This is something I hear all the time, especially of course from my female clients. They see a photo of a celebrity or someone on Facebook who, in the clients’ opinion, is looking too bulky. They then use this image to stoke the fear that any form of weight training will get you looking too muscular.
Firstly I want to say that it's my belief that if you want to get the best out of your training you MUST be lifting heavy weights at LEAST once week.
Weight training builds muscle, burns fat and, very importantly helps to increase your metabolic rate (the amount of calories you burn each day). These are just bonuses to the training. Its real function is to make you stronger, more injury resistant and improve sporting performance (dramatically in some cases). This is turn enables you to train harder and burn more calories per workout (which will help prevent plateaus). Plus it is a great way to track progress; seeing how much stronger you're getting is really motivational.
For females, becoming bulky through lifting heavy weights is not something that should be too concerning. Firstly, women don't have the testosterone that a man has to facilitate muscle growth. Secondly, women naturally have a larger body fat percentage than men, which means you have to work incredibly hard with your training and nutrition to get lean enough to have that muscular look.
The best proof of that is to look at athletes such as Jessica Ennis or Maria Sharapova, and on the guys’ side Andy Murray and Rory Mcilroy. These are people who train daily and lift very heavy often, yet they are not big bulky athletes. If you're training and diet is correct for your goals, then that is what you'll achieve.
My job as a trainer is to match your regime to fit your goals. I believe everyone should have some form of resistance training in this regime to get the best results.
Jeremy – Limitless Life Personal Trainer