Have you ever gone into the gym or health club only to head straight to the cardio machines? Do you always go to the cardio machines? Does the thought of venturing over to the weight machines or free weight area terrify you?
Well, take heart, you are not alone.
The truth is you probably feel like you are out of place over on the weight side of the gym. After all, you normally see guys over there with huge muscles who know what they are doing or other men who appear to know what they are doing. And if you are not confident enough to try the weights, these guys look too intense to be bothered.
So, you think to yourself, “Well, I’ll just stick to cardio because that’s supposed to be a good way to lose weight.” If you are thinking that, you are only 1/3 correct.
I always tell people that there are 3 main components to health and fitness: diet/nutrition, strength/resistance training, and cardio. I will not cover the first two in this article, but, for women, the hang up seems to be about training with weights.
Although there are a number of reasons weight training can help you, I want to debunk 3 myths surrounding women who train with weights. I believe the perpetuations of these myths keep women from achieving total fitness and getting the body and physique they truly desire.
Myth 1 – “Weight training with make me look like a man/bodybuilder.”
Truth – It takes a tremendous amount of a hormone called testosterone to produce the big muscle results you see in many competitive bodybuilders and some of your gym rats. Women do not naturally produce enough testosterone to produce that effect. (In fact, many men don’t either and take supplements to make their muscles bigger.) Basically, you can’t and won’t get big from lifting weights.
Myth 2 – “I can just do cardio and lose the weight I need.”
Truth – Although cardiovascular exercises are a great way to burn calories during exercise, the calorie burn does not continue for as long as people think. When you incorporate strength training into your workout routine, you are helping to build lean muscle mass. The more lean muscle mass you have, the more calories you burn throughout the day. By simply relying on cardio you only become a shell of your former self. You want to look fit, not scrawny and weak.
Myth 3 – “Weight training is only for men and bodybuilders.”
Truth – Athletes of all level incorporate some sort of strength/weight/resistance training into their sport-specific training in order to be fit. Gymnasts, ice skaters, runners, cheerleaders, rugby players, basketball players, soccer players, etc, can all benefit from time in the weight room or simply using one’s own body weight for resistance (such as a basic push up). These athletes have recognized the need and benefit of strength training and see the results in practice and competition. Even if you don’t compete, you will find that adding strength training increases you overall strength and gives you more energy throughout the day.
Although these are just 3 of the myths surrounding women and weight training, I want you to understand that weight training has its benefits: prevention of osteoporosis, increased lean muscle mass and increased metabolism. And if those benefits aren’t enough for you, remember that muscle takes up less room that fat. So, if you want to get into those skinny jeans, hit the weights and show everyone how strong you really are.
Weight Training – Busting 3 Myths about Women and Strength Training
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