1. Strength training will make my muscles large and bulky- Strength training will result in a small increase in total muscle mass. However, large increases in muscle size will not result because female testosterone levels are low: this hormone appears necessary to create large muscle increases. Due to genetics and individual differences, some women will increase muscle mass more than others- but nowhere near muscle size increases in observed in men.
2. If you stop working out your muscles will turn to fat- Think apples and oranges. Fat and muscle are two different substances, and one cannot , will not and has not ever turned into the other. Less on one simply means more room for the other. When you stop using your muscles, your body becomes significantly less efficient at burning calories, which allows the pounds, in the form of ft, to creep back on. If a 150 lb. Woman stopped working out, she may continue to see the same number when she steps on the scale, but her ratio of fat to muscle will shift dramatically. Women who participate in strength training can slow the 10 % loss of strength per decade that occurs in women who don’t strength train.
3. Women can not gain strength as fast as a man- Study after study have confirmed that strength training will result in strength gains at least as large as those observed in men. In some cases, relative strength gains in women were greater than those in men, because women’s initial strength levels were lower, making the potential for improvements greater.
4. Older women should not participate in strength training exercises- Older women must participate in activities designed to specifically strengthen all muscle groups if the want to maintain maximum health and lifestyle performance. Health benefits received from this type of exercise are numerous and critical to maintaining active lifestyles.
5. Spot reduction is simply the idea that if you work a specific muscle group you will decrease the amount of fat in that area. In reality, there is no such thing as spot reduction. You will never attain a flat stomach just by performing ab exercises. The reason for this is simple, a muscle does not own the fat that surrounds it. Sit-ups for example will definitely strengthen your abdominal muscles, but sit-ups alone will not get rid of the layer of fat that is covering the muscle. To lose fat anywhere on your body, you need to burn calories by following a program that involves both cardiovascular and resistance training. In doing so you will decrease fat stores throughout your entire body, including the problem areas.
You may notice that you sometimes lose fat in some areas more quickly than others, this is due simply to a genetic selective pattern rather than a particular type of exercise. Be patient with your body and understand that it is ultimately in charge of where you lose fat from.
Busting these strength training myths is a step in the right direction on your journey to a healthier you. Be consistent and patient. Remember that it takes time to change something as complicated as the human body. Keep up the great work and you will be seeing results soon.