Bulking up from working out

Q:

Hi bridget! I wanted to tell you that I really admire you. I been working out now for the past few weeks and i've began noticing that my muscles got developed really quickly. I've always been really skinny and musculous, but I wanted to know what kind of workout you recommend me in order to keep my slender figure and not get too much muscle. I like it when my muscles are outlined, but hate feeling that I am growing my body size. Got any advice? It would be of great help! Thank you very much ๐Ÿ˜˜๐ŸŒŸ

A:

Lucky you! It took me about a year of solid work on my muscle mass to gain about two pounds of muscle. Every body is different โ€“ but gaining muscle is extremely hard to do, especially for women, simply because of our hormone levels. However I totally acknowledge the fact that some women have higher levels of testosterone, or more of a mesomorphic body type.

First off I would advise you to keep an eye on what is actually going on. Measure yourself first thing in the morning, and keep an eye on the direction of the measuring tape. That will give you a definitive answer as to whether you are gaining or losing mass. Also get your fat and muscle levels measured properly, and see where you stand there.

I say the above because our views of our bodies are far from objective. What I see in the mirror in the morning can look entirely different by the evening, especially when I have gone through a period of intense training. Also after a hard workout your muscles will be swollen and holding onto some water, which can change your measurements by inches. The main thing is acknowledging this, not getting obsessive with it, and putting your focus on tangible measurements. 

If, after all this you still are feeling like you have too much muscle mass, then I would say stick to cardio based workouts. There is no need to lift heavy weights for you โ€“ do the workouts that reflect the body you want. Run, box, walk or swim combined with some gentle Pilates like ballet beautiful, a reformer workout, or a yoga class. Donโ€™t overthink it!

Working out is extremely important for health and general wellness, but it is a smaller part of the equation for how your body looks โ€“ diet is extremely important. With this in mind I would say keep an eye on your protein intake. I donโ€™t know how you eat, but maybe if gaining too much muscle is a problem for you, you should think about shifting your dietary focus to plant-based foods, with the occasional protein source. As long as you are getting enough calories for your height and weight, you will be getting enough protein. I am yet to meet someone with a protein deficiency that was eating enough!

I hope this helps.

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Peace and love,

Bridget