Summer Shape-up

Ask Jenna: How can I lift weights without bulking up?

May 8, 2012 at 3:05 AM ET

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Have your healthiest summer yet! Ease into the dreaded "swimsuit season" with healthy tips from TODAY experts. All throughout May, we'll offer smart do-it-yourself ways to look, eat and feel better. So stop stressing about that swimsuit, and read on.

TODAY anchor Jenna Wolfe isn't just a fitness buff who loves to work out (and has the muscles to show for it). She's also a personal trainer in her spare time. And now, she's your trainer — on Facebook, at least. Got a fitness query? Head over to our Facebook page and ask away.

Q: How can you work your shoulders without bulking up? — Connie Mell

A: This is the most common question I get regarding weight lifting. Women are worried about building big, bulky muscles and they shy away from the weights as a result.

The truth is quite the opposite. Lifting weights will both burn calories and speed up your metabolism. Women would have to lift extremely heavy weights to bulk up. What you want to do is lift heavy enough weights to max out at 10-12 repetitions. If your weights are too light, you won't see enough of a difference. The goal is to tone your body, not inflate it.

And always keep in mind that muscle weighs more than fat, so don't completely rely on the scale as you start to tone up that body. -- Jenna Wolfe

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