With more and more women trying out CrossFit and weight training, its time to debunk the myths about ‘getting big’ from weight training.


Women and weight training

There is a common misconception from many women that CrossFit and weight training makes you bulky. I understand your concern, you want to be toned and lean not big and bulky like a body builder. Lucky for you your fear is irrational.  To get big you have to do more than just CrossFit. You have to do hours a day of CrossFit. And even then you are not going to look like Arnie.

Here are a few photos of the girls that compete in the CrossFit games. These are elite athletes and have incredible strength! They do CrossFit for hours a day.

Sprint Chipper Event CrossFit Games 2013

Sprint Chipper Event CrossFit Games 2013

Camille LaBlanc

Camille LaBlanc at the 2014 Canada East CrossFit Regional. Camille was crowed the fittest woman alive this year at the 2014 CrossFit Games.


1st, 2nd and 3rd Individual Women at 2013 games

Now these women are certainly not unmuscular, and compared to the average lady I’m sure you’d say they definitely have muscles, but they are also incredible athletes. They can lift 100kg over their head, they have endurance, speed and power, they can do 50 pull ups without a break. You get the point they are world-class athletes and they build their bodies to perform optimally.  So of course they are going to be strong and muscly.

But, I would argue that they are clearly not like this:

fitness fitness2

Which is what I believe most women think will happen to them if they lift weights!

The CrossFit games women are the top of the top. Unless you want to be in the CrossFit games you are unlikely to put on even 1/10th of the muscle these women have! And it is lean, sculpted awesome muscle! You body has 10 times less testosterone than a man so to gain muscle like these body building women you would need to use enhancement supplements and a very specific diet. It just does not happen naturally.

Most women that do CrossFit everyday see awesome result, a leaner fitter body, toned and shaped! Here are some pictures of the ladies of CrossFit Tone, including myself so you can see what typical crossfitters look like! I do CrossFit 6 times a week, 2 hours a day!

So we have a wide range of bodies, certainly no body building muscle women!

There is also some research that suggests women view weightlifting as a male activity and they feel self-conscious going into the ‘male section’ of the gym. They are fearful of lifting weights in front of men and being judged on their bodies.

This is quite a problem as strength training is particularly beneficial to women.

Weight training can:

Decrease your risk of osteoporosis, a very debilitating disease prevalent among women due to the lack of weight training they do,

Increases your metabolism due to increased ratio of muscle to fat. The more lean muscle you have the calories your burn while you rest! Women who do weights are twice as likely to lose weight and stick to an exercise plan than women who do just cardio

Increase your bone density and muscle resilience, which will decrease your frailness in old age, protect joints from injury and maintain flexibility and balance.

Boosts your energy levels and make living easier as you are stronger and able to move around better

If you are looking to achieve any of these benefits weight training is for you! If you still love your cardio why not try CrossFit? We combine weight training with circuit and cardio training to give you a balanced, intense are rewarding workout!

CrossFit Tone offers an all female environment, which doesn’t intimidate like other sections of male gyms!

We offer a gorgeous community with encouragement and empowerment to women all shapes and sizes! It doesn’t matter what your goal is, or how long it takes you, we will get you there and support you all the way! We want to support women to teach them how to look after their bodies, through great training, sound nutrition and positive lifestyle!

Want more?

Check out our other blogs on training:

How to avoid shin splints
Loosen your hips to help you squat
10 minute full body workout at home!

And some of our blogs on CrossFit

Strong is the new Skinny
What is CrossFit?
Find out why 60% of CrossFitters are women!

Interested in kick starting your training and seeing what CrossFit Tone is all about? Grab our 2 week Pink Pass Trial – just $39 for unlimited training sessions!

Access to Pink Pass


About the Author

Elle has a passion for women's fitness and helping girls improve their self-image through fitness. Her vision is to create a CrossFit gym, which allows women to learn how to move, build their strength, learn to be healthy and gain respect for their bodies showing them how amazing they really are! Find out more