by Judy Robinson
8 Myths About Strength Training – Busted
The one corner ignored by most women at every gym is where you find ‘weights’ for training. Well, it’s not their fault entirely. You find all kinds of absurd claims about strength training floating around.
Remember that exercising or training is not about losing weight. You must focus on strengthening muscles. Women lose muscle mass starting from the early 30s which in later years (i.e. the menopausal and post-menopausal years) increases the risk of muscle weakness and joint injury.
There are many common misconceptions surrounding weight training. And here, we shall bust the top 8 myths.
It’s only meant for men
Most people assume that only men may actively take part in strength training because women physically can’t handle it. Well, during the Cross fit games in 2015, over 87,000 women took part and many were over the age of 40. According to professional trainers, women no longer stay away from hardcore training. In fact, they are keen to get started with the strength training regime.
Fear of the Bulk Factor
The myth that strength training will turn you into the HULK has been haunting women over the years. What people don’t know is that women’s bodies contain estrogen and there’s little testosterone. This means your body won’t become muscular like a man. Surprisingly, strength training will tone your body and enhance the feminine curves. This should encourage you to reconsider your decision.
It doesn’t burn as many calories as cardio
Unfortunately, our brains have been plagued by the myth that cardio somehow burns more calories and all women need to do to stay fit is to practice cardio.
What you must remember is that your body burns calories all day. Sleeping, walking, breathing, standing all of them burn calories but to their own extent. Cardio isn’t the only way to burn away calories or torch fat.
Strength training allows you to build more muscle mass and the more muscle mass you have, the more calories you will burn. The muscles of a person who picks weights can burn 50% more calories than the person who doesn’t. That’s around a total 50% extra calories for the same exercise. In just a few months of strength training, you’ll be able to lose the same amount of weight without having to change your diet.
You can’t regain muscle once it’s gone
This myth holds truth. Your body metabolism can’t be the same as it was in your 20s. But it’s never too late to undo the damage.
Women over 40 or even 50 who have gone through strength training could not only attain their desired body shape with more muscle mass but also their overall increase in health and metabolism also astounded them. So gain in muscle mass is definitely possible no matter how many years it has been since you lost it in the first place.
You need a gym
We can come up with a lot of excuses to avoid exercising. It’s already hard fitting the normal things into your routine let alone making time for exercise. But the good thing is that strength exercises performed 2 days a week are just as effective.
Two full body strength workouts can be very beneficial and would show you a lot of difference in the coming months. These exercises take only 10 minutes to perform.
10 minutes of strength training twice a week can do wonders for your body. If you find it hard going to the gym, it’s not important. If you’re a beginner and already find it hard to motivate yourself to go the gym, there are many home-based workouts that you can try.
You can easily find at-home workouts online and get that muscle ready for some serious workout.
It’s only about the muscle
If good physique and a perfectly toned muscular structure weren’t enough to convince you to get started on strength exercises, then here’s another myth buster for you. Strength exercises not only benefit your muscles but they benefit every aspect of your health including mental health.
Lifting weight not only helps improve the cognitive functions of the brain but also regulate endorphins which suppress the chemicals that make you depressed or lethargic.
Strength exercise also helps women trying to conceive. A direct relation has been found between strength exercises and fertility. It is also good for your heart, metabolism and keeps your cholesterol in control. After you have gotten used to it for a few months, it acts as an outlet and makes you feel more refreshed and energized afterward. Yes, you’d no longer feel exhausted after a strength training session. Waist training corsets are an excellent investment if you want to maintain the correct posture during training.
Yoga is just as good as Strength Training
Yoga and Pilates are amazing for strengthening your core, relaxing your mind and getting you started with the more challenging exercises. But with yoga and Pilates alone, you cannot lift more than your body weight.
Women, in general, need to think big. Losing weight should not be your only goal and you shouldn’t stop after you’ve achieved your desired body weight.
Lighter weights and more reps are just as effective
You will feel that muscle burning when you start with the initial weights. They’re great to give your muscle that initial kick, but no matter how many reps you do, you won’t be able to gain muscle mass if you stick to the same weights.
This myth flared up more in the 90s that doing more reps of the same lighter weights will help your muscles develop further. This myth has since then been discarded because more reps of the same weight will only help maintain your muscular endurance. They won’t help tone your body further. The muscle becomes used to the weight you are using and the only way your body will get toned further is if you add more weights.
Judy Robinson is a passionate health and lifestyle blogger. She loves to write on a healthy lifestyle, fitness 101 and DIY related topics. Follow @judyrobinson for more updates.