10 Myths You Might Believe About Women Lifting Weights
10. Lifting Weights Makes You Too Bulky
Bulking up is a product of eating, not of lifting weights! Lifting will make you stronger, but if you’re not eating way more calories a day than you’re burning through exercise, you won’t end up with Mr. Olympia-level bulk, no matter who you are.
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9. You Can Spot-Reduce Fat with Certain Exercises
Targeting a certain area with focused exercises will build denser muscles in those areas, but will never spot-reduce fat there. Fat is a source of energy and you must expend energy to burn it. You can’t spot-reduce fat, but you can burn it off healthily with proper diet and exercise.
8. Cardio Is Queen
Cardio is fine, but a routine consisting of solely cardiovascular exercise will not be effective after a certain point. Cardio works your heart and lungs, but you need to build lean muscle to burn fat and achieve the lean look most cardio enthusiasts are looking for. Building more dense muscle through weight training will make your cardio workouts more effective, as well.
7. Women Shouldn’t Lift the Same Way as Men
Lifting heavy isn’t just beneficial for men – those same squats, deadlifts, and bench presses help women build dense muscle and help prevent high blood pressure. You’re paying just as much as any guy in your gym, ladies. That weight floor is as much yours as it is theirs – so take advantage of it!
6. Eating Less is the Key to Losing Weight
If you exercise regularly, you burn many more calories than your base metabolic rate. Your BMR is how many calories you burn in an average day (usually around 1,200-2,000 for women). Starving your body will lead to nothing but water retention and muscle atrophy. Eat well and exercise: both will help increase your BMR and help improve your health.
5. Machines are Better than Free Weights
Machines isolate muscle groups, while free weights get your whole body involved. For instance, leg presses will strengthen your quads and hamstrings, while squatting also strengthens your calves, hip flexors, and oblique abdominals. You are always going to get a more complete workout using free weights, period.
4. Older Women Shouldn’t Lift
On the contrary: studies have shown that lifting weights helps maintain healthy blood pressure, improves joint health, and helps prevent bone loss in older women. Lifting weights is beneficial for everyone, regardless of age or skill level.
3. You Need to Be “In Shape” to Go to the Gym
No matter your goals for working out, the gym is a place people go to better themselves. No one will begrudge you a place in the weight room. And if they do, it’ll be all the more enjoyable for you in a few months when they’re asking you what your workout secrets are.
2. If You Stop Lifting, Your Muscle will Turn to Fat
Fat and muscle are two different substances. You can lose and gain muscle, and you can lose and gain fat, but you can’t turn one into the other any more than you can turn water into milk.
1. Lifting Weights is Bad for your Joints
Quite the contrary! Lifting actually helps improve joint health. Squatting properly improves mobility and stability in the knees, and deadlifting helps stabilize the spine and hips. Lifting with proper form improves all aspects of your health.
So whatever your exercise goals are, be it to lose weight, get stronger, or rehab from an injury, lifting weights can help you reach them faster and more efficiently. It’s your weight room, ladies. Use it!