3 Weight-Training Misconceptions Among Women
Throughout my fitness journey, I've asked a lot of questions. And when I get an answer, I'll go looking for more.
Personally, I don't buy into things at the word of one individual. I like to know what other's think, appreciating explanations backed by science. By pooling answers, I'm able to make better decisions. This includes my choice to intermittent fast.
When I first stumbled upon IF, I spent hours reading and listening to different sources in fitness and nutrition. After being certain I knew enough, I jumped on the bandwagon. And yet, even now, I'm still researching - still reading, listening, and learning. Because fitness, as we all know, is never static.
With that said, I've come across a few common misconceptions among women I'd like to address (in regards to weight-training). These misconceptions are so common, it has left many misinformed. So without further ado, let's get to it.
#1 HEAVIER WEIGHTS = BODYBUILDER PHYSIQUE
"I'll look like Arnold Schwarzenegger. No thanks."
There's a hormone that men have, in high amounts, that women don't: testosterone. Yes, women do have testosterone, but not enough to have us look like males. As it happens, men have 16 times more testosterone than us ladies. So fret not, you won't bulk up like the Terminator. And you most definitely, would not have a bodybuilder physique simply by lifting heavier weights.
Bodybuilders go through a lot to achieve their physique. And by bodybuilders, I mean those who compete. These people do much more than lift weights. In fact, getting their physique isn't easy - if it was, I would've competed in my first competition already. Ha! Wouldn't that be something?
Of course, there's the question of whether you should or should not lift heavier weights. And the answer depends on your own body and muscle fiber type. But by merely lifting heavier weights, you will not, I repeat, will not, become a beast. Oh how you wish!
#2 CARDIO ALONE FOR FAT LOSS
"Calories in, calories out - why complicate things?"
Yes, it's true - calories in, calories out - determines weight loss. And cardio is great for that, as it helps you burn calories. But if you're looking to effectively lose fat, it isn't all about burning calories - you have to change the way your body works. That's why strength-training is important.
When you start lifting weights, you build muscle. The more muscles you have, the more energy you'll need to run them. When you expend more energy, you burn more calories during the day. On top of that, weight-training creates an after burn while your muscles rebuild. With more muscle mass, you burn more calories post-workout.
So getting back to cardio: doing it alone is inefficient for fat loss. Cardio only burns calories during the exercise period, as it doesn't tear down muscle and promote growth. It also increases your endurance, which after a period of time, makes the exercise easier and less effective on your body. Additionally - depending on the type of cardio - if you're doing high-intensity and explosive exercises, you're more likely to utilize type II muscle fibers. Type II muscle fibers rely on carbohydrate for energy; not fat.
Calories in, calories out, you say? Hmmm... there's a smarter way to do things.
#3 CHEST DAYS AREN'T IMPORTANT
"I have boobs. There's no need to work my chest."
If you're starting weight-training, you've probably wondered if chest days are important. It's a common question, creating a common misconception. So let me clear this up, as I too have asked this question before: chest days are important.
If you're working your back, triceps, shoulders, biceps, but skip chest, you're setting yourself up for injury. Our muscles are connected - relying on each other for support. Your back needs your chest. Your shoulders need your chest. Your body needs your chest. If your chest is weak, there's an imbalance. It will affect your posture, your workouts, and the way you look. Hence, working chest is essential when training. So don't skip chest days!
I know there're plenty of misconceptions out there, but these three are the most common ones I've encountered. Hopefully, I've cleared them up - in as concise of a manner - today. If you have any other questions you'd like to ask, feel free to do so over at my contact page. I'll do the research for you, so you don't have to.
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