This is the grand daddy of all training myths! Somehow the aerobics, yoga and Pilate’s community have convinced us that when we perform bodyweight exercises or light resistance training for high reps, our muscles magically take on a beautiful shape without growing or bulging. On the other hand, if you challenge yourself with moderately heavy weights, your body will take on a bulky, unflattering appearance. If you believe this, you probably still believe in the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus!
Here are the facts. The main difference between a "lean and toned" physique and a "bulky" physique is the amount of body fat that surrounds your muscles! Basically, the "lean and toned" look that most people desire is a result of having muscle that isn’t hidden under layers of fat. And let’s not forget that the best way to build muscle is through strength training.
Generally speaking, this means challenging yourself with moderately heavy weights in the 6 to 15 rep range. It doesn’t mean using an insignificant resistance for a countless number of reps. This will do little to change your appearance. Remember, it’s the muscle on your frame which gives you your shape. Muscle also increases your metabolism which helps your body burn extra calories throughout the day.