Daft things you hear sometimes is that men can strength train and women can’t. Its just one of the most common myths heard in gyms and offices no matter where you live. Several other strength training myths abound; some about how strength training helps spot reduction, others about how there can be no weight workouts without body-building protein shakes.
Today, we’re clearing the air about strength training by busting apart common myths some people still believe today…
Myth: Muscles turn to fat, once you stop working out
When you stop working out your muscle mass will decrease and your fat tissues will get bigger, but it is not a case of the muscles turning into fat. Muscles and fat are two different tissues and have no connection or possibility of inter-changing. When a person stops working out, other factors like continuing to diet as before, overeating, lack of activity, etc lead to fat accumulation and weight gain – resulting in a flabby appearance. It has nothing to do with muscles turning into fat.
Myth: Protein intake is a must for people who are lifting heavy weights
By and large, one has to understand that .8 to 1 gram of protein per kg of body weight is good enough. This means that if you weigh about 75 kgs you need only about 75-80 gms of protein a day, which is much lesser when compared to the massive amounts that some protein shake companies recommend. Your protein intake should be taken under expert guidance as excess protein can get converted into fat, by taxing the liver. Consult a trainer and doctor about increasing protein intake if your activity levels can no longer be sustained by a natural diet.
Myth: Lifting light weights for high reps will help in giving you extra results
Yes, light weights and high reps are a good combination to sculpt and tone muscles. But is this the only way to get fit? We don’t think so. If you are working on strength gains and endurance, then heavier weights and lesser reps will benefit you more. No matter which format of workouts you follow, based on your goals and needs, arriving at muscle fatigue within 45-90 seconds is key.
Myth: The level of tiredness after your workout will decide the intensity of your workout
If only failure was strength, this myth would have been the ultimate truth. Burning out after every workout and feeling too tired, will leave you sore and overtrained. The aim when working out should be to get better on each day and to excel in your workouts in the long run.
Myth: It’s imperative to build an aerobic base of conditioning for strength training
Firstly, let us understand the difference between- aerobic and anaerobic activities. Aerobic activities refer to those activities that are done in the presence of oxygen, for eg light walking, reading, sitting, etc, and anaerobic activities refer to activities that are done in an absence of oxygen and that leave us breathless for eg weight training, running, rope skipping, etc. Now for developing strength training, one should walk before one can run. However, do note a cardio session is also an important component of any exercise regime. One has to build the intensity, repetitions and variations gradually in order to weight train and build the muscles.
Myth: No strength training exercise can be done without the use of proper equipment
Exercises like squats, pushups, lunges, jumps, etc. are all excellent strength training exercises, which do not require any exercise equipment. Only when one is looking to add maximal strength to the body, does one need to go for exercises with equipment like barbells, dumbbells and so on? No.
Myth: Strength training is not meant for kids and old people
If this was true, then Arnold Schwarzenegger, who started lifting weights when he was around 15, wouldn’t have been considered as one of the top bodybuilders of all times. The height and weight of a person, whether kid, young or old, is based on one’s genetics and to some extent food habits, and strength training cannot stop the child from growing. For old people, strength training is advantageous as it helps in increasing bone density, by losing muscle mass.
Myth: Strength training is of no use for weight loss
Strength training benefits weight loss in that it promotes muscle growth, which in turn benefits your metabolism and other body processes. Extremely overweight people stand to benefit from strength training. As a matter of fact, nowadays fitness experts even recommend that strength training is even more crucial than cardio training in some cases.’
Myth: Strength training works best when it comes to spot reduction
If the concept of spot reduction was true, we wouldn’t have had to struggle so much in getting flat abs, a toned back and a well-rounded butt. We cannot choose and pick a targeted area; we have to lose weight from all parts of the body.
Myth: Strength training tends to make women appear manly
If this were true, the whole bandwagon of female actors (Hollywood or Bollywood) wouldn’t have managed to look feminine and attractive. What makes your body appear bulky is testosterone- a male hormone, which is only present in men in abundance. As a matter of fact, strength training adds to bone density and muscle mass, which is good for women’s fitness levels.