Girl Talk: Will lifting weights make a woman look too “masculine”?

….the short answer is no. The ridiculously "man looking" female bodybuilders are on steroids, "juicing" as they call it. There is no way the average woman could get that absurdly huge from only lifting weights.

It is possible for a woman to find her arms, back, legs, or any body part getting more muscular than her ideal "body image", but there are techniques to tweak the routine, and use that need to pump "la-femme iron" to slim down and tone as opposed to bulk up, which I will cover later in this post.

Once a lady gets beyond that myth that lifting weights will make her look like a man, she might find pumping iron to be an integral part of her workout routine, slimming her down, and helping her drop weight and bodyfat.

What makes sexy?

Now, I have to stop right here and say that I speak for myself and most men that those female bodybuilders who are "juicing" with testosterone, human growth hormones, steroids, or whatever they are using, those women are grossly unappealing to the average guy. What gives the "juicers" away is when their face takes on those "masculine" features, what do you expect from extra male hormones and testosterone?.

I don't want to put any picture of them on my artfully crafted blog post. But if you want to see a couple for reference, if you can stomach it, I have a couple of female bodybuilding types who are obviously on steroids . Female Juicer #1 , not sexy at all when a guy wants his arms to look like a woman's, Female Juicer #2 , Her name is Kim Harris, I remember when whe was a great looking, cute fitness girl, Kim, what happened? 🙁  , Female Juicer #3 (is that a woman?????.).

…..Or, a more realistic example, Cindy Landlot, whom I go back and forth myself so far as "is she sexy?", who is arguably attractive, with a sexy body depending on taste, but I'm quite sure she's "juicing", and she represents what some woman fear they might become if they start lifting (and maybe what others want to become)

There is a market for "female juicers" but…….

…….just saying for the ladies sake that most men do not find that the huge female bodybuilders on steroids attractive at all, but a well buffed, toned, and fit looking woman (like the photos in this post), have incredible appeal to most of us men, although to what degree of muscle will  vary.

Seems to me,  women love buffed women

I always find it amazing that as much as "Toned and Fit" women are scrutinized, when you look at blogs and fitness pages, women constantly comment that they love those toned, fit, slightly buffed female bodies, the term I hear most often is that women are either "inspired" or "motivated" to go to the gym.

So I could conclude, as you "typical, redblooded, heterosexual, all-American male", that fit these women have a large range of fans , both women and men admirers.

BTW, the term you hear most from guys when they see these women is "DAMN" 🙂 

Lift weights to get smaller!!

A woman can discover, through tailoring weightlifting routines, that lifting weights can actually assist in dropping bodyfat and bodyweight, and contribute to a slimmer more toned physique. The key there it understanding how to use weights to slim down as opposed to bulk up, more on that in a second.

One [possible] "Caviat", Breast Shrinkage?

I think one legitimate area of concern for women who have "the bug", and just love to work out and pump iron intensely, is the fact that although putting on more muscle has the positive effect of burning more bodyfat, unfortunately, some of that bodyfat burned off can come from breast tissue, and thus can [possibly] contribute to making a woman's breasts smaller.

That's not guaranteed, but the phenomenon does exist, though I can't say (as a man) to what degree.

That's probably why you see so many fitness models and such with implants…

….since ordinary women who don't workout can have bodyfat of well over 30%, hard core fitness ladies can [possibly] have bodyfat ratios of 20% or possibly even in the teens.

I suppose that's every woman's decision, get implants, don't work out at all to keep a nice cupsize, or perhaps in the "real world" women just accept their breast size for what it it, pick the right bra, workout hard, and enjoy all the compliments from an otherwise nicely sculpted and proportioned body. I suppose there's a dozen approaches.

Note to women: as much as we men are wired for boobs, they aren't mandatory for a woman's body to knock a man off his feet and have us drooling. A nice butt and thunderous thighs can do the trick just as easily. It's like a woman wanting a guy who is a millionaire, you'll take it, but too many issues come with it, and the person's mind probably ain't right because of the wealth [or boobs] . Millionaires and boobs are gonna catch our attention, but it's all "lowest level wiring", just a man's hopefully helpful, sensible opinion.

check out one of my latest slideshows, featuring a woman who is basically flat chested, but oh so sexy to me, I'm more wired to be attracted to toned, fit women, not "balloon boob" Hoochies, though of course I look at balloon boobs like the next guy 🙂

Bulking up vs. Slimming Down, think about runners and sprinters for a second

I wrote a an interesting article called "Bulking up vs. Slimming Down" …….

