Personal trainers have heard all types of excuses and concerns when it comes to weight lifting, from “weight lifting is dangerous” to “muscles will slow me down”. The fact is, many of the myths that keep men (and women!) from weight training aren’t true. Below, we break down and debunk a few of the common myths that surround male weight lifting so you can grab your gloves and get into the gym:
Weight Lifting is DangerousLet’s be honest—you can hurt yourself walking to the bathroom in the dark. Yes, every activity has a risk to it, but weight lifting is not as dangerous as you might think. The New York Times reports that over an 18-year span, only 2 percent of injuries from weight lifting resulted in hospitalization. Common injuries were sprains or strains or from people dropping equipment on themselves.
When you use proper form, however, you can lift weights without hurting yourself. And no, lifting will not injure your joints, increase your blood pressure, or cause hemorrhoids.
I’ll Get Too BulkyThe only way you will get huge from weight lifting is if you have a specific, progressive routine, eat an incredibly high amount of calories, and take supplements to increase your muscle size. The average male lifter will increase strength, size, and tone, but not to the point where you will be busting through your dress shirts.
If I Stop, My Muscles Will Turn to FatMuscle and fat are two completely different cell types—they do not turn into each other. If you stop lifting, you may see a decrease in muscle size which leaves more room for fat cells to inhabit, but the two never magically change into each other. On the up side, muscle has memory so when you return to lifting, you’ll see results faster.
Too Many Muscles Will Slow Me DownThe fastest runners also lift weights. They know the secret: muscle brings power and the more powerful their legs, the faster they can run. This applies to all sports, too—muscle tissue will not slow you down.
I Should Only Train One Muscle Group a DayYou can use this approach and dedicate a training day to back, chest, arms, legs and core, but you’ll burn more calories and see improvements faster when you exercise a body part more than once a week. Try combining two or three groups together, or performing a total-body workout with a day of rest between sessions. Your body will thank you and so will your partner.