Women do not have it easy when it comes to training. They are bombarded with outdated training advice, fad diets, and quick fixes that almost never work. With all the myths surrounding women and training, they are slowly brainwashed into having an unhealthy body image and unrealistic view on what fitness is. In today’s gym culture, they are coerced into believing that having a thigh gap determines their worth.

It’s time to shatter some myths about women and training.

Lifting weights will make you big

Lifting heavy weights won’t make you the ‘She-Hulk’.

Why not? Testosterone is the primary muscle-building hormone. Since women don’t have as much testosterone in their bodies as men, they can never get as big. Strength training makes you stronger, not necessarily bigger. It also burns fat and helps you look lean, not big.

So, stop worrying and start lifting. You won’t bulk up overnight, not unless you eat way more calories, get pumped with some ‘extra juice’ or get caught in a blast of gamma radiation (which would be pretty cool if you can survive it).

Older women shouldn’t strength train

At 50+, you’re advised not to strength train because you can get hurt. Squats don’t hurt your knee. Hinges don’t hurt your lower back. Bad form and technique does. Just like in everything you do. In fact, strength training makes you strong and it’s the only thing that can help reverse the damage done.

But how? Because as you age, like everything else in the human body, your muscle mass deteriorates. This means less physical strength and more injury, aches and pains. Strength training will help combat this by slowing down muscle atrophy and build muscle mass. It also keeps your bones strong and osteoporosis at bay.

Remember, you don’t stop strength training because you are old. You become old because you stop strength training.

Cardio is all you need

Will cardio help drop pounds on the scale? Yes, for some time.

Does it burn more calories? Yes, but no.

Is it enough to get stronger, faster and better? Most definitely not.

Why not? You might burn more calories while doing cardio than while strength training. However, lifting weights burns calories not just during the workout but throughout the day. Even while at rest. While cardio breaks down muscle tissue, strength training helps build muscle. And the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn even while resting. Adding strength training to your cardio routine accelerates your ability to burn fat, shed pounds and build a stronger body.

Yes, you can run on the treadmill until the cows come home, but be assured that you will be ‘skinny fat’ but not ‘strong and lean’.

Exercising while pregnant is bad for you

There is still a lot of fear out there stopping pregnant women from engaging in physical activity during pregnancy. However, being inactive is the real hazard. Training during pregnancy is not only safe, but extremely beneficial to both mom and the baby.

But how? A well planned out exercise program, with the approval of your health care provider can help minimize excessive weight gain and the physical discomfort of a progressing pregnancy. It keeps back and pelvic pain at bay. It helps you sleep better. Working on strength and mobility during pregnancy prepares your body for a normal delivery and aids postpartum recovery.

While you might be encouraged to take to the couch, eat for two and not exercise, remember that being inactive leads to excess weight gain, high blood pressure, gestational diabetes and a higher risk of C-section.

Jump rope can cause the uterus to fall out

Very creative. And running can cause your eyes to fall out. Sounds ridiculous, right?

Fortunately, the body doesn’t quite work this way. And jump rope definitely doesn’t cause uterine prolapse.

Why not? Uterine Prolapse, is a condition in which the uterus falls out of position. It happens when the ligaments supporting the uterus become weak and the uterus cannot stay in its place. It happens due to various reasons – pregnancy, child birth, loss of estrogen, etc. Jump ropes definitely isn’t one of them, not unless there is a pre-existing prolapse.

Jump rope is a simple, cost effective and easy way to get a workout in to maintain health, lose weight and reduce stress.

Remember, there is no harm in skipping, be it the rope or sugar.

 

Being able to differentiate fact from fiction can be daunting, but not falling prey to myths is the first step in the road towards a better and stronger you.

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