Archive for the tag - bodybuilder

Tips for Exercising Without Getting Huge!

Hey Davey,

I’m really on again off again about my fitness. It’s because I gain muscle SO quickly. I’ll work out really solidly for about 3 months and then start looking like a man and back off.

What should I do to prevent myself from turning into a body builder, but still keeping my muffin top on the shelf and off my tummy?


Hey Sarah,

You’re not alone – and your desire to tone without looking like a bodybuilder is one that knows no gender. Many guys are in the same boat. The desire to be healthy and fit without becoming overly developed or huge is both common and achievable.

In general, I advise concerned clients to fear not – and that it actually takes a lot of deliberate and intense training to develop the muscular build of a bodybuilder. It doesn’t happen by accident, and it’s especially challenging for women due to hormonal differences.

In your email, you mentioned that you gain muscle quickly. To prevent this, you can simply change the way you train; your body will respond differently.

Training for muscle growth usually involves a low number of repetitions (10 or under) at high levels of resistance. The last repetition should result in muscle failure – that is, you’d be unable to do one more rep. Moreover, someone looking to build muscle would constantly progress to higher levels of resistance.

Since you don’t want muscle growth, modify your routine to train for definition and strength. Perform a high number of repetitions (10 or more – try 15!). Since you’re doing more reps, you’ll obviously need a lighter weight. If you’re satisfied with the amount of muscle on your body, then there is no need to progress to heavier weights or higher levels of resistance. And because you’ll be staying at one set level of resistance, you’ll probably find that you’re not reaching muscle failure on your last rep – and that’s fine.

You can also shift more of your workout to cardio, and/or spend a bit less time in the weight room.

So fear not! You can enjoy the benefits of exercise without worrying about bulking up.

I hope this helps!


Toned Muscles Vs. Big Muscles.

When it comes to working out, I’ve heard a number of guys express their concern about getting too big: “I just want definition and toning – I don’t want to look like a bodybuilder.”

As it turns out, there’s no need to fear big muscles. They’re really, really hard to get; it doesn’t happen overnight. Arnold Schwarzenegger trained 6 hours a day. And if you notice yourself getting “too big”, just ease up or take a week off.

To look like a bodybuilder, you have to work really, really hard for a very long time. It doesn’t happen by accident.

Along the same lines of “it’s better to shoot for the stars and land on the moon”, I recently heard a trainer dare his definition-oriented client to try to get big. “It’s hard. Really hard. Toneville is farther away than you think, so you should train like you’re going to Bigville.”