We all know that woman who refuses to lift weights, because she’s afraid she’ll immediately morph into Vin Diesel. Confession: that was me for a very long time and it’s time we set the record straight: Lifting weights will not make you bulk up. “That’s a myth. We don’t have enough testosterone,” explained Beth Lewis, master trainer at Clay Health Club & Spa in New York. “When a man lifts, he has the ability to get pretty big and bulky, but we don’t unless taking anabolic steroids.” Only about 1% of the female population will actually experience bulking with exercise, due to high levels of testosterone. Actually, Lewis noted, lifting can do the opposite of bulking: It makes you leaner and smaller as you simultaneously build muscle tissue and burn fat. After lifting, your body continues to burn calories for 24 to 48 hours, giving your metabolism a little extra kick and increasing weight loss. Want to know exactly how many reps you should be doing?
READ MORE: Why Women Need to Stop Being Afraid of Lifting Weights