Does Weight Training Really Reduce Breast Size In Women?
One of the most common myths about weight training for women is that weight training reduces breast size and creates a flat manly looking chest. Even today in the 21st Century when we have access to so much in the way on information, the idea of weight training reducing breast size persists. The flat out answer is no, weight training does not reduce breast size in women. And this misconception has unfortunately prevented so many women from incorporating weight training into their quests to lose weight and firm up their bodies. And instead driving them towards aerobic exercises and extremely light weight training. Practice that inevitably lead to failure as intense weight training is without question the most effective way to increase muscle definition, tone up and develop a tight body. But what about the prospect of becoming flat chested? To answer that I can honestly say that unless you plan on starving yourself or using anabolic steroids, women have little to worry about in terms of their breasts getting smaller from weight training. In fact most tend to see a slight increase over time!
Weight training properly executed with sufficient intensity, adequate rest and nutrition will bring about an increase in muscle size of any part of the body that is being worked. This holds true whether it be it the pectoralis muscles of the chest (or pecs as many call them) or the muscles of your arms and legs. The way that this process (hypertrophy) works is that individual muscle fibers will get bigger (slightly bigger, that is, you won’t see mountains of muscle sprout on a woman without the use of anabolic steroids as it takes men with ten times more testosterone, years upon years to develop a muscular physique) or they will split and then get slightly bigger. The fibers of your pectoral muscles are all constituents of skeletal muscle whereas breast tissue is made up of sex specific adipose tissue (fat), ligaments, connective tissue and mammary glands. There are no skeletal muscle fibers found in the breasts as they simply sit directly over the pectoralis muscles. Weight training therefore can have no direct effect on them whatsoever.
Weight Training Doesn’t Affect Breasts Just The Muscles Underneath
Thus breast tissue cannot be subject to hypertrophy or get larger due to weight training, but by increasing the size (slightly, ladies) of the pectoral muscles under the breasts there will be a natural increase in overall chest size. It may then appear that the breasts look a bit larger as they will stand up a bit more, which, is something most women would not mind. However the actual size and composition of the breasts themselves will not change. A study conducted in the University of Arizona back in 1985 confirmed this phenomenon in a 21 day study that used concentric and eccentric contractions with a specialized chest exercise machine. After the three week program researchers found no changes whatsoever in the size, shape or volume of the breasts of the women participating after extensive scientific measurement.
So what about those flat chested women in the magazines with thickly developed chest muscles and no breasts? The ones that are so often parodied and ridiculed? Firstly it should be noted that the female bodybuilders that we typically see in magazines or on the internet use extensive amounts of drugs to attain a degree of muscular development and body fat reduction that is not in any way possible without pharmaceutical intervention. These athletes do not in any way represent what a regular woman would look like if they trained with weights, no matter how long or how hard they trained. The size and shape of breasts in a healthy woman is fairly resistant to change as long as there are normal conditions of hydration and food availability. That being said, in cases of extreme under nutrition or calorie restriction as is often the case for athletes trying to get lean or individuals with eating disorders like bulimia or anorexia where there is a significant reduction of body-weight and body fat, the breasts, which have a high proportion of fat, will shrink. In the case of female bodybuilders- you see the dense muscle tissue in their chest area and no breasts and the assumption is erroneously made that somehow the weight training made their breasts go away. Weight training has nothing to do with it, as shrinkage comes from the reduction in body fat and nothing else.
Weight Training Can Help You Look Better All Round!
That being said, natural athletes who don’t aspire to have 3% body fat levels don’t tend to have the same flat chested look as their drug using counterparts, nor the thickly muscled pecs that many find a bit off putting. Due to the reduced body fat of the average elite athlete there is some reduction in breast sized as compared to the general population, as they diet down, but most of the size lost in their chest area comes back when they eat normally and reduce their levels of fat burning activity. The other factor that can cause breast size to change is obesity- in which case the breasts become larger as body fat increases past healthy levels. Some women who are overweight see this increase in breast size as a positive attribute and are reluctant to exercise or diet for fear of reducing their bust size. For someone who is overweight to trim down to a lean and toned body, there will always be some loss of breast size- from the loss of body fat. But keep in mind that weight training can help lift what remains and make you look better all round!
