When I tell people I’m weight training, the first response is usually, ‘ooh, you don’t want to get bulky do you? That’s not very lady like!’ Apart from being incredibly sexist, this represents just one of the many myths surrounding weight training for women. So here are some of my personal favourites myths, and by favourites I means here are some of that wind me up the most.
1) ‘But weight training will make me bulky!’
Weight training is not going to make you bulk up. By weight training with heavy weights, your muscles will get stronger but this does not necessarily mean bigger. For starters, women’s bodies are simply not built that way. If you are training with heavy weights and eating the right kind of foods, then your muscles will become stronger, denser and more toned. You will not get ‘bulky’.
2) Weight training will not help me lose weight
There is a common misconception that the only way to lose weight is to be doing loads and loads of cardio. Don’t get me wrong, if you enjoy cardio then go for it, but it is certainly not the only way to lose weight. In fact, weight lifting can be ever more of an more effective way of getting the weight off. Whilst strength training you are breaking your muscles down, which then rebuild themselves over the next few days requiring energy and therefore burning calories! In other words, when you’re weight training when you stop working out you don’t stop burning calories.
3) You need to eat less food if you want to lose weight
If you’re not stepping foot into a gym then, yes, you will need to change your diet to lose weight, HOWEVER, eating well is super important if you’re weight training. A great way to make sure you’re eating enough of the right foods is to track your macros. I find this really hard and have been on and off for a while now. I’m planning to pick it back up again soon and dedicated some time to food preparation. Fats are your friends, you shouldn’t be completely avoiding fats. Carbs are not the enemy. Food is good and keeps everything ticking properly.
4) Muscles can turn into fat if you start slacking
A few days off is not going to turn your muscle into fat. If you stop working out, the muscles basically just die (pretty morbid…). Of course, if you lose your muscle you won’t be losing as many calories and so there is a chance you could gain weight but this is NOT the muscle turning into fat.
5) Men and women should work out differently
This is a load of rubbish, you can do the same weight training exercises as men. Everyone’s body is different and so, although definitely not the same in every case, when training men can often lift more weight but that does not mean women should be doing different exercises.
6) If I do the same as my friend, we will see the same results
As I just said, every body is different and what works for one person may not work for another. Weight training is all about experimenting and working out what works best for you. It can seem a bit disheartening at the time, but you will find something that you see results with. Just keep at it and try new things.
7) You can target weight loss.
Sorry to break it to you all but you can’t target your weight loss. You can lose weight faster but doing lunges every day is not just going to mean weight comes off your bum. Make sure your training is well rounded and focuses on recruiting a lot of muscles. It is super important to give each muscle it’s time to shine.
So there you go, some weight training myths busted! A lot of these have been focused on weight loss but remember it isn’t all about losing weight, it’s also about feeling better both physically and mentally. You are not defined by a number of the scales! If you’re scared of weight training I hope this has inspired you to give it a try. Remember, lift heavy and keep pushing yourself.
What weight training myths annoy you the most? Get in touch!