I’ve been working out in a gym for about 10 years now (but more intensely over the last 6 years). I’m a qualified personal trainer, I worked at a functional training gym that focused on strength, I did HIIT, I did CrossFit, I’ve done triathlons, I’ve done heavy lifting.

But now my training is very different to what is was back then. I don’t focus on heavy lifting and my goals aren’t about trying to squat a certain weight or do a certain amount of pull ups. This is why I don’t lift heavy weights anymore.


To put it simply, I don’t like the way it makes my body look. This is very specific to me and my ideal body shape.

Every time I go down the heavy lifting path and start a new strength focused training program, my legs become really muscular and my back becomes really broad.

The difference is so much that I need to buy new clothes as my bras and shirts no longer fit around my bust, and my jeans don’t fit around my thighs.

I’m a mesomorph body type which means I gain muscle quite easily so if you are also a mesomorph, the same thing may happen to you.

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Some of you might be thinking I’m crazy and that there’s nothing wrong with having muscular thighs or a broad back. But it’s just not for me and I’m not happy like that. And being happy is important. You should never do a workout program if:

  1. You don’t like the results;
  2. You don’t like doing it; or
  3. You think you should be doing it because everyone else is.


I know there is a lot of pressure put on people now in the gym to lift heavy. I will admit that sometimes I feel embarrassed going to the gym and doing a “girly” class, doing ab exercises, doing a body weight circuit or using the really light dumbbells and doing things like donkey kicks.

I feel like people are looking at me like “oh she’s a newbie.” I’m definitely not. But I still feel that pressure.

why i don't lift heavy weights anymore

I think social media has a lot do with it – all those hashtags #girlswholift #legdays #squats.

I’ve even had personal trainers approach me when I’m on the treadmill (thinking I’m a beginner) asking me if I want help with a program. Ummm no thank you. Cardio is part of my program and I like it :) I like doing it and I like what it does for my body.

I don’t judge women who lift heavy or do crossfit – they love it so I’m happy for them! So I don’t think other people should judge me and other women because we DON’T do these things.


Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing!

Don’t do something just because you think that’s what you should be doing or because everyone else is doing it. You shouldn’t dread working out either – it should be something you actually enjoy.

If you don’t like lifting heavy weights, don’t do it! If you think Pilates is a waste of time, don’t do it! Everyone’s different. There are SO many ways to exercise and get in shape these days, you don’t have to conform to what everyone else is doing to get results and be happy.


So what am I doing now? Mostly I follow my own 3 Steps to Lean Legs Program. The workouts in here are lower intensity resistance circuits that are all light weight (using body weight, light weights or a resistance band), and also includes a mix of cardio. I like doing cardio because I actually feel SO good afterwards and it helps me keep a leaner look.

I admit that I am not as strong as I once was. I can’t do a pull up and I can’t pump out 20 push ups on my toes like I once could. But I don’t aspire to do these things. You can still be fit, healthy and in good shape without lifting heavy weights.

I’m much happier now with the way I look and feel. And I actually love doing these type of workouts. So for me, it’s a win win! My workouts have changed a lot over the years. But I honestly don’t see myself going back to heavy lifting.

I would love to hear from any of you that are in the same situation! xx

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74 Responses

  1. Hello, just wanted to say thank you! I felt the exact same way about my heavy work-outs and the unwanted results. I started your program a while ago. It took my body a very long time to let go of all the bulky muscle and the (even painful) extra water weight. I enjoy the walking a lot! Yes, I am less strong than before. But, I am way more flexible and every movement feels lighter. Something, I aspire for myself!

    1. Hi lovely! I’m so happy to hear about your progress! You’re definitely reaping the rewards of your hard work <3

  2. Hi I am having this exact problem, and it’s left me feeling so badly about my body. I am petite but put on muscle extremely easily, but also fat. Ever since I started lifting it’s honestly just make me bigger and I hate how it looks. I’m not sure where to go from here or how to even eat anymore to get back to where I was.

