls or other male rotten form.

That girl at work who does everything her trainer says HAS lost a lot of weight since I last saw her in Sept, but I think it’s more diet & cardio that’s done it. She lost all the curves she used to have & probably won’t replace them because her trainer has her doing 3x15 on everything. eg. she does 25lbs on a 2 arm seated press & doesn’t want to do heavier because she’ll bulk up too much & get manly.

as griff would say in married with children,

The winds will come and God will speak. He shall give us the Ten Female Workout Commandments.

  1. Thou shalt not starve themselves.
  2. Thou shall bust their ass in the gym and lift heavy weights no matter how much it shall smear their makeup.
  3. Thou shalt not talk for 10 minutes between sets about f$%king recipes.
  4. Thou shalt not do 10% protein, 60% carbs, 30%fat and become even fatter like my old nutrition professors.
  5. Those who are obese shall not wear tight fitting clothes. (I do not feel like working out next to these women, I’m afraid there clothes could explode off them and kill me!!lol)
  6. Thou shalt not do light weight and 20-40 reps and say crap like I’m tonning up.
  7. Thou shalt not tell me ridiculous stuff they read in cosmo or other bullshit magazines. T-MAG IS THE GREATEST!!!
  8. Thou shalt not do step aerobics and look at the mirror in confusion 4 months later wondering why they haven’t dropped a d@mn inch.
  9. Thou shalt not bitch about being fat and turn around and shove an eclair down their throat.
  10. Thou shalt not do 100 freakin crunchs and wonder why they still can not see their abs. CARDIO AND DIET DUMBASSES!!!

I cant wait for my g/f to get home from work so she can read this one. Thanks for putting it all down for me.

Girls who have no joint or muscle injuries and bitch about how they don’t want to lift ought to be thrown out of the gym forever and sentenced to the life-time eating of low fat/high carb diet consisting of 10%fat and 90% carb and 900 calories/day.

I have knee injuries that get aggravated when I squat heavy or do lunges (mostly throbbing pain or sometimes sharp pain). I’d KILL to be able to lift heavy and freely.

Hi Rob

I have been training with my boyfriend 2 1/2 years now, and I use train like a typical girl in the gym, but now I think I train harder then most guys in the gym.

When I first started I weighed 96lbs at 5"3 and now I weigh an awesome 118lbs and trying to get to 125lbs. Girls in the gym are asking me how I got my butt looking so good and I just tell them from training hard and lots of squats. I love it and I know my boyfriend does too.

I hope this helps!


Laura I am glad to hear that their are some females out their who know what their doing…keep up the good work…and try your best to get into these girls heads that you have to train hard and eat right…good luck…also thanks for all who responded to this…anyone have any additional commandments feel free to jump in…and the guy who said hes gonna make his girlfriend read it…i am crackin up over here…good luck to all…


Well, that d@mn chick you referred to was me, and I don’t necessarily feel the way you think I do. I merely said that MOST women think they are going to get huge and they think that is gross. As a former aerobics/weight/aqua instructor, I saw it all. They came to the gym for one purpose–to lose weight and to tone. That’s it. That’s all. Of course they aren’t going to get huge by increasing the weight. They will look better, but you can bring a horse to water, but…Nuf said. I currently attend a hand weight class composed of mostly women in their late forties and so many of them use at most 2 lb. weights. What the hell? And ya’ they do lift more than that in the grocery bag. But try and tell them that.
But, when some dude asked where guys like to see muscle on women–the only body part mentioned was the ASS. How about nicely defined shoulders and six-pack abs?

I have to give a plug to Laura, since she’s my girlfriend. Her transformation has been literally amazing. When we started dating she was as she said about 96lbs and did the light weight, lots of abs and cardio workouts. She was fit and looked good. However, now at 118, with no cardio and no ab training she is leaner and more muscular than any girl in our gym. Get this – glute ham raises, good mornings, deadlifts, full squats, push presses, she does it all. She’s even gone from a squat of about 65lbs to 205 rock bottom on a 501 tempo. It’s funny how girls in the gym wonder how she’s made so much progress … and then we watch how they train. When a wonman starts training like intelligently and hard, the results and changes to her body can be remarkable.

To the women out there: I say leave the makeup off during the workout. You won’t have to worry about it smearing then. PROPER TRAINING WILL DO MORE FOR YOUR LOOKS THAN MAKEUP!!! I also realized that I get a better workout if I wear sweats and a t-shirt instead of a sports bra and spandex shorts. I finally realized it was my fault that guys were distracting me during my workout. Oh and by the way - I’ll be posting my pics soon. I have been training hard for almost three years and I have much less muscle than I’d like. So much for getting “bulky”. I was bulky when I was fat.

Actually, I did specifically mention shoulders.

