Getting stronger, beefier, and…smaller?


The majority of the people who follow or read my blog are either Crossfitters, weight lifters OR do some sort of resistance exercise. So I’m sure all of you have run into this person..



Today’s WOD called for pull ups.  After I finished, I watched one of the other girls in class do her last set-and she was flying. She had a band (with the 3rd highest resistance, or 3rd lowest..the middle. half empty? full?), and she was just flying through these pull ups. Her last set. after the rest of the work out.  Seems odd-everyone was else was struggling ,doing sets of 1-3 and here she was doing her last 15 unbroken.

After the WOD,  I went up to her and said (thinking how encouraging I was being) “You know, I think you’re stronger than that. You were really flying through those pull ups! Have you tried them without the band or a smaller band?”.  and she replied

I know. I don’t want my lats to get any bigger”


Gross. who wants to look like this (I love you Camielle. In a strictly Crossfit way)

What? You don’t want to get bigger FROM KIPPING PULL UPS?  Can you even get any sort of muscle development from those? It’s like swinging from a tree. Monkeys must have huge lats


Too much kipping, not enough running.

 So I said “well, you know the kip actually takes away a lot of that initial lat engagement from a pull up….” and she interrupted me and said that her kickboxing instructor could “really notice she’d been doing more weights, and she didn’t want her chest size to get any bigger”.

You guys, this girl is probably 5’0″, and maybe 110-115. I mean, she’s small. Smaller than me, and I’m considered small.  And she’s naturally athletic and pretty strong…but she’s purposely scaling weights and workouts in order to avoid bulk.

I bit my tongue after that. I could have gotten on the soapbox. I could have preached about women, hypertrophy, bulkiness, strength, and what not. But you know what?

It’s not my place, and her goals are her goals. 

Obviously she has other fitness interests than Crossfit. If she isn’t into the more competitive edge of Crossfit, and she’s willing to shell out the $$ for a Crossfit membership and not try and improve her strength or skills…that’s her choice. I made it a mental point at some crossroads in my Crossfit journey I was going to stop judging people on what they chose to do as far as their goals. If someone isn’t into lifting heavy, whatever. If someone isn’t into learning how to do pull ups, ring dips or gymnastics-more power to them.  Most people, when their paying that much for a specialized program, USUALLY want to improve in all aspects. But some don’t . AND THAT’S FINE.

However, I still think it’s funny her main worry is the size of her lats from kipping pull ups. For realz?





emom 10 min-progressively higher weight until failure

1×1 snatch

I got to 75# and stopped. my form sucked and I was sad


2 RFT:

200 M Run

25 KBS (35#)

200 M Run

20 Wall balls (#14/9′)

200 M Run

15 pull ups

i got 11:22 RX’d.  all movements except pull ups unbroken-pull ups were 10/5 and 11/4. almost to 15 unbroken!

Post WOD (at home)

5×5 HSPU

half flight simulator

some clean work (pulls and deadlifts)


Breakfast was 2 eggs, 3 egg whites and a piece of bacon.  I had this with some coffee and water.  Lunch was a Cobb salad with some extra chicken added from Trader Joes  due to laziness.   Snacks were almond clusters, some avocado chocolate “mousse” and grapes.   Dinner was Dover sole with macadamia crust over a salad with garlic mustard vinaigrette. 

no pictures because my kitchen is a mess


Little miss is quite the erratic napper as of late. Some days it’s 2 wonderful naps of 1.5-2 hours, and other days it’s 2 sad naps of 30 minutes, with a quick cat nap caught in the car or stroller. Whatever…as long as she keeps sleeping all night I can’t complain!

Still nervous about our cruise. And my hip is sore, so i’ll probably stick to body weight workouts while on the ship  And i need to stop lounging around in workout clothes.  and shower. at least once a day, Cassie. at least one a day.


What is your usual response to “weights make women bulky”? or to women who are afraid to lift because they are afraid they will get “too big”?


11 thoughts on “Getting stronger, beefier, and…smaller?

  1. cathyo

    i’ve been doing this just since Feb…but i’ve gotten smaller overall…and starting to really tone up. I friggin’ love it! and i practice my kipping pull ups as often as I can…and never have a fear of getting lats that are too big! some people just don’t get it!