  3. I don’t lift heavy anymore because it never made me feel good. I stopped weight lifting more than two days a week because every day I fatigued afterwards when I weight lifted six days a week. I feel pressure to lift more to look bigger, but I don’t want to have to buy more clothes and eat more food to keep up appearances. Being happy and feeling good is more important that what others think and no one seemed to care when I was super strong before I stopped heavy weight training.

    1. Hi lovely,

      thanks for reaching out! <3

      I completely agree that being happy and feeling good is always more important than what others think :) I'm glad that you found what makes you happy!


  4. Hello! I have a question I am pretty interested in regarding training. So, I don’t want to build any more muscle, but I want to just get stronger. Is this goal possible if I mix lifting very heavy with really low reps (3-5) on some days and lift light weight with high reps (15-20) on other days?

    1. Hey lovely,

      I suggest that you find and reach out to a PT that is specialized in lifting so they can give you the best possible advice to reach your goal as fast as possible. :)
      Rachael Program is focused on leaning out and toning your boy which is the total opposite.


  5. Hi I am based in India and really want to try out your workout. But my concern is with respect to the nutrition as I am a vegetarian( not vegan ) and don’t think I will be aby to follow it. What do you suggest?

    1. Hi lovely,

      thanks for reaching out! <3

      You can always modify the meal plan to suit you! You can substitute the meat with some vegetarian options. Or, what some girls do, you can mix the vegan and regular meal plan to make a vegetarian one :)

      As long as you are following the Program and eating a healthy diet on a slight calorie deficit, you will get results <3

      I hope this helps! xx


  6. You’re right the emphasis on 1-5 rep heavy lifting is very much in fashion, but like most fashions, it’ll pass.

    I used to box and when I stopped I carried on the calisthenic component of the training – hill sprints, pull-ups etc

    Lifting heavy bores me rigid. It’s like a mundane job to me.

    1. Hi lovely <3,

      Thanks for reaching out!

      It definitely is a trend and it will pass! :)

      There are people who actually enjoy lifting weights and that's absolutely okay! Also, not everyone has the same definition of bulkiness!

      However, there are a lot of girls who don't like it and don't want to build muscle or find it boring like you and those are the lovely girls Rachael's trying to help achieve their goals! :)


  7. Just like you, my shirts don’t fit anymore. They keep creeping up on me around the bust. My arms are big and my back is broad. I hate it. How do I change my body back to the way
    it used to be.?

    1. Hi lovely,

      Thanks for reaching out! We understand what you’re going through and we want to help as much as we can :)

      Rachael used to do CrossFit that made her upper body bulk up so she wrote a whole blog post on how to slim muscular upper body! You can find it here:

      Also, Rachael has created 3 Steps Lean Legs program that will help you get a lean and toned body without bulking.

      The program is an 8-week workout and nutrition plan designed to help you slim down your legs, but it will also help you slim and tone your upper body and core (the workouts are full body).
      It also includes a full meal plan, a separate recipe eBook and demonstration videos.

      You can find out more about the Lean Legs Program here:

      Let me know if you have any other questions xx


  8. Hi Rachel,

    I’m excited to have come across your blog. I’ve been on a long hiatus from actively working out. Perhaps boredom of my routine and overtraining led me astray. I’m excited to jumpstart working out actively again.

    Do you have an actual article with a sample workout week to follow? I’d like to try a weekly sample meal plan and workout series prior to eventually buying your program. I know walking is a big component but didn’t know the structure of how a workout should go.

    Please advise.

    Thanks in advance.

    1. Hi lovely,
      Our Lean Legs Program is an 8 week workout and nutrition plan designed to help you get lean and toned without bulking.
      It will help you slim down your legs, but will also help you slim and tone your upper body and core too (the workouts are full body).

      It also includes a full meal plan, a separate recipe eBook and demonstration videos.

      You can find out more about the program here:

      Lean Legs Program

      I would suggest downloading our free 7 Days Slim Legs Diet to get a better idea of what the meal plan is like. You will also find some samples of workouts from the Program in these blog posts:

      Day 1 –

      Day 2 –

      Day 3 –


  9. Hi Rachel, is that you in the photo doing donkey kickbacks? If that is you im definitely going to try your programme, you have the body shape that I am aiming for. I personally dont like the ‘too muscular and broad’ look that often comes with strength training.

