Weight Training Debunked

 

Weight training is something that is highly misunderstood by a majority of the public today, whether they’re into fitness or not.

What I’m going to do is list the myths and why they’re not actually true.

 

weight-training-mythbusters

Weight training should be done with light weights and lots of reps.

 

The Problem

One of the biggest misconceptions in regards to lifting weights is how heavy you should be lifting.  A lot of people have the tendency to go into the gym and pick up a certain weight, use it from workout to workout until it feels easy, and never go up in weight again.  The problem with this is that when you lift weights you are tearing your muscle fibers.  Once the muscle fibers recover they become stronger than before, this is why that same weight will feel easier the next time you use it.  Now that your muscles fibers have built up and become stronger, the same weight won’t produce enough stimulation to your muscles to break them down.  Eventually you stop getting sore and you hit a plateau.

The Truth

You should be attempting to go up in weight each time you perform the same workout.  That’s if you’ve provided the proper amount of rest between workouts.  Always give your body at the very least one day of rest between working out the same muscle groups.  Especially if your goal is to tone up and get stronger.

 

Muscle weighs more than fat.

 

The Problem

There is a lot of confusion with this.  Muscle technically doesn’t weigh more than fat.  A pound is a pound.  However, muscle is more dense than fat.  This means that one pound of fat will be larger overall than one pound of muscle.  This is why it’s more important to change your body composition, i.e. body fat percentage, instead of worrying about the number on the scale.

The Truth

Everyone should understand that muscle is more dense than fat pound for pound.  Increase your lean muscle tissue and you will decrease your overall body fat in the process.

 

Lifting weights as a women will make you bulky.

 

The Problem

You look in a magazine and see these really muscular, ripped-up women as you flip through the pages and it honestly scares you a little bit.  What they don’t tell you in these articles is that these women have been weight training for years to get to where they are.  Not to mention that a majority of them are taking a number of supplements in order to get that look, some with testosterone boosting capabilities.

The Truth

If you have ever told someone that you want to “tone” and “tighten” your body, then you need to be weight training.  The female body just doesn’t have the testosterone and hormones to cause you bulk up.  Instead, weight training is going to provide your body with that lean, toned look you’re looking for.  Also, don’t forget to lift heavy.  You should be performing weights that become difficult in the 4-10 rep range.

 

Weight training is bad for your joints.

 

The Problem

A lot of people will tell you that weight training is bad on the joints.  What is actually bad for the joints is having an imbalance in your body due to not having a proper training program in place.  Your muscles actually act like a corset around your joints.  If the muscles are balanced they actually help lock those joints in place. The will cause day to day grind of working out to be taken on by the muscles instead of the joints.  The issue is that a lot of people only focus on specific muscle groups instead of incorporating equal work for each muscle.  This causes imbalances in your muscles and leads to improper joint stability.  In addition to this, many people don’t go through a full range of motion because they’re attempting to lift too much weight from the start.

The Truth

Make sure you progress your training, specifically focusing on form and full range of motion, before trying to get real heavy with the weight.  This will provide your joints with the necessary protection through all aspects of your life.

Weight training decreases your range of motion and flexibility.

 

The Problem

As you weight train you will tear down muscle fibers and build them back up.  This can potentially cause tightness in the muscles, but only if you’re not going through full ranges of motion with each exercise.  If you actually look at power-lifters and bodybuilders, a lot of them have an incredible range of motion due to proper training.  If you take somebody that has a very bad range of motion, and add some weight, it will passively push them into a better range of motion.

The Truth

When working out make sure that you go through your full range of motion.  When you’re done with your workouts you can also finish up with a bit of a static stretching (holding) to allow your muscles to relax after your workout.

 

Machines are more effective than free weights.

 

The Problem

Machines are great for beginners.  They provide the support and stability needed for beginners to be able to get used to movements and feel comfortable.  The problem is that your body will never get used to lifting weights in it’s natural day-to-day environment.  Your body needs to be using free weights in order to work the stabilizer muscles it uses whether you’re at work, the gym, or moving into a new apartment.

The Truth

If you’re absolutely new to weight training then start with some machines.  Once you’ve built up a decent baseline of strength and comfort in the gym, then work your way up to free weights.  Your body will thank you.

 

Weight training should be done alone without the combination of cardio.

 

The Problem

Weight training without cardio can be detrimental to your results.  Some studies show that a proper combination of cardio and strength training can improve your strength gains.  Just don’t overdo it with multiple mile runs every day.  Shorter interval based cardio workouts (20-30 minutes) a few times per week is all you need to get the benefits of a cardio program without burning through your muscle.

The Truth

If you want results you have to include weight training, cardiovascular training, and a proper diet.  Without all three you’re going to miss out on some serious results.

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