Skip Nav
Healthy Recipes
If You Want to Lose Weight and Still Drink, Read This
Beginner Fitness Tips
A Trainer Gets Brutally Honest About Why You Aren't Seeing Results
Arm Exercises
Get Strong and Toned Arms With This Fun Push-Up Variation

Katee Sackhoff Discusses Her New Fitness Plan For Her Role on 24

Do You Avoid Heavy Weights Because It Makes You Look Too Bulky?

I'm so envious of BuzzSugar! She was lucky enough to catch up with Katee Sackhoff last week about her new role on the popular series 24. If you're a major sci-fi geek like I am, then I don't have to tell you that Katee kicked some major ass playing fighter pilot Kara "Starbuck" Thrace on the cult favorite Battlestar Galactica. She also played tough girl Sarah Corvus on the short-lived series Bionic Woman.

Although it's unlikely that she's abandoning her tough girl image for 24, Katee did say that her new role doesn't require her to do any heavy lifting.

"I used to [lift heavy weights] 'cause I needed the bulk and I needed to look like I could beat up a guy," Katee said. "I don't need that anymore.  I've leaned out and I can be more delicate than I could before. It's afforded me less time at the gym, it's just more cardio now."

You'll still catch her at the gym every day, though. Not only is staying in shape part of her job, it's just who she is: "I grew up athletic and it's who I'll always be," she said.

Katee is not the first star to lay off the heavy weights to avoid looking too muscular — earlier this year, actress Kristen Bell shared the same sentiment in an interview. I'm curious how you feel about it . . .

