You want to be in better physical condition, but you’re worried about what you’ve heard working out will do to a woman’s body. You’re concerned that your muscle will turn to fat if you stop working out, or that lifting weights will make you look “manly”. Here’s the thing – these myths, and many others, are preventing you from improving your health and life. Let’s take a look at some of the most pervasive myths that keep women out of the gym and locked into an unhealthy lifestyle.
Lifting Weights Will Make You “Bulky”
One of the most pervasive and common myths out there is that weight lifting will make you bulky and look “manly”. That’s really not the case. Sure, if you take steroids that might happen. However, just lifting weight will do nothing but build lean muscle mass and help you lose weight. You won’t get bulky and you won’t look manly.
Women Should Focus Only on Cardio
This is patently untrue. Even if your only goal is to lose weight, you still need to combine cardio with some form of strength training. Whether you choose free weights, bands or something else, strength training helps to ramp up your caloric burn while improving muscle tone and the strength of connective tissue like ligaments.
You Can Target Where Fat Is Burned On Your Body
This one sounds great, but it’s not true. Working out will burn fat all over your body. There is no way to “target” a specific area. Working out one area will really just improve your muscle strength in that particular area. So, all those fad programs that claim you can target belly fat or your hips are bunk.
Exercise Machines Are Better Than Free Weights for Women
Again, this is not true. Both exercise machines and free weights have their place, and because some machines are actually built for men, they may be more likely to cause injuries to women.
Strength Training Only Comes from Lifting Weights
Nope. Strength training can be done in any number of ways, ranging from resistance bands to kettlebells to boxing and everything in between. The trick is to find a trainer who can help you find the right combination for you, specifically.
Crunches Are the Best Exercise for Women to Lose Weight Around the Stomach
No – crunches actually don’t do a lot for weight loss in general. They tone a small subset of your core muscles, but don’t actually burn very many calories. There are many other exercises that can offer higher caloric burn rates, and train your entire core at the same time.
Women Should Not Take Supplements
There’s actually some truth to this, but not in the way you think. Ideally, you will get all the nutrients you need from your diet, and that includes protein (the all-important building block of muscle) and other essential elements. However, following a nutritious diet can be tough to do, so supplements can help.
The Only Measure of Success Is Weight Loss
This one is actually very damaging to your self-image. Many women begin working out to lose weight when what they should really be doing is trying to burn fat. Understand that as you work out, you’ll build muscle. Muscle tissue weighs more than fat. So, it’s completely possible to lose several dress sizes, but actually stay the same weight, or even gain some. Your goal should be to see a reduction in size, not a lower number on the scale.
These are just a few of the myths that surround women’s health and fitness. Get in touch and we can help you build toward a healthier, fitter life.