The Almost Laughable Statement You Don’t Need To Worry About.
By Matt O’Brien
In my past career there was a gym on site for anyone in the company to use.
One day I asked this guy if he wanted to train with me.
“No thanks, I don’t want to get too big.” was his reply.
After I stopped laughing I manage to say, “I don’t think you’re going to have to worry about that!”
Back then I was into bodybuilding.
Lifting as heavy as I could and training different body parts…
I hadn’t yet discovered the world of CrossFit.
This guy was pretty thin - Prancing around the gym not doing anything too serious.
I tend to find these days it's usually women at our gym I have the; “I don’t want to get too big”, conversation with.
So let's have a chat about what it takes to… “get too big!”
In my book there are two types of people who worry about this.
1. Those using the argument to be lazy as they don’t have the drive and dedication to train consistently, lift heavy weights and stick to a serious amount of eating.
2. People who genuinely don’t know what it takes to add amounts of lean muscle to their bodies.
Lets just leave the first group alone for now.
I’ll assume you know people who talk about how tough they train too.
Yet in reality they wouldn’t know what sweat was!
The natural part of bodybuilding is wanting to be bigger.
Bigger is better!
The first part of the equation is you have to lift heavy weights...a lot!
To make muscles grow there are techniques used to place a lot of stress on muscles so they recover and grow in adaption to those stresses.
This is “bodybuilding” or “muscular hypertrophy”.
Alongside the lifting is the eating.
There is a bucket load of eating involved!
This is what I ate, aiming to get bigger...
1) Two whole eggs and six egg whites for breakfast.
2) Second breakfast of oats.
3) Mid morning - tuna and rice.
4) Lunch - half a chicken and vegetables.
5) Mid afternoon - tuna and rice.
6) Protein shake before training.
7) Protein shake after training.
8) Dinner was steak and vegetables.
9) Just before bed - three rice cakes with half a tub of cottage cheese.
At midnight I’d get up and drink the protein shake I had waiting in the fridge.
Now I’m pretty sure most of the women at my gym aren’t eating those meals!
Let’s have a chat about what “big” actually means.
If you are talking about the Olympia Stage and the people competing for the top prizes in bodybuilding then yes…
Chances are, they are too big in the eyes of most people.
Competitive professional bodybuilders you see in magazines are also taking a heap of steroids.
Mainly - Testosterone and Human Growth Hormone.
In men, testosterone is the hormone responsible for building muscle mass. Women have approximately 15 times less testosterone than men.
Women produce more growth hormone.
Some studies suggest growth hormone is therefore responsible for muscle growth in women.
As we have discussed,
The recipe also requires heavy weights for hypertrophy training and a large amount of food to support training and recovery.
There is only enough natural hormones in the human body for women to gain between 9 and 11 kgs of muscle.
Add into this situation, it takes 4 to 5 years of serious training and dieting.
(The type we spoke of earlier) to even get near this potential.
We haven’t even touched on the benefits of increased muscle mass in this blog.
Ok, enough of the factual stuff…
Let's discuss some realities.
First of all, why wouldn’t you want to be a bit bigger?
In the case of both men and women, bigger muscles means being stronger.
Life is easier when you are stronger. From the work you do, to carrying the groceries in from the car. Life is easier.
Secondly...it looks better!
Ladies, when it comes to CrossFit…
If you want to fill out those booty shorts then get under a heavy barbell and learn to squat.
Gents, despite what any women will tell you - they want to see your arms fill your sleeves and picture falling into pec canyon as they are hugged by two boulders you have for shoulders!
As for all the women clients of CrossFit worried about getting too big...
I’m going to list some names…
Tia Claire Toomey
I can go on.
These are some of the top CrossFitters on the planet.
Who lift more weight more often than you.
Dedicating their lives to getting stronger and fitter.
I would hardly say they are “too big”.
They are beautiful confident women!
So next time you are sitting at lunch worrying about getting too big have a think about some of the things I’ve mentioned and remember...
Strong is sexy!