For the past thirty plus years I have been training with a system I named Naturally Intense High Intensity Training.
And it helped me go from a 125lb skinny teenager into a successful natural bodybuilder training only THREE TIMES A WEEK with workouts lasting 10, 15 to 20 MINUTES at the most!
It sounds too good to be true but it's not only the cornerstone of my success but also has helped the hundreds of men and women I have trained with it as well over the past three decades.
Most of the popular high intensity training protocols out there were designed for and popularized by enhanced athletes, and they miss by a large mark some important factors that come into play for those who don't use drugs.
I hope it can help you as much as it's helped me and you can see the full video on YouTube by clicking on my bio link- or just look me up there (Kevin Richardson- Naturally Intense)
Thanks for taking the time to look at my work and as always, Excelsior!!! #naturallyintense
I Still Get Sore Even After 30+ Years of High Intensity Training!
So the answer to the question as to whether or not I still get sore from my training is:
A resounding yes!
I still get really sore, in fact as I am in pain as I write this as there isn't really a way for my body to adapt to the type of workouts that I do because with Naturally Intense High Intensity Training, every workout is different, so there's never a point where it gets easy!
Thing is, as bad as it gets, it's still something I look forward to as it hurts, but in a good way!
And if you've ever really pushed it and felt the aftermath a day or two after training, you know exactly what I mean!
So keep training hard, know I believe in you and as always, Excelsior!!! #naturallyintense
Rows are one of the cornerstones of my back development and with variety being an important part of Naturally Intense High Intensity Training, being able to do a variety of rows training at home is critical.
Which is why I love landmine T-Bar Rows.
Back in the day at 5th Avenue gym we would stick a barbell in a corner and do T-Bar rows with an Olympic bar and a triangle grip attachment, and I wish we had landmines back then as this set up is much easier (and you don't destroy the wall!, which we often did back at 5th)
This was my last set and I ended at 225lbs which is fairly conservative, but this exercise has a way of sneaking up on you and the weight feeling a thousand pounds heavier towards the end!!!
For the equipment-minded, t's a @repfitnessequipment landmine attachment on my heavily modified @roguefitness Monster Lite Rack with a Rogue Fitness T-Bar.
Still training, and I hope you are too!!!!
Thanks for watching and as always, Excelsior!!! #naturallyintense
Featured everywhere from the Wall Street Journal to CBS News, Kevin Richardson’s Naturally Intense High Intensity Training have helped hundreds lose weight and transform their bodies with his 10 Minute Workouts. One of the top natural bodybuilders of his time, Kevin is also the international fitness consultant for UNICEF and one of the most sought after personal trainers in New York City.
Featured everywhere from the Wall Street Journal to CBS News, celebrity Personal Trainer NYC and with over 2.6 million readers of his blog, Kevin Richardson is the creator of Naturally Intense High Intensity Training, one of the top lifetime drug free bodybuilders of his time, the first International Fitness & Nutrition Consultant for UNICEF, 2020 and 8 Time Winner of the Best of Manhattan Awards for Personal Training and a world recognized authority on high intensity training. Kevin has helped thousands, from celebrities to CEO's over the past 30 years achieve their fitness goals with his 10 minute high-intensity workouts done just three times a week in conjunction with his holistic nutrition approach. You can learn more about about his diet and training services at www.naturallyintense.net
For the past thirty years, Celebrity Trainer and Natural Bodybuilding Champion. Kevin Richardson has helped hundreds realize their fitness goals in less time with Naturally Intense High Intensity 10 Minute Workouts.