Many women stick with cardio programs because of myths they have heard about weight training for women. Others weight train but are disappointed with their results because of what they believed to be true only to find out it was not. Let’s explore four myths that prevent people from achieving their fitness results.
- “I don’t want to bulk up.” This truly is a myth in that it is impossible for women to get bulky regardless of how much weight lifting they do. It just isn’t going to happen. Why? Because to do so, requires 8-10 times more testosterone, above what women normally have. Even women bodybuilders have a hard time bulking up and many resort to taking steroids or testosterone supplements. Put that fear to rest and start lifting.
- “I don’t want to lift a lot of weight.” As counter-intuitive as it may seem, weight lifting doesn’t necessarily mean lifting weight. Actually, it should be called resistance training as it can be done with anything that imposes an increasing demand on your muscles. Instead of weights, some people use resistance bands, which are just as effective and come in varying levels of resistance. And you can take them with you without adding much weight to your luggage – an important consideration when traveling by air today.
- “I just want to tone up.” Toning up in a specific area is the same as spot-reducing which is a myth in itself. It isn’t impossible. What is possible, is to burn off some fat all over your body with cardio training and increasing the muscle size in that area slightly with strength training that targets those particular muscles, therefore making you look as if you just toned up.
- “I want to turn fat into muscle.” Because muscle cells and fat cells are completely different, it is impossible to convert one into the other. What can happen, as noted in the previous myth, is that you do both cardio and weight lifting; you will burn fat and add a little muscle at the same time making it look like you indeed did turn fat into muscle. Also, the reverse is not true -if you stop exercising muscle will turn to fat. Here you are losing muscle mass (from non-use) and adding fat from eating more calories than you are burning.
Now that these four myths are put to bed, get out and start strength training. Whether you use free weights, weight machines or resistance bands, the point is to mix in at least two days (non-consecutively) into your workout schedule to get the body you desire or the body back that you once had.