I just want to point to female bodybuilding in the 80’s and maybe (very) early 90’s. Look at pictures of Rachel McLish, Cory Everson (still my all time favourite:)) and Anja Schreiner (beware of Bev Francis though). I’m pretty sure these women bust their (cute) asses in the gym and their physiques are about as muscular as you can expect to get without pharmaceutical helpers (though I suspect even they were ‘seeking for aid’ at times). In fact if you take a closer look back at pictures from any bodybuilding contests dating back to the 80’s you will see that “big” women were very, very rare even though their goal wasn’t so much different as it is now, i.e. to get as muscular and shredded as possible.

From Charles Staley’s website:
Strength Training and Female Athletes

by Charles I. Staley, B.Sc., MSS

(Posted 10/15/97)

Traditionally, women have been reluctant to engage in resistive exercise, for several reasons. First, many women fear the possibility of gaining significant amounts of bodyweight, and/or taking on male characteristics. This fear is reinforced when women see their mesomorphic peers in strength and power sports such as weightlifting, bodybuilding, and the throwing events in track & field.

An additional factor to consider is that women, by virtue of their high proportion of slow-twitch muscle fibers and low levels of the male hormone testosterone, are not inherently talented when it comes to strength performance. If you look around the next time you’re in the gym, you’ll see that most men concentrate on strength training, while most women focus on aerobic fitness and flexibility- people tend to do what comes easiest to them, and avoid the fitness components that really need the work.

Nevertheless, while men and women have more similarities than differences, there are several key things to keep in mind if you’re a woman looking to improve your strength preparation, or if you train women as a coach or trainer:

  1. Women often have hypermobile (overly loose) elbows and knees, as compared to men. Women who can hyperextend either their knees or elbows beyond 180° should pay extra attention to the hamstrings and arm biceps (using leg curls and arm curls, respectively) in their weight training program. Shortening these muscles will improve the stability and reduce the potential for injury at the elbow and knee.

  2. Women have wider hips than men in general, which often potentiates tracking problems of the kneecap. In such cases, paying extra attention to the vastus medialis muscle (the “inner” part of the quadriceps which helps to offset the usually stronger vastus lateralis) can go a long way toward alleviating knee pain and dysfunction. One way to accomplish this is through the use of leg extensions, performed only at the last 10 to 20 degrees of extension. Well-designed equipment, such as machines made by Atlantis, provide built-in range of motion limiters for this purpose.

  3. Although few women can gain appreciable muscle mass through weight training, it may surprise many to know that high reps may have the greatest potential to put muscle on the female body. This is because slow twitch muscle (which most women have plenty of) responds best to endurance activities. If you’ve ever wondered why that rowers and kayakers have large back muscles despite large volumes of distance training, now you know the reason. Athletes of either gender who wish to get stronger without getting bigger are best served by low (2-3) repetition sets. A word of caution, however: this type of training should only be considered after a significant (1-2 years) period of work performed in the 6-12 range.

  4. Women who wear high heels are prone to excessively short calf muscles and tendons. Wearing heels prevents these structures from reaching their normal length, which in turn causes a compensatory shortening. If at all possible, bring a pair of low-heel shoes with you, so that you can switch back and forth during the day. In any event calf stretching should be a high priority if you wear heels.

5) Eating disorders (and poor eating habits in general) appear to be at an all-time high among women in Western countries. If you are not eating enough calories (and particularly, the right kind of calories), you simply will not have an adequate support mechanism for proper training. In my experience, women tend to eat too infrequently (I suggest 5-6 meals per day), and when they do eat, too many calories come from carbohydrates, and too little from fat and protein. On the other hand, women tend to do a better job with drinking enough water than their male counterparts.

  1. Women tend to enjoy (and in my opinion, over-do) aerobic exercise, due to their high proportion of slow twitch muscle. If you fit into this category, try to keep aerobic sessions as far away from strength sessions as possible- preferably on opposite days. If you feel you must do both during the same session, perform the strength component first.

  2. Women tend to have better flexibility than men, and spend a lot more time stretching than men. Unless you have a specific flexibility deficit, you’re better off stretching after strength training sessions, rather than before them. This is because most forms of stretching leave the muscle temporarily weaker, which will compromise your efforts in the weight room.

  3. Due to factors listed in point #6, women often tend to make strength sessions more like cardio sessions, my emphasizing high reps, and utilizing short (and often, incomplete) rests between sets. Remember that muscles get stronger by being exposed to high tensions, not by undergoing long workouts.

Finally, it’s interesting to observe that, as women’s sports become more popular, the performance differences between men and women have been narrowing. This may indicate that women are not as physiologically “inferior” from men as many have assumed, but instead, social and cultural factors are more to blame. With the recent popularity of women’s professional boxing, basketball, and other sports, women are enjoying enhanced opportunities in sport. Hopefully, this will lead to greater scientific research and technological advances in female athletic performance.