The first thing i want you all to do Is to throw away the scale and just not care about it if you strength train. In all honesty, you shouldnt care about the scale anyway. But when you strength train the chances of gaining weight (muscle weight) increase... also your body retains water, adding to weight gain. And that can freak people out. But the scale merely tells you your whole body mass... your mass to the ground. It doesnt tell you whether its bones, muscles, fat, organs etc
So the scale isnt such a reliable method.
Also when you strength train, seeing the scale go up is a positive thing. Its a sign that you are progressing, that you are getting stronger.
Because strength training is about getting stronger, about building muscle in one form or another. Because you cant get stronger without getting more muscles. And muscles weigh... so if you strength train, accept the fact your weight might go up a little. However, the only noticeable thing about it is that you might get more toned/bigger muscles or look more "toned" (hate that word, but couldnt think of a better one right now).
First thing is first... Ask yourself why you want to strength train? What is it you want to achieve? I have had a few too many people tell me they only want to strength train so that they dont gain weight in fat... Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. And then ive had people tell me they want to strength train but don't want to gain fat or become 'bigger'. Once again, wrong. wrong. wrong.
Ill begin with, first off... your only reason to strength train SHOULDNT be just so that you dont gain fat. Because your body NEEDS fat. There is no escaping that. And only gaining muscle wont make your body healthier, infact you just stress it even more because you exercise too much and your body is still not healthy. So you might not get your period back and too much exercise can make your period be gone for a long long time. And for guys... well strength training too early and not having enough fat isn't healthy for you either.
Fat is essential on the body.
But also, when you strength train you gain both muscle and a little fat... its not like you purely gain muscle not unless you have some perfectly made food plan and your body jsut behaves in the right way. I've gained and lost fat since strength training.. though to me, that isnt so important. For me, i strength train because i love it.
Wanting to change or shape your body... there are positives and negatives to it. I dont think you should focus all your attention on changing your body, that wont bring you happiness because you will ALWAYS see something wrong. Something you want to change or dont like. But of course having a goal like, i would like a bigger butt or more toned arms... that doesnt have to be a bad thing. For me, one of my goals was to have more toned arms because all my life i have had stick thin arms. They looked disproportionate to my body and i didnt like it. So i did something about it and feel so much more happier with my arms now... but in general, 99% of my strength training is because i love it. And that 1%... well yeah, i like how my body changes in a positive way. I'm not going to lie about that :)
And then onto not wanting to gain weight or get bigger...Well its not like over night your legs go from super skinny to super muscular. Or your arms go from stick thin to huge biceps. Its a process and takes months to happen... Of course, it does happen that you wake up and think, 'wow,when did this happen'. But it happened over a longer period of time, its just that its small changes all the time.
There are different forms of strength training, so unless you are doing the strength training where your focus is to build muscle and you use heavy weights, low reps & lots of food and enough rest and do that for years on end. You really dont need to worry about getting bulky.
But there is even endurance training, resistance training, body weight training and all of that is also strength training. But lets not forget things like HIIT, swimming, circuit training, boxing... that's all strength training in some form as well and helps 'tone' (once again, lack of better word) your body.
You shouldn't be scared of weight gain... though of course, it all depends on circumstances. But when it comes to strength training, weight gain isnt a bad thing.
Changing of your body... if you do strength training for a longer period of time then yes... your body changes. And it can become 'bigger'
I am now noticing that some tops dont fit me so well, many of my dresses from 2 years ago no longer fit. And also my jeans..... well, they just dont work at all. haha. As im so tall and have sort of muscular legs but also a thin waist/stomach, its almost impossible to find jeans that fit properly. But i guess thats just something i have to deal with.
But your body changing and becoming 'bigger'... its not like you expand 5cm each time you strength train. And if it happens that you feel like say... your arms are becoming too big. Then its just to stop training them.
If you enjoy strength training, then do it. But i think its important to know your reason for wanting to strength train.... if its just to gain muscle so that you dont gain fat. Then check your priorities and ask yourself if your health truly matters to you. Because fat is essential on your body and not something you can avoid!!!