……where I try to express the fact that marathon runners develop slimmer body types in spite of exercising their muscles for over two hours, and female sprinters develop more buffed bodies, even though their race is only 10 seconds long, due to the quick, explosive movements they female sprinters make for a very brief period of time, similar to football players.

Less is more and more is less

The theory is that, if wanting to trim down, then the workout routine needs to be increased timewise (using lighter weights), like the endurance race of a marathon runner.

As the workout routine stretches out in time, the body has to compensate by shedding weight, just like a long distance runner, or even long distance hiker that needs a lighter backpack load for a more lengthy exercise.

….an easier way to look at this is, think about track and field events at the Olympics, the longer race, the slimmer the body types. As in, the marathon runners are almost bony/skinny, and as you progress to shorter races, i.e., 10,000 meters, 800 meters, 400 meters, 200 meters, and 100 meter dash, notice the [average] body type gets more and more buffed, like you would never see a buffed sprinter body type in a marathon. One could argue Usain Bolt, a slim 100 meter sprinter, is an exception, but though he is slim, he is VERY muscular.

Explosive movements in shorter routines = more buff (if that's what you want)

Conversely, if  she has the opposite issue, in that she may feel she's a little too "skinny", then she needs to develop a shorter, perhaps 30 minute intense routine, but with explosive movements with as much intensity as possible.

Think more in terms of the female sprinters and football players, who get more buffed because of the short, intense, explosive movements, say if she wants to bulk up in certain areas like the glutes, thighs and hamstrings. Just something to think about…

Girls on Film!!

Women can take advantage of one thing they do all the time anyway, as least is my perception, is the continuously take those camera phone pictures in the mirror and taking note of body changes as you progress throughout the workout routine over days and weeks.

Changes come quick!!

One will find that you can actually see what changes are taking place even after one or two intense workout routines.

Different women react differently…..

…so these suggestions may or may not be of value, but they will at least get your thought process started. Unfortunately, there is no "one formula fits all".

Meaning, some women are naturally genetically built to bulk up no matter what they do, and some will stay slim no matter how heavy they lift. So in reality, it's hard to speak on specific formulas, you gotta dig deeper than this article….such is life.

…I'm the perfect example, as a guy, when I tried the so called HIT (High Intensity Training 30 minite) routine to bulk up, it actually had me slimming down…..go figure. ( I think it was because I shed a lot of body fat for that routine, and henceforth, 10 pounds of bodyfat came off of me and maybe I gained 4 pounds of muscle for a net loss of 6 pounds).

A "gazillion" other factors

Some women do all the right things in the weight room, but have not dived into the science of their nutrition. There are perhaps a dozen parameters to get a "dream body", not just how to lift weights.

Like anything in life, you have to jump in and see how your body reacts to the weight room, experiment, and make your own adjustments, and enjoy the process. LEARN YOUR BODY!!!!!

Tweak your routine

If you like the new form the body is taking on, then stick with it, if you see something that you don't like, like the arms or shoulders getting too big, then tweak the routine by using lighter weights and more reps, which has a tendency to trim down as opposed to bulk up.

Go heavy for two months, then go light for two months, and observe how your body reacts to each. No matter what happens, you will be getting in good exercise……..

Think for a second on a cheeseburger frying in a skillet.

The more the burger cooks, the more fat is burned out of the burger, and what is the result? The burger starts to shrink. Think of the body, like this cheeseburger, in that, even if the proportion of muscle increases relative to fat, the body can actually shrink down in size, like a cheeseburger. (I know this for a fact as a guy, since intense weightlifting can often have me drop 10 pounds, mostly bodyfat)

The human body is designed such that the more muscle added, the fat will be burned due to the body's metabolism (that is a general theory, that works for some, but not all).

I'm loving this weightlifting, except one body part

Once again, a woman might start utilizing this concept of putting on muscle to burn bodyfat and shrink her body size still might find that weightlifting makes her arms or whatever are too big for her preferences

(her friends and Facebook fans may love it, but it's not her ideal body image), but at the same time she loves to pump iron, because she loves her newly crafted shapely butt and slimmer waist, loves the compliments on the street from men (and women), and loves how her clothes fit.

Thinking outside the box

So, she can be in a situation where her arms are getting a little too big, but pumping iron is making the rest of her body look great. Problems problems. This is where she needs to think out of the box a little and manipulate her routine.


(Below, Ernestene Sheperd, age 76 in 2013, you go girl !!!!).

You can't get "male looking" arms by accident

Personally, I think it is really hard to get those "male-looking" arm unless you are really trying, as in insanely pumping in the gym everyday, I suppose it can happen if a woman's bodytype is naturally bigger or thicker (think Serena Williams).