    1. Lil Mama Post author

      Im actually smaller lifting heavier weights, back to pre pregnancy weight but lifting 50% more with the same amount of speed and gymnastic skills. so there you go.

      i mean my bra size has gone up one-but due to MUSCLE! I love the way my lats/back/shoulders look now.

  2. Corrie Anne

    Yep. There’s a lot of those people. I have to say that last week I had my first encounter of something not fitting probably 100% due to CrossFit. But I love my lats, so I didn’t cry. Lol. Send it back for something with a little more stretch!!!!!! 🙂 I actually love that CrossFit has me a lot more focused on movement goals rather than aesthetic goals so it’s easier not to get so caught up on that type of thing. 11 & 4 is pretty good!!! Definitely inspired by your pull-ups!!!!

    1. Lil Mama Post author

      LOL I love my lats too! Someone from my box who wanted to learn how to kip knees to elbow filmed me doing it, and when I was rewatching it she’s like “you can tell you have a lot of strength there!” because my muscles were flexed with each kip and I LOVED how it looked! who cares if my bra band size went up another inch or two 🙂

      Actually one of the male members and I discussed that after the girl made the comment about not wanting big lats. I said what Crossfit has done for my body more than anything is made me MORE confident in it-aesthetics or not. I’m proud i can do strict pull ups, pick up over 200+ from the ground and run an almost 6 min mile-who cares if I still have some extra skin from my pregnancy? I am more confident now in just a sports bra and shorts than I was when I was my smallest during running or kickboxing. My body is capable of a lot and that make me proud of it

      You’ll get pull-ups soon and you’ll be a beast with BOTH kinds of bars 😉

  3. Jennifer

    I just heard someone say that last week! I just shrug. I don’t really know what to say. I mean, not everyone is designed to get built up and beefy without taking steroids or testosterone supplements. If I think the person can be convinced otherwise, I’ll counter her comment but some people just have that idea stuck in their heads and there really isn’t anything you can do about it. I have a small frame so my muscles show up a little more, especially in my shoulders and arms, but I don’t look like a dude. I love the way I look! And, I too recently had a moment where I tried on a fancy dress that I wore last year that, this year, couldn’t be zipped up my back. Hmm…it was odd but I just shrugged it off. I’d rather do pull-ups than worry about it. And, the dress that I did end up wearing totally made my back/shoulders look awesome! 🙂

    1. Lil Mama Post author

      pretty sure i always want my shoulders and back exposed. in fact, the less clothes THE BETTER. haha just kidding…kind of ;).

      I just tell them that unless they eat more and highly supplement, it’s unlikely they will even build enough muscle to look “bulky” or even big-I also say that whatever muscle they are burning will burn more calories and eventually burn that fat layer away. I tend to look bigger before I get smaller whenever i’ve lifted, because i need to burn that top layer of fat

  4. playlifeoutloud

    I heard that last week too. I just try to respect each person for their own goals. However, partner WODs, especially AMRAP ones, I try not to pair myself up with the girls who just want to coast…

  5. idrankthecfkoolaid

    Drives me bonkers when girls/ladies/women say they don’t want to get bulky. I try to explain that you would have to eat so much food and work out so much and probably be on steroids before you come close to getting bulky. I had a friend just spectate a workout and she made the comment on getting bulking. Coach asks “are you on steroids”, she of course says “uh no”, then he says NO way are you going to bulk up. I have been CrossFitting for 2 years, no bulk here! Just some jiggle!

    1. Lil Mama Post author

      agreed. I even have to tell my friend about building muscle/eating because she’s actually always complaining she never gets stronger..but then runs 30 miles a week on top of WODS, and still counts calories and freaks out over anything above 1500..

      1. idrankthecfkoolaid

        man it’s so hard to stop counting calories when you’ve programmed yourself to do it for sooooo long. I still catch myself estimating calories for the foods I eat. It’s horrible! Food = Fuel. I don’t ever want to run 30 miles but I wish that was built into me mentally, to enjoy it. Geesh running is the devil!

      2. Lil Mama Post author

        im ok running when its nice, and I’m not being timed lOL. I’m forcing my self to run an extra few miles a day because i have a tough mudder coming up so i need to be in shape for that

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