We build strong, phenomenal women. Our athletes are big, little, and everything in between. All of them are learning their own physical, mental and spiritual strength through the power of the barbell, the power of the pull-up bar, the power of the burpee and the power of swapping the timer for the mirror.
It's Myth Busting Monday! Today I am continuing our examination of the bulky woman myth. Specifically, does lifting weights make women bulky?
Last week, I examined what bulky looks like. Bulky is completely subjective. What is bulky to one woman may not be considered bulky by another.
I have been working in the fitness and exercise industry since 1996 and I have seen one indisputable truth, your diet makes you bulky.
I have seen a common trend amongst nearly all women (and some men) when they first begin CrossFit. For many of us, this is the first time we have trained using the powerlifts, e.g squats, presses and deadlift, and the Olympic lifts, e.g. snatch and clean & jerk. It's also the first time we learn about Paleo, clean eating, and that eating fat doesn't make us fat. These are big, new concepts for most of us, and our rate of assimilation may take a long time.
We jump into CrossFit. We start making goals. Perhaps, we get psyched about heavy deadlifts. We dream of our first pull-up. But, we don't change our diet.
At about 3 - 6 months into CrossFit we notice we weigh the same. Our jeans are easier to button, but harder to pull on. And, we start stressing about the immobile numbers on the bathroom scale. But, we don't change our diet.
Here's the hard truth. You can't out-exercise your diet, and yes you might be "bulkier" your first few months of CrossFit. However, it's not the deadlifting, squatting or power cleaning that is making you "bulkier," it's the 2 glasses of wine every night. It's the grains, dairy, and sugar that is making you bulkier. It's the things we eat and drink when "we deserve it." It's your diet that is making you "bulky."
The CrossFit diet prescription is to eat meat, vegetables, some fruit, nuts and seeds, little starch and no sugar. I challenge you to take an honest look at what you eat and drink for the next 3-5 days. Do this now, before the 4th of July! If it's not what you expected, you're not alone! Most of us think we eat better than what we actually do. Try changing just one thing at a time. This week is a great time to start drinking more water. Aim for 1/3 - 1/2 your body weight in ounces of water and see how you feel. Yes, you're going to pee more often. However, your skin and joints will feel better and might be pleasantly surprised at the numbers on the scale. Good Luck!
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