But….I want a Butt!!!

Another trick one can implement is the woman may not want those huge arms, just nicely toned arms and back, say to rock a strapless, backless dress, but she might want a bigger, more shapely butt.

In this case, if a woman has that weightlifting "bug", then she could channel that need to "pump heavy" to leg exercises, to develop bigger, more shapely legs and butt, if that is your aspiration.

Hitting the legpress and squats

So, if it works best to put the heavy lifting into the leg workout, then for the arms and upper body, drop the amount of weight you are lifting with and use a lighter weight with more reps.

This has a tendency to trim down the muscle in the arms, as opposed to heavier weights that bulk arms up.

Nutrition, the secret weapon to the ultimate body

One important to consider in all this, which may or may not be obvious, is nutrition plays a major role in shaping one's body type to what is desired. Over time, better eating will evolve as you learn more .

Check out my Top Ten Lists, which gives a streamlined approach to which foods to take in, and which foods to avoid.

Dig deeper, into exercise, and exercise knowledge

In the end, I would highly recommend weight lifting to women, considering I see so many women pumping iron in every gym I've ever been at, and I've "almost" never seen a woman (in real life) that looked too "masculine".

Beauty and "The Beast"…….my little story, if you need a guy's opinion

I have seen maybe three or four women at the health club that were obviously on some kind of steroids, i.e. "juicing", they were fitness competitors (cause I asked 3 of them), but they totally turned me off…they had that "man-jaw" starting to come into their face "yech". They didn't even look "healthy" 🙁 

Conversely I saw this personal trainer at 24 hour fitness in Seattle, in her Nike bra on her off day, she was "feminine-buffed", amazingly toned, and just her vibe and some unknown force literally pulled me over to compliment her, to me it was beyond beautiful [and as a note, she was relatively flat chested],  I'm still melting when I think about her, and it didn't help my head that she was the warmest, friendliest woman I ever met…sigh…….. I'd put a ring on her finger (that's how guys think……). 

~stay healthy~


You might also like……


Nike Training Club: Serena Williams Core Strength Training                 UnderArmour "I Will What I Want" – Sloane Stephens




Nike Training Club: Lea Michele's "Triple Threat" Workout                                Lolo Jones: Overcoming Life's "Hurdles"


 see all my articles in "Girl Talk"                                           Nike Training Club: Carmelita Jeter's High Intensity Training

5 Responses


I lift weights and I LOVE IT!! For years I thought I would look like a man if I  Iifted so much as 5 lbs. Now, in my mid 40s, after 17 years of cardio (with nothing to show it physically) I began heavy (!) weight lifting nearly 2 years ago. My body has changed so much people think I'm a personal trainer. I do not "juice." The compliments I get from men AND women are unreal – and occur almost on a weekly basis.
I'm also a runner (though 75% of my time is in the weight room). As a more muscular runner, I get my fair share of looks. But they are in awe more than anything else because I'm a runner with curves / shape.I'm not the skinn minny runner so many people are used to seeing. I dare say, judging from constant horn honks, cat calls and stares,  I look more preferable to most men over the skinny runnig girl on a liquid diet look.
This article was a total blast to read and HIGHLY accurate. Loved it!!! It inspires me to keep doing what I do. Thanks


Thanks for the comment. I think your story might make a good article for my blog. If you have any pictures, like on facebook, let me know, or send me some athletic pics. I have a lot of female readers, and they love this kind of motivation.

Keep pumping that iron!!!!

Doug Wallace at


Thank you for this post! I have gained about 90 lbs in the past few years from depression and eating my feelings, and decided to change that a few months ago. I've stopped over-eating and lost 20 lbs, but recently plateau ed and realized dieting wasn't enough, so this week was my first at the gym lifting weights. It was hard, I was sore, but the challenge was fun. I've been worried about where this will take my body, but not after this blog post! Thank you for giving me motivation to keep going. The 10th picture down is one of the sexiest I've seen, and I'm excited to get back to the gym on Monday!


Thanks for the comment. That gym gan get really addictive (if you are lucky)!!!! Once you really get into it, it will be a lifestyle change that will treat you well. It’s all a combination of eating habits, working out, and mental attitude. I would say however, just let it come to you…let it evolve. ~stay healthy~


From the majority of the abdominal area practices on the rundown, this one is likely one of the hardest.

The best part about it is that it can fill in as a crossbreed work out – i.e it’s useful as it’s extremely going to enable you to build up your abdominal area’s strength while in the meantime, because of it’s high power nature, will enable you to support your caloric consume and eventually consume more muscle to fat ratio.

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