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4 Common Strength Training Myths Debunked for Women:

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19 Feb '24
5 min read


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It was 10 in the morning, and an Amazon delivery was at the door. Ritika asked her dad, can you please pick up the package from him. Her dad said yes and received it. After receiving it, he said, this seems heavy. What did you order this time? A pair of dumbbells, a barbell, and a resistance band. There was a surprise on his face, and he said - Lifting weights is for men. Why would you do that?

Have you come across similar noises from your surroundings? Then, you are not alone.

But before diving in, let's see,

What is strength training?

Strength training ( resistance training or weight training) increases muscle strength by making your muscles work against a force or strength.

The facts are the same, however, you call it - weight training or resistance training. Lifting weights can help you get leaner, and stronger, and maintain bone density.

The National Center for Health Statistics says barely a third of women strength train

The result?

Poor muscle mass, increased risk of various diseases, and poor quality of life.

The American College of Sports Medicine recommends lifting weights at least two to three times a week. But thanks to all those myths, many of us shy away from it.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that weight training can help prevent diabetes. It can also lower your chances of getting osteoporosis.

Not convinced yet?

 

Let's bust some common strength training myths about women and weights:

Myth#1: Women shouldn’t lift heavy weights as it will make them bulky:

This is a common myth which we are ready to put to rest. Some weight lifters look heavy because they eat specific diets and train for thousands of hours. It could be their goal as well.

Truth: Lifting weights strengthens muscles. But stronger doesn’t always mean bigger. Women only create 10% of the testosterone that men produce, which keeps them away from bulking. Strength training helps women tone their muscles and boost their metabolism.

 

Studies have also shown that lifting weights aids in weight loss increases bone density, and prevents muscle loss in postmenopausal women.

 

Myth#2: Lifting weights can help reduce fat in specific areas:

Many women believe that weightlifting works like a spot treatment. But you got it all wrong.

Truth: Our bodies are genetically predisposed to store fat in certain areas. It means you cannot spot-reduce body fat. When your body starts losing weight, the fats start shedding in a certain order. Just because you do a lot of reps with dumbbells, it doesn’t mean you’ll lose arm fat. To lose overall fat, you must eat better, take the right supplements, and strength-train better.

Myth#3: Cardio training is the key to shedding those extra pounds:

Many women hit the gym and step on the treadmill, believing cardio training helps to lose weight.

 

Truth: Proper nutrition, paired with strength training, helps burn more fat than just cardio. During strength training, your muscles break down and rebuild over the next 24-48 hours. As your body works, it needs more calories and energy, known as the afterburn effect. Post-exercise, your metabolism works at a faster pace, even at rest. The more muscle mass, the more calories you burn. So it's best to build those muscles if you want to lose weight.

Myth#4: You can do strength training only at the gym:

Just like I used to believe earlier, many women still believe that strength training can be done only with heavy equipment at the gym.

 

Truth: Strength training can be done anywhere, not just by hitting the gym and lifting weights. You don’t have any equipment? Then, try bodyweight squats, push-ups, and floor triceps dips. They all build strength. You can also buy small equipment like dumbbells, resistance bands, and kettlebells to use at home to perform various exercises.

What are the benefits of Strength training?

Strength training offers many physical and mental health benefits. It improves your bone health.

Are you struggling with body image due to social pressures? Strength training helps improve your self-confidence and self-image.

Lifting weights in any form boosts mood, reduces stress, and improves the quality of sleep.

Looking to start?

Try this: Select a resistance that tires your muscles after 12 to 15 repetitions. Make sure your final rep is quite challenging.

Now increase your resistance with each exercise as you find repetitions becoming easier. Studies show that completing a single set of 12 to 15 repetitions with suitable weight can effectively build muscle.

This is equally effective as completing three sets of the same exercise.

Do not let misconception hold you back!!

   Here you have it ladies. Strength training isn’t going to make you look bulky or masculine. It tones your muscles, increases bone density, and helps in fat loss while offering numerous health benefits.

Not ready to hit the gym? You can always check out online just like I did. You may find a range of equipment that might spark your love for lifting. Reap the benefits of strength training at home with bodyweight exercises, resistance bands, pilates, or kettlebells.

Take the first step to a stronger, healthier you!!!

Category : Fitness and Exercise


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Written by A V