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  1. #1
    Hawaiigirl's Avatar
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    Will low reps make me muscular?

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    If I do 5 sets of 5 reps and go really heavy, am I going to be muscular? I don't want big thighs and that is what I am afraid of. I just want to be toned with some definition in my arms

  2. #2
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    Read this article.

    I hate posting links with so little explanation, but this guy explains pretty well how women can't get bulky, and "toning" (or getting "long and lean") is a marketing word that doesn't actually fit in this reality. You won't get bulky, but you will get toned from lifting heavy weights. Start looking at pictures of Crossfit girls or female Olympic lifters for some examples of what I mean.
    Last edited by jfreaksho; 08-17-2011 at 02:13 PM.

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    iniQuity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jfreaksho View Post
    Read this article.

    I hate posting links with so little explanation, but this guy explains pretty well how women can't get bulky, and getting "toned" (or "long and lean") is a marketing word that doesn't actually fit in this reality.
    +456 Jennifer Anistons.

    The only big and bulky women are NOT natural. If they look like men, it's because they took something to alter their hormones in order to have more muscle-building testosterone.

    Lift 5x5, you have nothing to worry about.

    Question for experienced lifters: If she were to drop to 3x5 would this have serious impacts in hypertrophy? meaning, are her legs less likely to actually gain mass given lower volume, same weight? I'd assume so... but wondering myself now.

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    IcarianVX's Avatar
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    ^^ What they said.

    I wish more women would lift because:
    A) They would finally kill the myth of getting bulky, since it doesn't happen
    B) There would be a lot more hot women walking around. Just sayin.

    As far as the 3x5 thing goes, it depends. The first thing it depends on is what type of muscle fibers are predominant on the person and where they are predominant. The second depends on if the weight is heavier for the 3x5 than the 5x5. If it is, then I would tend to believe NO. Which is probably the exact opposite of what most people would think. The heavier the weights, the more myofibilar hypertrophy (actual muscle building) vs lighter, but more volume, sarcoplasmic hypertrophy which leads to larger "looking" muscles but is due to fluid (sarcoplasma) within the muscle.
    To get the myofibilar hypertrophy, you need to lift heavier weights for less reps but do not go to failure (most of the time). The sarcoplasmic hypertrophy is mostly built using higher reps.
    I learned this by chance in my own lifting and have read several things that sorta back it up, hence the two hypertrophy names that I learned.
    As for Hawaiigirl, I would just stick to the 5x5 as it is not high volume and will get you to your goals. Plus, you will get much stronger much faster.
    Last edited by IcarianVX; 08-17-2011 at 02:49 PM.
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    Apex Predator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iniQuity View Post
    +456 Jennifer Anistons.

    The only big and bulky women are NOT natural. If they look like men, it's because they took something to alter their hormones in order to have more muscle-building testosterone.

    Lift 5x5, you have nothing to worry about.

    Question for experienced lifters: If she were to drop to 3x5 would this have serious impacts in hypertrophy? meaning, are her legs less likely to actually gain mass given lower volume, same weight? I'd assume so... but wondering myself now.
    This.

    Read this book if you want the full story:

    Amazon.com: The New Rules of Lifting for Women: Lift Like a Man, Look Like a Goddess (9781583332948): Lou Schuler, Cassandra Forsythe, Alwyn Cosgrove: Books

  6. #6
    Heidi's Avatar
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    No reason to fear low reps and heavier weight. We women aren't really built for massive Frankenstein muscles. (And neither are most men, for that matter.)
    I'm retraining and strengthening my taste buds, one primal meal at a time.

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    iniQuity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heidi View Post
    No reason to fear low reps and heavier weight. We women aren't really built for massive Frankenstein muscles. (And neither are most men, for that matter.)
    Word.

    =/

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    Owly's Avatar
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    Yeah, the women who actually do get big are either genetically gifted or doing supplements/drugs (and probably both). It's really hard for women to bulk up much. Doing low reps at high weight will help you feel kickass strong, though, which is awesome.
    “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde

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    Quote Originally Posted by iniQuity View Post
    +456 Jennifer Anistons.

    The only big and bulky women are NOT natural. If they look like men, it's because they took something to alter their hormones in order to have more muscle-building testosterone.

    Lift 5x5, you have nothing to worry about.

    Question for experienced lifters: If she were to drop to 3x5 would this have serious impacts in hypertrophy? meaning, are her legs less likely to actually gain mass given lower volume, same weight? I'd assume so... but wondering myself now.
    The only problem is that to many women anything more muscular than say Jenifer Aniston is what they would call bulky ... See Bulky Muscles and Female Training | Leigh Peele for example.
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    IcarianVX's Avatar
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    "The vast majority of women cannot get large, masculine muscles from barbell training. If it were that easy, I would have them. " Mark Rippetoe. And he knows a LOT about strength and training.
    People too weak to follow their own dreams will always try to discourage others.

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