Busted! 5 Myths About Resistance Training For Women
There is no shortage of myths surrounding the topic of women and resistance training. In this article, I am going to debunk 5 of the most common myths and set the record straight, once and for all. Before we get started down our list of frightfully ?awed female resisatnce training misconceptions, let’s define resistance training.
Resistance Training- Defined
Resistance training is used to increase the strength, anaerobic endurance and/or size of skeletal muscles. This can come in the form of free weights, machines, body weight exercises, etc. although, it is worthy to note that in order to see fitness goal success, we must increase our workload overtime. For example, completing 20+ reps with light unchallenging weight for an extended period of time, that is improper strength training. Completing 20+ reps is ok but it shouldn’t be easy. Use a challenging weight! The principal of overload states that for results to occur, you must cause a greater than normal stress/ load on the body. If it isn’t challenging, a positive result will rarely follow!
Myth No. 1: “Lifting Heavy Will Make Me Bulky?”
Ah, yes, the fear that heavy weight will turn you into some type of Schwarzenneger-esque creature. Let’s put this myth to bed first and foremost. Female bodybuilders who have a ‘bulky’ physique eat, train and take supplements to work towards that goal for years, it’s not something that happens overnight. Women do not produce enough testosterone naturally to get as big and bulky as their male counterparts. If you are a female and workout effectively,, eat a healthy well balanced diet you will build stronger, denser muscles, burn more fat and get the ‘toned’ look you’re after.
Myth No. 2: “Lose Weight First, then Tone Up”
Some women think that in order to obtain their weight loss goals they need to be in the gym, on the treadmill or elliptical every day. Performing tons of cardio or they will not accomplish their weight loss/ fat burning goals. Let’s set the record straight. resistance training is a very important part of your exercise regimen. In order to burn fat, we first need to build lean muscle mass and that’s exactly what resistance training will do.
Myth No. 3: “Spot training can be fixed by resistance training”
Our genetic makeup has a lot to do with how and where we gain and lose fat, and in which order it occurs. When you’re losing weight you may notice it starting to drop off in your face, legs, or arms first. Doing hundreds of crunches will not help you get rid of the extra fat you carry in your abdomen. What will help are compound movements, incorporating large muscle groups, which will force your body to burn extra calories, even after your gym session is over!
Myth No. 4 “Resistance training Takes Too Much Time”
You don’t need to dedicate hours a day to your resistance training program. It is, however, a very important part of your exercise program and should not be overlooked. You can achieve great results with 30 minutes of strength training 3 times a week. Just make sure to have an efficient resisatnce training program! To start choose exercises with as many large muscle groups possible, use a challenging weight, and constantly challenge yourself!
Myth No. 5 “Strength Training is Intimidating”
I must admit, the first time walking into a weight room at a gym can be a bit intimidating for most women. It’s full of sweaty men, grunting, panting and lifting obscene amounts of weight. Just get in there and get started! Truth is, anyone who know what they are doing is focused on their own program, anyone who is watching you is a newbie just like you! If you’re a newbie, hiring a personal trainer may be one fo the best investments you could make. Learn the technique, have organized programs which will allow for the most effective workout, build the right mentality to sustain success, and of course lose the intimidation factor. For tips on hiring a personal trainer follow the link!
Written By: Shannon Benedetto, ACSM-cpt
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