    1. Hi lovely,

      Yes, that’s Rachael on the photo doing donkey kickbacks :)

      The program in the eBook is an 8 week workout and nutrition plan designed to help you get lean and toned without bulking. It will help you slim down your legs, but will also help you slim and tone your upper body and core too (the workouts are full body). It also includes a full meal plan, a separate recipe eBook and demonstration videos.

      You can find out more about the Lean Legs program here:

      Love, Lean Legs Club support xx

  10. Hi Rachel, I’m very very new to the whole lifting thing and I was wondering what range of kg do you consider light, medium and heavy?

  11. Thank you so much for being brave enough to say this! I found your blog today when I googled ‘how to lose muscle from my back and shoulders’. I’ve been training heavy the past 3 years or so and I really hate how my back and shoulders have got so wide. I’m like you, my shirts and tops don’t fit anymore! I’m just under 5’3″ and have always been petite, and I really just want to get back to that, but being really toned. From reading your blog I realise that it can be done. I’m going to start powerwalking tonight. Should I be doing an hour a day? Do you have approx. times of how long it takes to reduce muscle? I’m going to overhaul my nutrition too, I’ve been focusing too much on macros and making sure I have enough protein.

    1. Hi lovely,
      Power walking is great is you want to slim down your legs, 1h a day is recommended minimum but of course you should do it as much as you can.
      Some women see results after only 2 weeks, but there were cases where the results started showing only after week 6, so keep going and be persistent!
      Rachael would love to help you as much as she can :) that’s why she has created her Lean Legs program and Lean Legs Training Club.
      The program in the eBook is an 8 week workout and nutrition plan designed to help you get lean and toned without bulking. It will help you slim down your legs, but will also help you slim and tone your upper body and core too (the workouts are full body). It also includes a full meal plan, a separate recipe eBook and demonstration videos.

      You can check out the Lean Legs program here

      Love, Lean Legs Club support

  12. Hi Rachel

    Legs is something I have always struggled with really would like some advice. I have PT sessions twice a week and my trainer always says I should do weights and less cardio. Now I really love cardio and I love running. I’m constantly told I need to do more weights and less running. I am so confused and really want advice on what cardio is good for fat loss.

    1. Hi Maria, pretty much all PT’s will say more weight lifting, less cardio. But it really depends on the person and their goals. If you are wanting to slim down your legs, you definitely need cardio. And you need to focus on exercises to tone this area without adding bulk. I would keep with your cardio, especially if you love it! xx

  13. Thank you so much for this post! Finally someone gets me!
    I´ve been training for almost 2 years in the past and at some point I’ve started feelling the same way as you. I mean, I used to watched myself in the mirror and think: this is not what I want. I hated my legs and my arms, I thought they were too big.
    So eventualy I quited the gym, but not because I wanted too, but because I didn’t saw the results I wanted. It was like all the effort that I was making was in vane. I felt really sad with my body at that moment.
    But, now, after reading all your blog and looking to all your great advices I’m happy to say that I returned to the gym :) But, this time, I specifically told my personal trainer that I wanted to stay skinny. So what I’m doing now is a LOT of cardio, like 45 minutes or and hour, and then a smaller routine that only involves lifting light weight or doing exercises with my body. And, also, I started yoga, which I really love and I think it helps me getting my body flexible.
    Now I feel happy with what I do, because I’m doing things that I actually like and because I’m getting the results that I want. And that’s all because of you and this great blog. Thank you so much again. I hope you keep doing this so I can continue learning about exercises and food!

    Greetings from Argentina.

