Myths about Weight Training
As you might suspect, there are many different myths about strength training, lifting weights, and what happens to your body. Let’s address these first because it’s important to be comfortable with your strength training program. You’ll be more confident and you’ll be better able to create a program that’s right for you when you understand the facts about strength training.
The Weight Training Will Make You Bulky Myth
“If you lift weights you’ll get bulky.” This is far and away the biggest myth about weight lifting. The truth is that most women and most men too, just don’t have the genetics to build large amounts of muscle mass. It takes testosterone, hours and hours a day in the gym, a very disciplined diet, and unwavering dedication to build a body that looks bulky and muscly.
According to Rachel Cosgrove, CSCS, author of The Female Body Breakthrough, unless you’re training for hours a day and also consuming a thousands of calories, your muscles will only grow to a healthy, normal level that promotes an increased metabolism. “You have to really work for every ounce of muscle that you gain, and it’s not as easy as most women think to sprout big muscles,” says Cosgrove.
Because muscle is denser than fat, strength training actually makes muscles shapelier. The truth is that with good nutrition, weight lifting creates a leaner physique — not a bulkier one.
The Weight Training is Bad for Your Joints Myth
Some folks mistakenly believe that when you’re performing weight bearing exercise, you’re putting an unhealthy strain on your joints. The thing that probably helps perpetuate this myth is actually just bad form. Because if you’re performing a squat and your knees are angling inward towards each other, rather than out over your toes, you may put a damaging strain on your knees.
However, with proper form, strength training is less stressful on your joints than many other activities. There’s no impact. Each movement should be smooth and fluid, which allows for full range of motion.
Strength training has been shown to improve the health of your joints by strengthening the muscles and ligaments that hold them together. In fact, studies performed on people who suffer from knee joint pain found that when they performed weight bearing exercises, they experienced a 43% reduction in pain and were better at performing daily tasks.
The truth is that strength training strengthens the muscles and improves the ligaments and tendons to help your joints function better and with less pain.
The Muscle Turns To Fat If You Stop Lifting Myth
If an apple sits on the counter for a few days, weeks or months can it turn into bacon? No. And muscle cannot turn into fat. They’re two different things. Muscle never turns into fat and fat never turns into muscle. You can increase and decrease the size of your fat and muscle cells, but you can’t convert one into the other.
Muscle does help you burn fat because it requires more energy to function. Additionally, after a strength training workout, your muscle cells need to repair, and that requires more energy as well. Research has found that an intense bout of strength training burns calories for 16 to 24 hours after your session.
When you stop using your muscles, your body becomes significantly less efficient at burning calories. This allows your body to begin storing fat, so you might gain weight. The fat-to-muscle ratio in your body can shift depending on how much you eat and how you exercise.
There are other common myths you might be familiar with. For example…
- You can spot reduce fat – You can’t burn fat in one area over another. Oh, it would be wonderful if we could all target reduce. However, your body doesn’t know that you want your tummy to shrink. It simply pulls energy or fuel from wherever it can get it.
- Men and women should train differently – You should train for your skill and strength level as well as your fitness goals. It doesn’t matter if you’re a man or a woman; strength training isn’t gender specific.
- You have to eat more protein – Protein is important for muscle recovery. However, the average American already consumes more than enough protein to give recovering muscles what’s needed.
- You have to do lots of repetitions – There are many different approaches to strength training. But doing lots of repetitions isn’t generally one of the most recommended approaches. We’ll talk about options and approaches in the next section of this report.
- It’s boring – Strength training, when you approach it in a way that fits your personality, is far from boring. It’s motivating, exciting, empowering and because the changes to your body can be both significant and fast, strength training can be just about the most fun you’ve had in a long time.
Ready to start improving your health, losing weight, and having more energy every day? Let’s talk about how to begin creating your own strength training program.