Image Source: Getty
benheld benheld 7 years
The amount of bulking up that occurs is highly dependent on your genetics and the type of muscle you have. I actually bulk up a bit when I strength train. Just in the past month alone, I added an inch to my bicep, while the rest of my body LOST inches. Regardless of what body type you have, we should be focusing on being the healthiest women that we can be--instead of worrying so much about appearances. The body that I was given in this life is healthiest with big biceps, thighs, and calfs--who am I to argue about that?
runningesq runningesq 7 years
Ha, I thought of you guys when I got this RIDICULOUS email from my gym: Women and Weights Gain confidence and strength in the gym that will translate to all areas of your life! Learn how weight training can increase your metabolism, reduce your risk of osteoporosis, and shape your body through improved muscle tone and strength -- all without bulking up!
Eric-Kenyon-RKC Eric-Kenyon-RKC 7 years
The 3rd choice, " I strength train but I stick to lighter weights, " is mutually exclusive. If you are sticking to lighter weights you are not strength training. Body Pump also is in no way strength training. Extremely few people, including men, get big on pure strength training. Bodybuilding is what makes muscles big. So all you folks who keep gaining muscle you don't want, stop bodybuilding and start strength training. BTW is absolutely impossible to gain muscle mass without the requisite increase in nutrients and calories. You can not make something out of nothing. Leran from the example of xtinabeena the pole vaulter. Very low reps and heavy weight makes a an athlete very fast and strong with by necessity, low bulk. If you are not getting the results you want from your training it may be time to change it. Make it a sensible and informed change by asking yourself what is it you really want athletically, health-wise, and aesthetically. Do some basic research to find out what type of training supports your goals. I can tell you that lifting heavy weights alone can not increase muscle mass, there must be extra food in the diet and there must be a substantial fatigue factor in the lifting.
mtiger mtiger 7 years
I use light weights...3, 5, and 8 pounds and do lots of reps. It definitely causes me to get toned, not bulky!
jkat jkat 7 years
15-20 reps isn't lifting "heavy". That is like 6-8 reps (maybe 10 max). I would consider weights I could do 15-20 reps with light. Just saying. I think people need to accept that everyone is different. You can't say lifting weights doesn't give *anyone* bulk, just like you can't say it that it gives *everyone* bulk. That is what bugs me about this discussion. I am all for being strong, but when I can't buy a shirt off the rack because the size 2 fits my waist but I need a size 8 to fit my arms, it's annoying. I don't need to be able to bench press 200 lbs in my everyday life, but I do need to be able to wear tops without getting everything tailored.
Dbaby Dbaby 7 years
This is such BS. Sorry, not the article, but this "urban myth" that if women lift weights they will get huge muscles. It's not as if anyone (body builders or whomever) weight lifted once with heavy weights and woke up the next day with bulging muscles. Big muscles take years to develop and strength training is such an efficient and effective way to burn calories and make a woman look strong, toned and LEAN. I tell my clients, the first few reps should be relatively easy but by 15 or 20, you should be at your limit. Otherwise, you can go to the gym everyday and never see a difference.
runningesq runningesq 7 years
And the whole "low weight - high rep" doesn't hold a lot of water. Doing a billion bicep curls with a 2 lb weight won't give you "toned mucles" - it will waste your time.
pamela87 pamela87 7 years
I agree w/ everyone who is frustrated with this type of conversation-- weights do not cause a woman to "bulk up" generally. Ever since I started lifting I've lost weight, body fat, lost inches around my waist, firmed and raised my booty and chest (sorry, prob tmi...) and then some. If anything, I look MORE like the womanly ideal I have than I did before.
kclulu kclulu 7 years
I do not bulk up and love being defined and having muscle. Not all women add muscle the same way though. I am petite and pear shaped and it wasn't until I started weight training and adding muscle to my upper body that I started to look in proportion. Weight training is great for the body though so I wish that all women would at least give it a try, they might be suprised with the results.
Yogaforlife Yogaforlife 7 years
I like how toned and sculpted my muscles are when I lift weights. I wish I could fit in more time weight lifting.
ticamorena ticamorena 7 years
MMm, in my case lifting weights tends to add bulk, even without a change to my diet (to the point where I can't wear some of my tops); I think it depends on each person's body composition, because my sister is the opposite, she becomes nice and lean. I think it's important enough for people's health (especially for the bones) that they lift at least a little so I am loath to criticise weight lifting or resistance exercise.
joy76 joy76 7 years
I agree with chloe and spectra,well said! Weight lifting does not bulk you up, in fact you build mucscles which burn more calories. I also agree with Chloe I do body pump regularly and it works very well for me by keeping the weight off. My Body pump instructor educates the class all the time and encourages the ladies to increase their weights to burn more calories and it does not result to looking manly.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 7 years
Hell no. I do weights because it makes me look WOMANLY. Weight training has the opposite effect on me. I get shapely arms and legs, a lifted butt and bosoms, a fit core (which is important for an hourglass body type like me), and soft definition everywhere. In my opinion, weight training makes for a provocative figure. I think that makes the difference between my body and those who just do cardio.
Sinnamon-Jones Sinnamon-Jones 7 years
I agree with jkat. Most women don't bulk up, but unfortunately, I do. So I am very careful about the weight I lift and how I lift; and I cycle off the weights, with weeks of cardio and no weights. I've also started to incorporate plyo into my routine.
Retro23 Retro23 7 years
I like doing heavy weights, muscle burns more calories in everyday life!
jkat jkat 7 years
Ok, I know that *generally* (for the vast majority of women) lifting weights does not add bulk. I, however, do not love the look I personally get from lifting weights. From years of swimming on the national level (from the age of 5 to18), and beginning to lift weights when I was 12, I have naturally large (and very strong) upper body muscles. I also store more fat than most women on my triceps. Naturally large muscles + extra fat = my arms just look big. I just can't ever get my arms lean enough to visually appreciate the muscles underneath. I still strength train, but I try to keep the upper body reps higher w/ lighter weights or pyramid them. I am trying something for the next 6-8 weeks where I don't strength train and only do my pilates and start doing yoga. (I have been a mess of injuries the last year and I sort of want to push the "reset" button on my strength training). So long point made short: I know that not everyone bulks up from strength training, but I personally do. I am still freakishly strong (compared to most other women I know...and a lot of men), so I don't feel bad shying away from heavier weights.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 7 years
No, I don't avoid them, but it doesn't bring on the bulge either. It just makes me look more toned.
discocactus discocactus 7 years
I love lifting weights, and I second the previous two commenters. Weight lifting won't make you like manly unless you are going to serious extremes and taking 'roids.
xtinabeena xtinabeena 7 years
seriously. i am a pole vaulter. i lift 2-4 times per week. sometimes i am max lifting with low reps and (often very) high weight. while i do have bigger muscles than a lot of girls, i don't look 'manly'. i like that i am stronger than some of the boys in the gym, but i'm still petite! i pride myself in being athletic and strong, but all these comments and articles about being 'bulky' from weight lifting make me a bit more self conscious about it. DISLIKE!
Spectra Spectra 7 years
<> Strength training does NOT make you look manly unless you train like crazy and take testosterone supplements. Anyone else who strength trains will end up with sculpted muscles and a lower percentage of body fat. Can we STOP with the 'weights will make me bulky' crap now??
Kristen Bell Saves Josh Gad's Family From Hurricane Irma
Best Arm Exercises For Women
Beginner Butt Workout
Kristen Bell Williams-Sonoma Sloth Spatula
From Our Partners
Latest Fitness
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds