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4 Common Myths about Weightlifting, Debunked

By Belo Medical Group on October 4, 2020

When we think of weightlifting, we think of massive, extremely muscular dudes standing on a multilevel podium, flexing their pecs and abs for all to see. That’s why most women tend to think that they can go without strength exercises and just stick to cardio. Wrong! You absolutely need strength training, not only to achieve your dream body, but also to maintain it. Here are four myths about weightlifting, and why you should stop believing them ASAP.

1. MYTH: Lifting weights will make you too muscular.

Boy, have we heard this one a million times before! Women want a slim-but-toned look (think Miranda Kerr or Alessandra Ambrosio), not an imposing bodybuilder physique. But it takes a whole lot more than lifting 10-pound dumbbells to put on too much muscle. According to Jacqueline Crockford, CSCS of the American Council on Exercise, “Gaining muscle mass comes from a combination of heavy weight training and an excess in calories. If you perform resistance training one to three days per week and you’re not eating more calories than you expend in a day, you probably won’t see a ton of muscle growth.” 

And how did Miranda and Alessandra achieve those bodies anyway? You guessed it—strength training!

2. MYTH: Lifting weights won’t make you lose fat.

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Bending into the weekend ~

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(Surprise—Pilates is a strength workout!)

Running for hours or putting time in on the elliptical can be effective, but they take the wind out of you pretty quickly. Because of the effort we expend during such exercises, we’ve come to equate them as “more effective” than simply standing in place and lifting weights. But the secret to a great body isn’t just constant fat loss—it’s building a good muscle base. Muscle tissue burns more calories than body fat, so the more muscle tissue you have, the more you’ll burn—even when you’re at rest. And the more you increase your resting metabolic rate, the less effort you have to spend in reaching your goal weight.

3. MYTH: Lifting weights won’t improve your heart health.

(Ankle and wrist weights are a great way to integrate weights into your workout if you’re a beginner.)

Au contraire! A good strength workout plan—one that engages all muscle groups, and one that you do several times per week—can be just as good for your heart as a typical cardio workout. There’s more than one way to get your heart pumping. If jumps or burpees aren’t your thing, rejoice!

4. MYTH: Women aren’t built to lift heavy weights.

OK, we’re gonna stop you right there. Weightlifting can be done by anyone, regardless of gender. (And have you SEEN female bodybuilders? Jeez.) A woman’s body is built to do and withstand amazing things, just like men. So go easy on the weights, or go hard on ‘em—you can definitely do both!

So forget what you heard about weights from when you were a hapless teenager in PE class, and get with the program—the weight training program, that is. Get a lift and get lean…without worrying that you’re bringing yourself away from your dream body!

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