What is bulky?
Am I bulky? Is Simone Biles bulky? Is Jessica Ennis bulky? What about these CrossFit Games athletes?
What’s the difference between bulky and muscular? Muscular and lean? Lean and toned?
Why is it ok and acceptable for someone or something else to shape your opinion of what too bulky is for you, if you’re enjoying your training?
Followed quickly by the second rant…
Let’s say you consider any of the aforementioned women to be too bulky for your tastes - their body shape is not what you would desire for yourself. Fair enough, again, to each their own and who am I to shape your opinion of what too bulky is!
But take a minute to rationalise…
Do you believe that these athletes picked up a dumbbell one day and their biceps grew exponentially, immediately? Do you think they did three sets of 60 kg back squats and the next day their ass and quads were so large that none of their jeans fit anymore? Do you think that the volume and intensity of strength training the average woman does every day in her CrossFit box or gym is enough to make her body look like this? If you answered yes to any of these questions, that's straight up ignorant and naive. Furthermore, by thinking that, you have completely undermined the effort these women have put in to get to where they are today.
These athletes train at least 3-4 hours a day, 5 days a week. Not to mention the time (and money!) they spend on recovery. They are meticulous with their nutrition and eat A LOT to support that training. They miss out on social engagements and make more sacrifices than you could imagine to develop their bodies into finely tuned, highly trained machines, all in order to achieve the goals they set out for themselves. And it takes a long time.
Calming down, most women I have spoken to choose not to lift, or are tentative to increase the weight that they’re lifting, because they do not want to get bulky, i.e. gain too much muscle. Again, what “too much muscle” means is entirely subjective to you, but know that it doesn’t happen over night, and you have to put in some serious hours and make some difficult choices and commitments to get as muscular as these athletes.
As explained by Molly Galbraith of Girls Gone Strong: