Strength Training Myths: Get The Facts

You don’t have to be a novice to believe in the most common myths of strength training. Ask 3 people at the gym the same question and you may get several conflicting answers. So many of the unwritten rules of thumb associated with strength training are really just myths perpetuated by fitness products that promise maximum results with little or no work. Some of the more well known and fabricated fitness myths are:

MYTH: "Strength training will give a woman big, bulky muscles" TRUTH: This couldn’t be more inaccurate, as women don’t naturally have the amount of hormones to build big, bulky muscles. Lifting weights makes you physically stronger, helps you to lose weight, tone the body, decrease risk of osteoporosis, and reduce risk of back pain, joint pain and heart disease. So there’s no reason to fear looking like a hulk.

MYTH: "If I want to lose weight, I have to solely focus on cardio" TRUTH: The more muscle you have, the more calories your body burns all day. So yes, cardio is important for fat burning, but strength training helps you to preserve and build upon the muscle you have. Plus weight lifting raises your metabolism which is always a good thing to maximize weight loss.

MYTH: "If you aren’t sore after a work-out, you didn’t do enough" TRUTH: Don’t gauge the effectiveness of your work out on how sore you are the next day. Soreness should lessen over time. Measure the potency of your work out by lifting enough weight that your last rep is difficult. Work all your muscle groups 2-3 times a week and change up your routine to avoid plateaus. Plus your favorite jeans won’t lie.

MYTH: "You can shrink your stomach, hips, and thighs by focusing on those areas" TRUTH: As nice as that would be, spot reduction is one of the top myths as shown by the many ab gadgets, thigh shrinkers and butt busters so often advertised. When losing weight, it’s ironic, but where we store the most excess fat is usually the last place it starts to go.

"I drag my myth around with me."- Orsen Wells