Each of us has his or her own set of fitness goals. Whether that may be losing weight or gaining more muscle, we do the type of training that we deem fit for our own bodies. One of the most popular ones is weight training or weight lifting.
Weight lifting has plenty of physical benefits. However, myths about the exercise, especially about women, still abound to this day. This leads to some women thinking twice on engaging in such activity, which prevents them from the best version of themselves that they want to be.
To get you started with lifting weights, let’s first debunk these popular weightlifting myths for women:
Myth 1: Lifting weights will make you appear big and super muscular.
This is one of the top reasons why women refuse to lift weights. Many thinking thaty weightlifting automatically means gaining bulky muscles rather than looking slim and toned as desired.
The truth is, there is a heavy amount of training required to achieve that kind of muscle. Weightlifters who are bulky in size were able to achieve that body due to thousands of hours of training, as well as eating specific diets and supplements.
Weight training makes your muscles stronger, and being stronger doesn’t necessarily mean bigger. With the right weight training, you can achieve a much leaner and trimmer physique.
Additionally, women have much lower testosterone levels in comparison to men, which is partly responsible for that “muscular” look that men get when they do weight training.
Myth 2: Cardio is more beneficial than weightlifting because it burns more calories.
There is no denying the fact that doing cardio keeps you fit and healthy. However, weight training can provide supplemental benefits and other benefits that you cannot easily get by doing cardio. Weight lifting also shapes and defines the muscles of the body, in accordance with your body goals.
With strength training, you not only develop lean muscle mass to burn more calories, but your body also enjoy greater aerobic performance. When lifting weights, our muscles go through the process of breaking down, then rebuilding, which requires more energy and calories. During this time, your metabolism runs much faster even when you are at rest.
Myth 3: Weightlifting is dangerous especially for older women.
On the contrary, exercising is much more crucial and necessary when one ages. As a person ages, she or he becomes more prone to bone and muscle deterioration, reduced flexibility, and slower metabolism. This is why it is necessary to incorporate consistent exercise into our lifestyle.
With proper exercise and weight lifting, you can build muscles that increase the strength of your joints and tendons. It can drastically improve your quality of life and reduce the risk of age-related muskuloskeletal injuries. The earlier you make it a habit, the sooner you can strengthen your bones and keep your body in top shape.
Myth 4: Weight is more important than reps.
There is a variety of weight training routines that you can do and choosing among the different options solely depends on your goal and what you want to achieve. To get used to the exercises, most beginners start with endurance, then eventually do power and strength sessions with lesser reps but more weights to build mass.
Different exercises work for different people. Some women perform better with heavier weights with fewer reps, while some do better with more reps but with lighter weights. The only way to really know what workout you need to perform is to find out what works for your own body.
Stick to your own personal lifting program and find out what your body is capable. Try not to overwork yourself, and most of all, remember to enjoy and simply have fun with it.
Myth 5: Lifting makes women appear masculine.
Resistance training like weightlifting is done in order to sculpt your body. One can achieve this with proper training or a program that reflects how they want to perform and what they want to look like. But ultimately, differences in body shape and look is the result of a combination of diet, movements, volume, intensity, and load that they use in their fitness program. Other than building muscle and burning fat, the result of resistance training also depends on your performance and genetics.
And also, it’s 2020! Women should be free to shape and tone their body as they see fit.
Lifting weights can definitely create a positive impact on your health now and for years to come. Women who do weight training are strong, lean, and healthy. So, focus on the benefits of weight training on your strength, body composition, bone density, and metabolism and start saying goodbye to these 5 myths!
- Gott, G. (2016). Weightlifting Myths for Women. Retrieved from https://vocal.media/longevity/weightlifting-myths-for-women
- Gregorio, J. (2017, November 20). 6 False Weightlifting Myths for Women. Retrieved from https://www.oxygenmag.com/training/6-false-weightlifting-myths-for-women#gid=ci021a619db000250c&pid=woman-gym
- Heilmann, A. (2016). Get the Facts: Weightlifting Sets. Get the Facts series.
- Heilmann, A. (2017). Get the Facts: Weightlifting, Size, & Strength. Get the Facts series.