Female weightlifters have began to soar in the fitness industry following the realisation that hitting the iron can actually support goals of sculpting a desirable physique. It’s understandable that entering the weights section for the first time can be a little daunting, but ladies, there’s really nothing to be frightened of!
However, common myths still seem to be circulating about why women should not lift – and myths are all that they are! Lets de-bunk a few of these myths…
Myth #1: Cardio is the only key to fat loss
Cardio is not the be all and end all of fat loss! In fact, overdoing the cardio sessions will have a negative effect on your metabolism in the long term and may actually halt your fat loss efforts due to the fact you might need to do more work just to maintain your results.
Train smart and keep making progress, incorporate resistance training with your cardio and watch your physique transform!
Myth #2: Women who lift become bulky
This is probably the most common myth out there… and one of the least correct. Lean muscle takes up much less space than fat does, and as a result, if you build lean muscle you will not look bulky, you will actually look smaller.
If you’d like to look bigger – then be prepared to train and eat for these goals, as it’s all down to adjusting your lifestyle according to how you’d like to sculpt your physique.
It takes a lot of hard work and extremely low body fat levels to make muscles pop, especially on ladies as many fitness competitors will tell you. Don’t be afraid to lift heavy ladies, your body will thank you for it!
Myth #3: Eating less is better
Eating less is not always more. First off, your body needs a certain amount of calories just to function, and this varies from person to person depending on your activity levels. Secondly, if you do not eat enough of the right foods, you may lose some lean muscle which in turn means a drop in your metabolic rate.
There is also no quicker way to stall your results than by getting sick or injured because you have not fuelled your body enough for repair and to support a healthy immune system! If you are dieting, keep your calorie reductions modest and try to eat as much food as you can get away with while still getting results – especially if you’re hitting the iron!
Myth #4: One plan fits all
One plan does not fit all as everyone is different. Cookie cutter plans are great to get you started, but depending on your own goals and needs you may want to train differently to the person beside you at the gym.
Train smartly and choose a plan that suits the results you want to achieve from training. If you are looking to build your glutes, choose a plan that places emphasis on this muscle group or if you are looking to improve your strength, look into a plan that is aimed at that goal.
Myth #5: The scales log your progress
This is a huge misconception that causes many a lady a lot of heart ache. You know your jeans are looser but the scales have not changed so you clearly have made no progress right? Wrong! Muscle takes up less space than fat, but that doesn’t necessarily mean your weight will change significantly on the scales.
Although your weight is a useful number to keep track of, don’t place all your self worth on it, and certainly don’t use it as the only indication of progress because it is just a number and is only part of a bigger picture. A tape measure and progress pictures are a great way to track your progress over time.
Myth #6: You can spot reduce body fat
Fat cannot be spot reduced, so don’t be fooled into thinking it can. Although it is useful to train your abs, a good diet and low body fat levels are truly what makes those abs pop.
By putting extra focus on your food plan and ensuring you are eating smartly for your goals in conjunction with a good training programme you can reduce your overall body fat levels to achieve the physique of your dreams!
Take Home Message
These are some of the most common myths can circulate in the weights room about the effect of strength training on women, thankfully these are not correct and in fact it tends to have the opposite effect in most cases.
Weight training has benefits such as injury prevention, improved bone density and fat loss alongside numerous other health benefits so it is well worth while to cut down on the treadmill time and pick up those dumbbells!