Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Myths and Truths About Weight Training...

I've come across this topic time and time again. Why are so many people afraid to weight train? I'll be honest. I was one of those females that feared looking like a man. It really wasn't until two years ago that I really started weight lifting.  The following are some of the common misconceptions and truths about female's weight lifting:

  • Women will look too masculine if they lift.  By far this is the most common myth about weight training. For startes women are naturally unable to produce enough testosterone as men.  Testosterone is one of the main hormones that help with increasing muscle size. You would really have to be on some type of steroid to get to that level of muscularity.  Women who do resistance training are stronger, leaner, and healthier than women who do not. What that resistance training does to your physique is completely up to you and your DNA.

  • If you do lift, only lift with very light weights. Wrong! When you lift heavy weights, your muscles get STRONGER (but not necessarily bigger). If you pump yourself full of testosterone and eat way more calories than you are burning every day, you will get bigger. If you pick up heavy things, and eat the right kind of know the healthy stuff people talk about, your muscles will get stronger.  You will burn the fat on top of your muscle, and you will get that “toned” look that you’re after.
  • Cardio is the only way to loose weight. Wrong again! I'll admit this was also how I felt about doing just cardio. I ran and ran and would hit a plateau. I couldn't figure out why I couldn't loose any more weight. When you weight train, your muscles are broken down, and then rebuilt over the next 24-48 hours. You know that burning and soreness feeling? Yeah it's your muscles starting to work. While your body is rebuilding those muscles, it starts to recruit more calories and energy to make the process happen. So basically what this means is that your metabolism operates at a faster level even while you’re sitting on the couch after a workout. You literally burn calories just by doing nothing!
  • If you stop weight training your muscles will turn to fat. So wrong! What often happens is when people decide to go off their weight training programs they start losing muscle due to inactivity. As the old saying goes, "Use it or lose it." On top of stopping weight training, people also tend to drop their healthy eating regime. So a combination of bad eating habits with the fact that the metabolism system slows down gives the impression that muscle is being turned into fat. In reality muscle is being lost and fat is being accumulated. 

So now for the truths, the benefits of weight training:

  • Improves bone density.
  • It increases the strength of connective tissue, muscles, and tendons.
  • Improves quality of life.
  • Burn more calories throughout the day
  • Strength training can reduce the signs and symptoms of many chronic conditions, including back pain, arthritis, obesity, heart disease and diabetes.
  • Building muscle also contributes to better balance
  • Boosts your immunity system
  • Improves sleeping patterns

Moral of the story: You can still look and be sexy even if you weight lift.  Venture out of your comfort zone and head over to the free weight section of your gym. Your body will thank you.


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