The world of fitness and bodybuilding is seemingly riddled and surrounded by training myths and fallacies, purely derived from a lack of knowledge and understanding, passed around for years without any real truth. The 5 myths and fallacies addressed in this article are the most common and persistent. So it’s time to face the facts!
Weight Training Makes Women Big & Bulky
By far as a personal trainer, the most common thing I would hear from female clients is “I just want to tone. I don’t want to get big or put on a lot of muscle like those bodybuilder guys”. After having a quiet chuckle to myself I would reassure them, and explain to them why it would be near impossible to gain big bulky muscles like those “bodybuilder guys”. It would be near impossible for a woman to increase lean mass dramatically without the aid of an illegal anabolic substance. This is due to the low levels of testosterone and Human Growth Hormone produced in the female body, there simply just isn’t enough to substantially increase the size of a muscle. In fact, most women will only have the ability to replace the muscle fibres they have lost since the age of 20. With this said, ladies, please relax! Lifting weights should be a part of any healthy and regular exercise routine.
Muscle turns to Fat if You Stop Lifting Weights
There was once a time where I believed this one myself, as ridiculous as it may sound. Muscle cannot be turned into fat! Should you stop weight training you will naturally lose muscle as your muscles no longer need to adapt to a stimulus. This process where muscle tissue breaks down is called Atrophy. Unlike hypertrophy, where by the muscle size is increased, atrophy is the decrease in muscle size. Gaining fat once training has diminished is contributed to by a number of things. Diet is a major factor. If the same number of calories is still being consumed and not being burnt up or used for the growth and repair of muscle tissue, then naturally what cannot be used as nutrient for the body is going to become excess and stored as fat. Decreases in muscle mass also mean a decline in resting metabolic rate, which means that the metabolism cannot burn calories as quick as it once did leading to the gain of excess fat. So it is possible to gain fat when training declines, however it is not your muscles that are turning into fat!
If only! Fat cannot be burnt off one specific area of the body. Such is doing squats to burn fat only off the legs, it just doesn’t work. It’s very simple, if you want to lose fat from all over the body you need to move more, eat less and combine cardio and resistance training.
Use High Reps, Low Weights for Toning
What gives somebody a toned and healthy look? Toning can be defined as having an adequate amount of muscle that can be seen clearly on someone with a very low body fat percentage. Roughly 10% and lower. This toned look is sometimes known also as being “cut or ripped”. We all know that to build muscle we must continually place load on our muscles in order to keep them adapting, growing bigger and stronger. A low body fat percentage will come from adequate cardiovascular exercise and a clean diet. Doing more repetitions at a lower weight will not force your body to adapt by increasing strength or muscle size, so if anything this theory is more detrimental then good in achieving that lean, toned body.
Specific Exercises Will “Cut Up” a Certain Muscle
Just like the theory of spot reduction, it cannot be claimed that a specific exercise can be allocated to certain muscle group in order to “cut it up”. Again, this is physiologically impossible. As was mentioned in the high reps low weight theory for cutting, in order to achieve a lean and toned physique, a combination of resistance and cardiovascular training, as well as a clean diet will have you on your way to the body, you’ve always wanted.