5 Myths About Weight Training Women Want to Know
(If you want to lose weight you should read this)
Raise your hand, ladies, if you go to the gym and head straight for the cardio machine for an hour and then call it quits. *hands raised* There are many reasons why you might think an extended cardio session on a treadmill is the best thing for you. You might feel like you don’t know what to do in the weight room so you stick with what you know. You may even believe you just want to drop a few pounds so running it off on an elliptical is the best way to do that.
A general gym stereotype is that men pump weights to get huge muscles and women stay lean by doing yoga or jogging. Well, that mindset is robbing you from the toned, lean muscled body you have been running so hard to get.
If you are wanting to lose weight and get toned there are a few myths that we should clear up.
Myth 1: Lifting Weight Will Make You Bulky
You might see women bodybuilders on Instagram and think, “Wow, ok, good for her but I don’t want to look like that.” What you should understand is that those women eat, train, take supplements and LIVE a life to look like that almost as if it was their job. Unless this is your goal, lifting heavy weights will not make you look like that.
Lifting heavy weights makes your muscles stronger, not bigger.
According to wellness trainer and coach, Lauren Clare, “Most women don't have enough testosterone production in their body to put on huge muscle gains and 'get big.” Women have 20% less testosterone in their body than men which is the key ingredient that allow men to bulk up.
Take Staci from Nerd Fitness for example. Staci’s deadlift sessions consist of picking up 355 lbs. for a set of five. She weighs 150lbs and wears a size US4. Staci is a beauty and a beast all rolled up into a toned tiny body that she has worked hard for.
Myth 2: Strength Training Doesn’t Burn Fat Like Cardio Does
No, but MUSCLES burn the fat that is on top of them MORE!
Building more toned muscles will increase your body’s ability to burn far more efficiently. When you strength-train, your muscles are literally broken down and rebuilt over a period of 24-48 hours. During this time your body experiences a metabolic boost which makes it burn not only the calories that are taken in but also the fat that is currently already there long after you are finished working out. So the effects of a weight training session will still be operating even if you are sitting on the couch later that night.
During cardio, your body is burning calories during the time you are performing the cardio exercise.
Myth 3: Weightlifting Won’t Improve Your Cardiovascular Health
Have you ever taken a large load of groceries into the house, bags looped up both arms, and felt your heart rate increase? Or have you walked around with your 25 lbs? Toddler on your hip for a while and felt your heart pounding?
Any form of physical activity will raise your heart rate and improve your cardiovascular health.
Strength training falls more along the line with sprint training for runners. It spikes your heart rate into a high effort range and it is in this peaked phase where you see the best cardio benefits. When lifting heavy weights, your heart will have to pump harder and quicker to bring blood flow and oxygen to the muscles that are in demand.
If you still want to do some kind of quick cardio workout before a strength training session, try jumping rope to build your lung endurance, leg muscles, and agility. Jump rope workouts are some of the best-known ways to promote cardiovascular health and it goes hand in hand with weight lifting because it doesn’t require hours of cardio like an elliptical machine.
Myth 4: You Can Spot Reduce Fat
A lot of people (not just women) have the idea that if you work out abs, you will lose belly fat, if you work out arms, you will lose arm fat. Sorry, that is not the case. Your body reduces fat in a specific targeted location based on the workouts you do.
Our bodies are genetically predisposed to storing fat in certain places and in a certain order. So, when you start losing weight, your body will lose the weight in a certain order as well – it might come off your legs, then your arms, then your butt, and THEN your stomach. It all just depends on your own individually unique body depending on your genetic makeup.
The key to losing weight where you want to lose weight is to just be consistent. Don’t think just because you aren’t seeing a difference in a specific spot means it’s not happening. The difference is on its way! You will just have to stay patient, and consistent.
It’s not about the workout trend you can do in 30 days, but it’s about the healthy lifestyle you will keep for 30 years.
Myth 5: Women Should Train Differently From Men
While a can lift a certain way to get bigger, a woman can possibly lift in the same way, but without fear of getting as bulky and dense as a man. Instead, a woman would build that lean, tight toned muscle definition that most are aiming for. Why? Because, thanks to hormones, estrogen, testosterone, genetic, and dietary differences, those two people will end up with drastically different results.
So, the idea that women shouldn’t train like the guys do is invalid. Don’t let this thought keep you out of the weight room and off the barbell. You should train how you want to train. As long as you train with the knowledge to prevent injuring yourself, you can strength train however you want to, wherever you want to. Including the weight room at the gym!
Hopefully, we have dispelled some of the fitness myths you have had in the back of your mind and released you to just train however YOU want to train. Your fitness journey is your journey so don’t let closed mindsets get in your way of success. Knowing is half the battle. Remember that muscle weighs more than fat so stay off the scales, eat clean, put in the hard work, and just go lift some heavy stuff. The results you are looking for will follow!