“Strength training” – what comes to your mind when you see these words?
- Bulked up men lifting scary-looking weights ?
- Strange machines that look like medieval torture devices?
- Intimidating spaces that you, a newbie, is sure to feel out of place?
Unfortunately, these common misconceptions keep people from reaping the fantastic benefits of strength training.
The truth is that strength training can set you on the path to improving your overall physical and mental health. Regularly lifting weights impacts your body in a number of positive ways. Looking and feeling good, while being all strong and powerful: this is exactly what strength training can get you!
Who does not feel like a badass deadlifting their own bodyweight (or more), am I right?
We’re here to bust all the myths about strength training. After reading this article, you’ll definitely walk away with a different perspective. Let’s get started.
The 5 Most Common Strength Training Misconceptions That Need To Go Away
Myth 1: Strength training is not for children and the elderly.
This couldn’t be farther from the truth!
Strength training from an early age can put your kids far ahead in health and fitness. In fact, with proper guidance from a trained professional, children can have better bone health and a healthy weight. (1)
Okay, you now must be thinking – But isn’t weightlifting a bad idea for kids?
This is not true. Children as young as 7 can be safely taught to lift weights. By teaching them the importance of correct form, movement pattern and safety, these children can go on to enjoy a better quality of life. And starting at a young age has another advantage: they haven’t learnt the bad habits of couch surfing and not moving their bodies as they are meant to!
Same is true for the elderly.
As you age, it becomes more and more essential to keep your body flexible and mobile to carry out your daily chores. Strength training is a blessing for your joints as it strengthens your muscles. Strength training also has a positive impact on your bone health, which is vital as our bodies age.
Truth: Strength training is excellent for children and the elderly.
Myth 2: Strength training and flexibility are mutually exclusive.
Again, another myth that’s been going around! No, strength training DOES NOT make you stiff and less flexible.
If done correctly, it makes your body stronger and more flexible. (2)
In fact, strength-training exercises encourage muscle elongation and extension, which can increase flexibility.
Don’t go about lifting those heavy weights without help, especially if you’re a beginner. Work out with a trained professional to avoid any injuries to your body due to poor form.
Truth: Strength training can actually improve flexibility and mobility, when done right.
Myth 3: Strength training is only for men.
We’re sure you’ve heard this one a lot: weights are only meant for men.
Many women don’t prefer weightlifting because they think it’ll bulk up their bodies. They don’t like the idea of a ripped and masculine look and hence avoid training with weights.
That’s false because women are not naturally designed to become bulky and muscular like men. One of the many reasons women can’t bulk up like men is the hormone – testosterone.
It’s mainly found in males, and it’s this hormone that gives men a chiseled and bulkier body.
Strength training helps women build up endurance and flexibility and tones their bodies instead of bulking them up like men. (3)
So, all the ladies out there – you won’t Hulk out by lifting weights. For women to muscle up, it takes a heck ton of effort, in terms of time, effort, exercise and nutrition and our thrice-weekly forays into the gym will not cut it!
Truth: Strength training is amazing for both men and women.
Myth 4: Strength training makes you gain weight.
There might be some truth to this, but let us explain what it means.
Strength training increases muscle mass which may seem like you’re gaining weight. But an increase in muscle mass does not mean an increase in fat. These are two different things. Muscle weighs more than fat so your scales might show an increase but make no mistake, this is the kind of weight you want to gain.
You build a healthy muscle-to-mass ratio when you build more muscle mass. So you don’t just look fitter but also feel fitter.
When it comes to fat, weights are a great way to torch those stubborn fatty tissues. When you consistently strength train, your metabolism drastically improves. When this happens, your body burns more calories and strips you of unhealthy fat. Who wouldn’t want that, right?
Truth: Strength training makes you gain muscle and lose fat.
Myth 5: Strength training is only about building muscle.
Strength training is much more than lifting weights, losing fat, and building muscles. It improves the quality of your life. It not only builds physical strength but also makes you mentally strong. (4)
Strength training helps your body produce happy hormones, making you mentally calm and relaxed.
It also helps your brain perform better. Your brain becomes more active, making the cognitive side of your brain more alert. (5) Do you still think strength training is only about building muscle?
Truth: Strength training can make your life better in many ways.
So, there you have it – the five most common strength training myths debunked!
The Last Word on Strength Training
Strength training is a wonderful way to enhance your quality of life. Don’t let these false assumptions keep you from tasting the sweet fruits that strength training offers. Get in touch with a reputable fitness centre / coach (hint hint!) and start improving your life!