Written by George N. Touliatos, MD
02 August 2022

 DrT 8222 article



Women Who Lift Weights: Will They Look Bulky?


By George Touliatos, MD


Q: Among the biggest myths that has been dispelled in bodybuilding is that weightlifting can make women look bulky. Can you analyze this?


A: Women can’t bulk, as they are afraid of it. As a matter of fact, it’s the extra fat that makes them look bulky. Their hormonal environment is quite hostile, with a dominance of estrogens over androgens. However, in case they manage to add a pound of solid muscle, their metabolism will be remarkably boosted. Plus the body shape and structure improves with wider shoulders that reveal a V-taper and narrow midsection.


Resistance training also improves bone mineral density (BMD) and fights osteoporosis. Neuromuscular conjunction and muscle coordination improve, which provides stability.


A woman who follows resistance training by lifting weights, accompanied by sports nutrition and supplementation, can still maintain her feminine look. Adipose tissue is getting oxidized, meaning that hips are getting tighter and the midsection gets slimmer. Thighs are toned. Shoulders are widening, giving the illusion of the reverse triangle. Frankly, there is no better method of “sculpting” lower limbs than by deep squats and walking lunges. On the other hand, cardiovascular exercise has benefits for the heart and the loss of calories, but not for body structure in particular.


Lifting weights will stimulate basal metabolic rate (BMR) through building skeletal muscle tissue. But most of all, women who lift are not obligated to follow the classic hypocaloric and anorexic diets that runway models do. On the contrary, they can eat a wide variety of macros and a plethora of nutritional choices. After all, low-caloric diets are known to have a negative impact in both basic metabolic rate and menstrual cycle.




George Touliatos, MD is an author, lecturer, champion competitive bodybuilder and expert in medical prevention regarding PED use in sports. Dr. Touliatos specializes in medical biopathology and is the medical associate of Orthobiotiki.gr and Medihall.gr, Age Management and Preventive Clinics in Athens, Greece. Heis the author of four Greek books on bodybuilding, has extensively developed articles for www.anabolic.org and is the medical associate for the book “Anabolics, 11th Edition” (2017). Dr. Touliatos has been a columnist for the Greek editions of MuscleMag and Muscular Development magazines, and has participated in several seminars across Greece and Cyprus, making numerous TV and radio appearances, doing interviews in print and online. His personal website is https://gtoul.com/