  14. Thank u so much for this. ive been lifting heavy for 2 years now and don’t wanna do it anymore. don’t get me wrong I enjoy working out etc but I love playing competitive hockey and love running along with bodyweight HIIT style workouts more, I’m wanting to stop heavy lifting and go back to doing bodyweight again. ive been reading a lot online and this is the first page I found that made me not dread giving up heavy lifting and reassured me that I can still look toned fit and healthy also through following a healthy diet without heavy lifting. I want functional strength(something I had when I played several sports-still play hockey) and ran and did bodyweight. I lost a lot through just heavy lifting and cardio. I miss it and yes its nice to be strong but I just don’t enjoy it anymore and longterm, playing my hockey,running,cycling and doing bodyweight sounds much more fun
    THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS. I feel confident now ill be ok xxx

  15. So glad I found your article. Recently I hired a personal trainer to help me slim down, lose 15-20 lbs. He’s had me do heavy lifting, which I had never done before in my life. In past training I’ve done lighter weight training, boxing, bootcamps, etc. and always had an hourglass shape when training regularly. After about a month of 3 days per week heavy lifting, my back and waist have widened to the point where my sports bras are tighter, and I can’t fit nearly all the skirts and dresses in my closet. At first I thought maybe this was my imagination, but it isn’t at all. It has made me bigger. The opposite of what I needed. I hate this bulky feeling!! I will never lift heavy ever again. I’m sick and tired of hearing that you can’t get bulky from it, because obviously certain of us can. I have always observed that about myself too. What makes me the most mad is that I went against my intuition. Don’t do this ladies!! You know your body best and if a trainer doesn’t respect that you want to do training that is different, then leave them. The idea that women can’t get bulky from lifting heavy is obviously WRONG. I have stopped the lifting. But I want to get rid of this muscle!! How else can I lose it?

    1. Hi Anne Marie, I’m really sorry to hear that this happened to you :( But just know that the bulkiness is caused by muscle and you CAN reduce the muscle. Unfortunately reducing muscle takes time… When I bulked up my legs, it took 6-12 months to get them back to how they were before. So you need to be patient. Please have a read of these blog posts on how to slim down muscular thighs and how to slim down a muscular upper body. I hope they will give you some good tips on what to do now. Wishing you all the best! xxx

      1. Hi Rachel. Thanks for your quick reply! I’ve already started both the daily cardio and calorie reduction. I appreciate very much the blogs you have referred me to and I’ve read those and am applying your tips. Interestingly I also read the Victoria secret model workout one…..and that’s exactly the types of training I used to do when I was the size that is best for my body :) So back I go to that!! thanks again for your helpful website xo

  16. Great article! I stumbled here after doing a search for “i don’t like lifting weights anymore” b/c that’s how i feel lately. I dread my strength workouts before, during, and even after. But i love to work out so much that i’m in the process of becoming a CPT. I know I should be doing what I enjoy, and I do like cardio and things like pilates. So i’m torn. I want to be strong, I want a better looking body, but I also want to enjoy what I’m doing. I feel like I’ve had “lift heavy” drilled into my head over the last couple years and can’t seem to think past it. If you want to have muscle tone, lift heavy. If you want to change to shape of your body, lift heavy. If you want to be strong, lift heavy. I’m now starting to look around and see what my options are from here. If you have anymore advice on how to choose where I can go from here, I’d love to hear it. Thanks!

    1. Hi Anna, you can definitely still be strong, lean and have muscle tone with other types of resistance training (i.e. HIIT and lighter weights) rather than heavy lifting. It takes a bit of trial and error to work out what is best for your body and your goals. But it’s definitely doable! Good luck xxx

  17. Thank you so much for this post! I am still on my weight loss journey I’ve lost a total of 17 pounds so far with another 18 to go. I am quite petite 5 ft 3in and since I’ve been incorporating HIIT sprints on the treadmill, 30 second all out sprints with 2 minute active recovery time my calves and legs have gotten SO BULKY it has been a nightmare. I don’t think my calf muscles have ever gotten this big, even at my heaviest my legs still felt skinnier than they do now.

    I have also been doing HIIT kettlebell circuits with a 15 pound kettlebell and it has made my usually small back just look wide and broad, a look I was not going for. I did not think this was even possible for me since I have a very narrow upper body.

