If you’re a woman who finds herself sneaking peeks at the free weight area in the gym, but are afraid to venture into that foreign land, it’s time to be brave and leave your false ideals about weight training behind. The female weight lifting myths that are whispered through the gym or seen on magazine covers may be preventing you from having the body you desire, the strength you need, and the confidence required to live the life you want.
Below, we share five major weight lifting myths for women that might be keeping you from hitting the weights, and debunk them with facts:
Myth #1: Weight lifting builds bulky muscles.
Fact: Weight lifting helps you build strong muscles—your body has way too much estrogen to turn you into a muscle-ripped beast! If you want that look, it is attainable with supplements, diet, and exercise, but the average woman’s body will respond with increases in strength and tone, making you look fit, clean, and healthy.
Myth #2: You can spot-reduce with the right exercises.
Fact: Spot-reducing does not work. You cannot perform daily crunches and expect to get washboard abs. You cannot perform squats every other day and think that your hips will magically disappear. Your body will release fat from all places when you participate in a fitness program, and strength training is an important part of this program as it boosts calorie-burning and increases your overall metabolism. The more muscle tissue you have, the more calories you burn while sitting at work, reading a book, or watching television.
Myth #3: Higher repetitions are better for me.
Fact: Weight lifting with light weights for a higher number of repetitions does not do much for your body or your brain. Your muscles are not challenged by this and do not have to change. If you are attempting to enhance muscular endurance, you may see more results by performing an endurance activity such as running or cycling.
Myth #4: Weight lifting doesn’t burn fat as well as cardiovascular exercise.
Fact- Weight lifting uses a different energy system for fuel than cardio does, but your total number of calories burned will increase with a consistent strength training routine. Your body requires way more calories to recover the damage from a strength workout than it does from a cardio session. Ultimate, do what you enjoy, but try to add a little of both to your weekly routine—even if you lift for only 10 minutes three times a week.
Myth #5: I’m Too Old to Lift Weights
Fact- You are never too old, and consistent weight lifting helps prevent osteoporosis. Grab your weight training gloves and get to lifting!