The Aussie fitness influencer wants to set the record straight, once and for all.

By Faith Brar
March 29, 2019

More and more women are getting comfortable with picking up barbells and dumbbells during a workout, instead of solely relying on cardio and bodyweight exercises. But while some are looking to increase their strength and power, others are lifting heavy simply to reach a certain aesthetic. Aussie fitness influencer Emily Skye has a message for these women, and she recently took to Instagram to share her perspective on why it simply isn't realistic to only strive for the appearance-based benefits of weightlifting. (Did you know that more women are trying to gain weight through diet and exercise?)

As a fitness instructor and influencer, Skye says she often hears women say that they don't want to get "bulky," or that they just want to grow their glutes and nothing else. "Every day these are things I hear from women," she wrote. "So many women are still afraid of lifting heavy weights and they seem to have this obsession with growing a big booty without growing their legs." (Check out these 15 transformations that'll inspire you to start lifting weights.)

Skye went on to explain that it's impossible to grow your glutes without building strength in your quads and hamstrings as well. "They're all connected and they all work together so there is absolutely no way to isolate just the glutes and to train them intensely enough to stimulate growth without the legs also working and growing," she wrote. "If it were possible to just strengthen and grow the glutes and not the legs you'd actually have trouble standing and walking as you'd be so unbalanced!" (See: What Really Happens When Women Lift Heavy Weights)

That isn't to say that there aren't workouts geared specifically toward glutes. "They're very effective at strengthening the glutes but you still work other muscles as well," Skye explains.

For women who feel like their legs are "bulking up" because they're lifting weights, Skye set the record straight in her post. "Generally these women have fat sitting on top of the muscle so it may appear that their legs are 'bulky' but it's just that they've still got a layer of fat hiding their 'toned' legs," she explains.

To illustrate her point, the fitness influencer shared how, when she gained a lot of fat during pregnancy, her legs appeared to look "a lot bigger," but in reality, her body was simply holding more fat in that area. "Once I got rid of a lot of the fat that sits on top of the muscle my legs appeared a lot slimmer," she wrote. (Need more convincing? Here are five reasons why lifting heavy weights *won't* make you bulk up.)

Bottom line: Ditch the phrase "bulk up" from your vocab, and embrace the strength and power you can gain from weightlifting. As Skye says herself: "Don't be afraid of the muscle ladies, being strong is AWESOME!"