    Althougth the HIIT has definitely helped me lose alot of weight, it has also changed my body in the most undesirable way, in my eyes :(

    Besides walking 10km at 6-7 km a day, what else would you recommend for me to do to lean out my body while still losing weight?

    1. Hi Linda, congratulations on losing 17 pounds! That really is an amazing achievement so you should be very proud of yourself :) I’m sorry to hear that your body hasn’t changed in the way you would hope. I would give the HIIT workouts and resistance workouts on my blog a go to help you achieve a leaner look. And of course I recommend my eBook if you like those type of workouts! Good luck lovely. I hope you get the results you’re looking for xx

      1. Rachel I just messaged you about trying to lose fat and excess muscle and wanted to add – what is the best diet to follow to achieve and maintain this? More complex carbs or high protein?

  18. Hi Rachel!

    I’m also a personal trainer & am a big believe that what works for one doesn’t work for another! I’m totally in the same boat..naturally muscular and bulk up…I also do best with cardio, barre, body weight, resistance band workouts, yoga…my only concern is that doesn’t losing muscle lower RMR? How do you manage that?

    1. Hi Lauren, yes less muscle means a lower RMR. I manage this through diet and eating less than I would when I have a lot of muscle. When I am less muscular, I am not as hungry (obviously because of the lower RMR) so it eating less just kinda happens naturally xx

  19. I feel like I wrote this. I am a fitness trainer as well and I have done all kinds workouts, I did not like how I looked when I lifted. I get trainers telling me I should lift but I will not let anyone tell me, I love the way I look, I focus on circuits, light weights, barre and pilates and running ;) In fitness there is no one size fits all, and everyone has their own personal goal! Keep going for that :)

    1. Hi Alisha, I totally agree! There is definitely no one size fits all. I’m glad to hear that even though you’re in the fitness industry, you’re standing up for yourself and doing what YOU want to do! Good for you :) xx

  20. How do you feel about the rebounder for cardio? Is it bulking? Does the trampoline absorb the shock and thus help avoid bulk through the calf/thigh, or does the bounce add to the impact and grow the muscle? Thank you. This is an AMAZING blog. xoxo

    1. Hi lovely, thank you so much! The rebounder is definitely cardio, but I don’t think it would be as effective for slimming down your legs as walking and running would. In saying that though, I don’t think it will really bulk your legs. It might build a bit of muscle, but so does running. I would try to walk and run if you can, but if not, rebounder could be a good alternative xx

  21. This was a post I needed to see – and so many more people should. I had a personal trainer who was a bodybuilder herself. When we started, I explained I wanted to slim down and tone up – lean muscles. After a year and a half, I parted ways with her as I just felt so bulky. In photo’s all I could see was bulky shoulders – like I could be in a football team! I’ve gone back to basics – more cardio, more bodyweight exercises like yoga and pilates. Another area of my training that was lacking with PT was stretching!!! And I feel sooo much better now. Plus, I really look forward to my exercise now and it’s making all the difference in keeping up with a consistent program. So glad I found you too for more workout inspiration!

    1. Hi Kate, aww I’m so sorry to hear this. It seems like it happens to a lot of women! But I’m glad to hear you’re back on track now and are feeling a lot better. Keep going girl! xx

  22. I am so happy that I found you! I also became bulky from lifting heavy weights, and its refreshing to discover a blog that addresses this issue. I want to continue strength training workouts, but I am unsure of how much weight to use. Currently, I have 2, 5, and 10 pound ankle weights; 3, 5, 10, and 12 pound dumbbells; 10 and 15 pound kettle bells; and 20 pound barbell mainly for squats and deadlifts. Are all of these considered light weight? What do you consider to be light weight for upper body, as well as for lower body? Also, would you consider walking at 3.0 mph on a treadmill (no incline) sufficient for liss cardio?

    1. Hi Ash, yes I would consider these weights light, but also remember it’s the type of exercises that you do that will make you bulky. Also, yes this would be great for LISS cardio xx

      1. Do you recommend doing only LISS for an hour, 5 times a week until I debulk my frame, or should I do less cardio and incorporate strength training, or body weight workouts? Any advice that you can offer will be greatly appreciated!!

