But I Don’t Want to Get Too Big!

“I don’t want to lift weights because I don’t want to get too big.”

Have you ever heard this? Even worse, have you actually said it? This is one of those ridiculous excuses that really rustles my jimmies. Yes, ridiculous. Asinine. Ignorant.

You know those body builders you see? The hugely muscular models on the cover of Muscle and Fitness or Flex? The Rock? Do you think they just work up one day after going to the gym for a little while, looked in the mirror, and said, “oh no! I’ve gotten too big!”

“Too big” doesn’t happen by accident. “Too big” takes years and years of hard work and dedication to diet and exercise. “Too big” doesn’t happen to the average person doing an average workout and eating an average diet. For professional body builders and a large majority of fitness models, “too big” also includes the use of performance enhancing drugs. “Too big” will, in all likely hood, NEVER happen to you no matter what you do.

This is Frank Zane, a very successful body builder from the 1970s and 1980s:


He spent over a decade crafting his physique. It didn’t happen by accident. So don’t worry, a few days a week at the gym won’t have you looking like this.

However, with dedication and a few hard years of working out and watching your diet, you could probably look close to this:


That’s Eugen Sandow, who many people consider to be the “father” of bodybuilding. He was born in 1857 and died in 1925. What that means is he was looking like this before steroids and modern training methods and equipment. And you know what? He didn’t suddenly wake up one morning looking like this either…

See, that’s the thing about lifting weight and building muscle. It takes effort and time and attention. If you don’t want to look like Zane, don’t worry, chances are you never will, even if you do go the route of performance enhancing drugs.

If you want to look like Sandow, you might be able to reach it after a few years of unwavering commitment, although he’s an outlier as far as genetics.

The point is, “too big” doesn’t just happen and isn’t something you need to worry about. You’ll be able to change your training methods well before you ever starting thinking you’re getting “too big”.

So don’t let this mythological and ignorant excuse keep you from moving some iron.  Exercise, and in particular resistance training, is the number one thing you can do to slow down the inevitable physical decline we all go through as we age.

So go find a heavy object. Pick it up. Put it down. Repeat.


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