Last year Women’s Health magazine quoted me in a story about women and strength training. Their goal was to set the record straight about this concept of “bulk” and if it’s a real concern for women.

Maybe you’ve heard experts or personal trainers say, “Women can’t bulk up – it’s impossible!” And to some degree, I agree with this.

Being a woman, you will never run the risk of developing big muscles like men, unless you are trying really, really hard, and using anabolic steroids. Women have 1/10th the amount of testosterone as men, making it very difficult for us to increase the size of our muscles.

That being said, have you ever seen an image of a super fit woman from the Crossfit community? Clearly, women ARE able to increase the size of their muscles, right?

Therefore, what it really comes down to is your personal definition of bulk.

I am a bona fide expert in my field and am deeply committed to helping you get the results that you want. And I know that many women want tight, strong muscles, without too much increase in muscle size. Therefore, my formal response in the Women’s Health article was that yes, women are able to build muscle.

And wow, the backlash! I actually got hate mail from two different people telling me that I am “stupid” and “ignorant” because “everyone knows that women can’t bulk up.”

Today I’m here to say, definitively, that yes, you DO have the ability to increase the size of your muscles! And this is a beautiful thing!

And, after coaching women for 24 years now, I also know that you most likely don’t want your muscles to get “too big” – right?

Check out today’s video below to hear more from me on this topic!

Holly started Women’s Strength Nation to improve the ratio of women to men strength training around the world. You can Join the Movement by sharing your thoughts and questions below. Your thoughts and ideas may help another woman’s journey. Please join the conversation and leave a comment below!

Stay strong, friend. 

Want to hear even more on this topic?

Be sure to check out “LIVE with Holly” HERE!


5 replies
  1. Mirian Lifsic
    Mirian Lifsic says:

    I love weight training exercises, it helps me in every aspect of my life. I feel stronger ? and have more energy for anything that I want to do in my everyday activities… skiing ⛷ hiking ? swimming ?‍♀️ or working out ?️‍♀️. And helps me with my sleep ? disorder and my depression. I feel more plenty and happy with myself after it. And last but not least, working out with you it makes ALL THE DIFFERENCE, Thanks ?

  2. Helen
    Helen says:

    I love strength training, I am consistently doing it 4/week. I find I can really push my leg workouts with heavy weights and not show bulk BUT I seem to get big shoulders and arms easily if I don’t watch my weight load. My shoulders were getting too big for my liking so I backed down on my weight loads and reduced the number of shoulder excercises and see a difference. Calories do matter but I find when I do a big leg day I’m really hungry the next day and can’t get enough food to curb my hunger. Would love some advice on that issue. I also am counting the days til the start of the Comeback3 –

    • Holly Perkins
      Holly Perkins says:

      Hi Helen!

      You are doing AMAZING too! Good job on that adjustment with your shoulder workouts.

      As for your leg workouts, I would suggest eating more calories on that specific day. Make sure you aren’t going into your workout hungry, have protein your body can digest quickly (greek yogurt, cottage cheese, egg whites or protein powder) along with some carbs.

      Let us know if that works out for you.

      In strength,

  3. Sandy Evinou
    Sandy Evinou says:

    I absolutely agree. I was doing to much weight training and not enough cardio and have found my muscles now a bit bulky for my liking. Especially for how my shape is. I have now increased my cardio a bit and lowered my calories and already (following macros 101) can see improvement already in just a few weeks. (still doing weights also of course). Looking forward to starting the comeback for some extra help and support and guidance !! Thanks as always ???

    • Holly Perkins
      Holly Perkins says:

      Hi Sandy!
      LOVE LOVE LOVE all of this! You are doing an AMAZING job already. Keep it up. Can’t wait for us to get started on your journey with The Comeback.


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