  23. hey Rachel iv been following your blogs/social media with admiration for some time now. I’m 20, I used to be a model and whilst i wasn’t naturally skinny,i had become very lean through my years of resistance training and dancing. However in the past 6 months, having switched personal trainer in order to tone my bum and lower half more so whilst combatting hormone related weight gain, I have created a body form I literally despise. My quads have almost doubled, and rather than a toned peach i have what just looks like a dimply/sticky out bum. To those who didn’t know me ,theres no way you’d have thought i trained 6 days a week . I don’t want to be muscly, i want to be long and lean with definition, and instead i have what can only be described as an athletes legs. This i think is due to so much weight training, despite me telling my coach I didn’t want it. Although petite I am able to lift pretty heavy and a few of my coaches tend to get carried away with what I am capable of, rather than what I actually want. I really hope you see this and respond, as I would love some advice from you. I feel its too late to reverse the muscle ‘gains’ I have made that I really don’t want xxx

    1. Hi Bella! I saw you emailed me this too, so I’ll reply more extensively via email. I’m really sorry that happened to you with your trainer hun! Have a look at this blog post on how to slim muscular thighs (if you haven’t already). My advice would be to stop with your trainer for now as they don’t seem to understand what you are looking for. It will take time to slim down muscle, and all you can really do is give it time, and avoid doing any exercises that use your quads. As long as you continue doing them, you won’t reduce the muscle size. I’ll reply to you via email now! Xx

      1. Hi Rachel!
        Thank you so much for this post! Bella’ story is exactly like mine. I went from waif skinny to stocky and bulky from a few months of weight training. Now I hate my body, don’t fit any of my clothes and have bulky arms, shoulders, thinghs and ass! I feel twice as wide and short and also found that the intensity of the weight lifting caused me to feel starving and overeat – plus left me too sore for cardio afterwards! Please please forward me the email you sent to Bella as my 30th birthday is coming up in 3 months and I will do anything to get the excess fat and muscle off to get my skinny body back. No trainer seems to understand and I don’t know how much cardio I should do to achieve the best results – especially with my bum and thighs. I am scared to get skinny fat. My email is Please reply! Thank you xxxx

        1. Hi lovely, I can’t find the exact email I sent to Bella. But she did buy my eBook so that’s why I would have given her more special advice via email :) If you’re trying to get rid of muscle, less is more. I would stop all heavy lifting ASAP, and focus on walking and lighter style workouts like on my blog here or eBook. In terms of cardio, try to do lots of walking every day if you can! And diet wise, the most important thing is actually how much food you eat and eating less sugar. The exact break dow of carbs and protein won’t matter too much – as long as you’re eating at a calorie deficit and also eating healthy. I wish you all the best! And I’m sure you will look amazing for your 30th :) xxx

  24. Hi Rachel! Thank you for this article. I’m in my late forties and am feeling the same way. When I say something to a trainer or someone who is lifting about not wanting to get thick legs they always say women can’t get bulky…. I know I can. I feel like high reps and just a weight that challenges you is best. I am going to start incorporating some of your advice in my training and see what happens. Your body changes as you age and I’m trying to find what my body responds to the best now for results I like and feel confident. Right now I’m not there….

    1. Hi Cat, I totally understand! I feel the same way too. I hope you can incorporate some of my advice and start feeling confident again. Good luck! I’m always here to help if you need :) xx

  25. I guess I am a newbie I just started working out an everyone insist that to burn the fat an gain the muscle I must lift heavy weights! I’m already naturally muscular especially my arms. It turns my stomach when a man say you work out! look at your arms! ????. So I trying to tone my body without making my arms any more muscular they naturally are. Glad I found this blog, it makes me feel a whole lot better because I was fallen into the heavy lifting trap. So, I decided I’m gonna use light weights. The first month I had started using heavier weights than I wanted to because I was so focus on toning my body with the help of heavy weights because thats all I was reading.

