Will Strength Training Make Me Bulky?

Last Updated:

We may earn commissions for purchases made through links on our site. Learn more on our about us page.

Man doing workout with cast iron kettlebell - Will Strength Training Make you Bulky?

You’re not alone if you’re interested in strength training but worried about getting too bulky. It’s a common misconception that lifting weights will make you look like a bodybuilder overnight.

The truth is strength training can help you achieve a toned and lean physique rather than a bulky one. We will dive into the science behind strength training and explain why bulking up is not necessarily a given when you start lifting weights.

We will also provide some tips on achieving the desired results, whether it’s building muscle or simply getting. So, let’s cover the truth about strength training and bulking up!


How Can You Do Strength Training Without Getting Bulky?

OK, so let’s get down to business. How can you do strength training without bulking up? First and foremost, it’s important to understand that getting bulky is not a guaranteed outcome of lifting weights. 

In fact, many factors come into play when it comes to muscle growth, including genetics, diet, and training style. 

That being said, if you are someone who wants to build strength and tone your muscles without getting bulky, there are a few things you can do. Here are some tips:


  • Focus on high reps and lower weights.
  • Incorporate bodyweight exercises
  • Make sure there is cardio in your routine.
  • Have a proper diet that is rich in the right nutrients.


Do You Get Bulky From Too Much Strength Training?

So how often do you do strength training? The short answer to this very common question is it depends. While it’s true that strength training can lead to muscle growth, the extent to which you bulk up varies depending on, as we said above, a few things. These include:


  • First and foremost, your genetics play a huge role. Some people are just naturally more inclined to build muscle quickly, while others may find it more difficult. 


  • Your training style may also play a role. Doing the heavy lifting with lower reps and lots of rest between sets makes you more likely to see significant muscle growth.


  • The diet also plays a role. If you’re consuming more than your body needs, you may see an increase in muscle mass but also an increase in body fat.


Which Exercises Make You Look Bulky?

So if you’re trying to keep from becoming too bulky or even just looking bulky, which exercises should you steer clear of? Everyone’s body is different and works for another, but here are some of the exercises that have a reputation for building mass and adding bulk: 


  • Deadlifts Marshall
  • Squats
  • Bench press
  • Barbell curls


Not just because these actions have the potential to make you look too bulky doesn’t mean you should avoid them altogether. On the contrary, they’re all great exercises for building strength in terms of muscle groups. 

However, if you’re concerned about bulking up, do these exercises with lighter weights and higher reps or focus on others that are less likely to cause significant muscle growth.


Can You Be Strong Without Being Bulky?

Being strong doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be bulky. There are plenty of people out there who are incredibly strong and lean without having a bulky appearance. This is because of some of the reasons we already discussed, but let’s take a look at them again.

As we mentioned earlier, everyone’s body is different. For example, some people are naturally inclined to build more muscle quickly and easily, while others may find it more difficult. 

So even if you’re doing the same training program as someone else, your genetics could give a different result.

Also, as we said before, training style and diet also play a role. So you most definitely can be strong without being bulky, but it really depends on these three factors.


Which Exercises Should You Avoid?

If you want to avoid getting too bulky, there are certain exercises you may want to avoid or modify in your workout routine. Here are some of those:


  • Heavy compound exercises like deadlifts, squats, and branch prices are great for building overall strength and targeting muscle groups. 


However, when done with heavy weights and low reps, they can cause significant muscle growth and bulk to your frame.


  • Bicep curls are a popular size for building upper arm strength. However, when done just like the previous exercises, heavier exercises, heavier weights, and lower reps can lead to the development of bulky biceps.


  • Another one’s shoulder presses. These are great exercises for targeting your shoulders and building upper body strength. 


However, when done in the same methods, they can lead to significant muscle growth in your shoulders, which can make you look a little bulky. 


Final Thoughts on Will Strength Training Make Me Bulky

In the end, strength training doesn’t have to make you bulky if that’s not your goal. With the right training style, genetics, and diet, building strength and toning your muscles without adding excess bulk is possible. 

Ultimately finding a workout routine that works for you and supports your goals is key.