    1. Hi hun, I’m glad you found me too! You can definitely get toned without needing to lift the heavy weights, especially if you already feel that your arms are too muscular. Do some lighter weights and cardio and you’ll get results! :) Good luck xx

  26. Great article! I actually just joined a gym with my husband. Do you think doing the machines without adding too much weight will not make you too bulky? or would you avoid any of the machines and just do body weight? I also do enjoy cardio :)

    1. Hi Tammy, I think if you’re a beginner, the machines are great. For me, it’s certain exercises that make me bulk up, and this includes some of the machines. Most of the machines should be OK but I would avoid the assisted pull up machine and leg press for now. Good luck! xx

  27. Love it! I can’t agree more! That’s exaclty my opinion! Moreover I love running, jumping rope and pilates so for me it’s a win win too! Keep posting stuff like this xoxo

  28. I love this post! I think you actually may have worked at my old gym! My main form of cardio is long morning walks, and the only reason I was a member was to escape the horrendous Brisbane summer. I joked with my husband that the trainers must have thought my workouts were stuck in the 90’s as they couldn’t convert me to the heavy lifting lifestyle. I agree that you should do what makes you happy, but I’m just not into the bulky look. I really like your message!

    1. Hi Liz, oh what a coincidence! Haha yeah I always felt awkward on the treadmills there. Just keep doing what you’re doing and don’t feel pressured to do anything you don’t want to do. Thanks for commenting! Wish we could’ve met :) xx

  29. I don’t usually leave comments but just felt like i absolutely had to after reading this post! I’m also a qualified personal trainer and feel the exact same embarrassment/judgement from people when i do cardio and light weights! Whilst i personally love lifting heavy, weights just make me so muscular and thick that i dislike it. I think this article is so important to let especially girls understand that we shouldn’t just blindly follow social media trends and do plenty of research before following a program to make sure that it’s the right program! I do slightly regret lifting so heavy back in the days as shredding muscle is so much more difficult!

    1. Hi lovely! Oh wow, you’re the second personal trainer to comment the same thing – we’re not alone! It is definitely more difficult losing muscle than gaining it. But I did it (it took me a while). Keep on going babe and do what you love! Thanks for commenting :) xx

  30. I love this. I’ve also been a personal trainer and felt pressure from everyone to lift heavy. I mean, how you can be a trainer and choose other workouts? Now, I love dance cardio, lifting light weights, and body weight exercises. My legs are leaner and it’s easier to buy pants :)

    1. Hi hun, oh I haven’t never heard from another personal trainer who has had the same experience! I think it’s hard being a PT because you’re just expected to lift heavy weights. Good for you for doing what you love now :) xx

  31. Great article Rachael! I feel the same way. I am almost the opposite of you. I used to do a lot of bodyweight and cardio, but in the last 3 years or so I have gone more into heavier weights. I still incorporate cardio and I love how it makes me look and feel. Plus I really enjoy the workouts which should be the most important thing :)

    1. Hi hun, it’s nice to hear that someone who trains the opposite of me, still respects and understands the message I’m putting out there. Thanks for your support babe! xx

  32. Rachael, I just LOVED this post soon much! I believe that you have to find what is right for you exercise, food and mind wise. I am feeling EXACTLY the same as you. I hate the feeling after a heavy leg day, but love the feeling after doing 20mins of pilates/yoga and then going for a run. I am revitalised. After lifting I feel torn, exhausted, starving (causing me to overeat) and most of all puffy. I experience the same thing that you did – thicker legs and back and have a lot more Murves (muscle curves). In comparison to when I run and do your skinny leg programme, I am lean and fit looking. Again don’t get me wrong, if lifting suits your body then do it! But it doesn’t suit mine and I think there is huge pressure from social media to make ladies lift and basically that lifting is the best form of exercise. It is NOT. The best form of exercise is exercise that you’re excited to do and that makes your mind and body feel great xxx

    1. Hi Ali, I’m glad to hear that somebody else relates! I LOVE your last sentence. The best exercise is the one that you love and makes you feel great. Keep doing what you’re doing babe! xxx

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