8 Common Un-truths About Strength Training – DEBUNKED
The world of fitness and strength training is full of false information, un-truths, myths, etc., especially when it comes to lifting. Here are some of the myths that may be stopping you from making the most of your workout.
- If I lift heavy I’ll get bulky or the more weight, the bigger I’ll get
- Weight training doesn’t assist in weight loss
- Higher amount of reps = more cuts
- If I’m pregnant I can’t lift weights
- Adolescents shouldn’t be weight training
- If I take a post-workout shake, I’ll increase muscle growth
- It is absolutely imperative to rest between sets
- If I lift slowly, my muscles will get huge
Let’s delve deeper into these:
If I lift heavy I’ll get bulky or the more weight, the bigger I’ll get
I often see people at the gym lifting heavy reps and doing only a few reps because they think that will give them the greatest muscle mass gains.
Myth debunked: According to Brad Schoenfeld, C.S.C.S, author of The MAX Muscle Plan, anywhere from 6-15 reps will get you the results you need. Your muscles need tension and metabolic stress in order to boost protein production after working out, as well as how many mechanisms contract within muscle cells. As a result of a moderate weight in a rep range of 6-15, you will get seriously strong.
Weight training doesn’t assist in weight loss
According to Fitday.com workouts can really help you lose weight. Why is this? The reason is simple. By lifting weights, you are increasing your body’s metabolic rate. In order to lose weight, you need to increase your metabolic rate. The reason why weight training is so important is because your body’s metabolism continues to work long after you have completed exercising. Because your body demands more oxygen, it needs to increase the metabolic rate.
A pound of muscle can burn up to 20 calories a day, but a pound of fat can burn only 5 calories. Developing muscles will burn fat. It is important to lift weights at least 3 times a week in order to lose weight, build muscles and burn fat. Remember to make changes to your weight lifting plan in order to keep your body guessing and not getting used to the same weight.
Higher amount of reps = more cuts?
A question I get a lot is: I am not really getting the strength that I want and my body is not changing anymore, what can I do? The reason this happens is because your body becomes smarter. If you keep your reps high and leave the there, your gains may stop being noticeable. This article by Mike Robertson C.S.C.S will break down the Neural-Metabolic continuum, which is really English for, whether your muscles are working or whether your central nervous system is.
If I’m pregnant I can’t lift weights
There are myths and debates about lifting weights during pregnancy. Why is it that people cringe at the pregnant lady working out or lifting weights. Why do pregnant women get stares for taking a spin class or working out at all? What is important to note is that everybody’s pregnancy is different, that being said, some women like to stay fit while their pregnant and will continue to take Zumba, Spin and weight lift and others will gravitate to a Barre or Yoga class instead. Most women completely forget about their workout routine. This doesn’t mean that you need to be careful with back aches that are common in pregnancy. This means that you can still strength train, but you just have to be careful and focus on your form. In face, weight lifting can help decrease pain and eliminate pregnancy discomfort. You might also get benefits during labor because strength training will increase your mental and physical stamina. There are plenty of women that say weightlifting has made their pregnancy, delivery and postpartum period easier. Check out this article by Nicole Crawford on 3 Reasons to Lift Weights During Pregnancy.
Adolescents shouldn’t be weight training
I used to work with the Track and Field team at North Reading High School and I often heard parents ask: Will weight training stop my daughter from growing? Parents are always wonder what is a reasonable age to begin strength training and should adolescents be following a specific type of program? It has been scientifically proven that strength training actually improves the bone mass density of children and adolescents. Parents are also worried that strength training could lead to injuries, but research shows that adolescents are not at more risk of being injured than other young athletes who have never been exposed to strength training. Adolescents will actually have increased strength and general well being, including blood pressure and resistance to injury. Take a look at this article on adolescents and weight training by Bodybuilding.com to find out more!
If I take a post-workout shake, I’ll increase muscle growth
There is a myth that you have a short window of time when muscles need to respond to protein. Is this true? Well…not really. What you should be more worried about is your total daily protein intake. Ideally 1 gram per pound of weight a day is what will do it. Research doesn’t actually prove the idea that the sooner you consume protein post-exercise the better gains in strength and body mass. The most important is to just consume more protein overall.
It is absolutely imperative to rest between sets
Some people aren’t sure if they are resting enough or too much between sets? Is there an ideal number? If you are looking to get bigger and doing between 6-12 reps, you should aim for 1 minute of rest or less. If you are only interested in strength gains, doing 1-6 reps per set, you do need to get between 3-5 minutes between sets
If I lift slowly, my muscles will get huge
When you lift slowly, muscle tension and blood flow increase, so slow reps will definitely help you build muscles, but that doesn’t mean that you will get huge! The only thing that will come out of lifting slowly is that your workout will be superlong! According to University of Alabama researchers two groups of lifters doing a 29-minute workout were studied. One group performed exercises using a 5-second up phase and a 10-second down phase, the other a more traditional approach of 1 second up and 1 second down. The faster group burned 71 percent more calories and lifted 250 percent more weight than the superslow lifters.
Some people at the gym who look like they’ve worked out forever and seem like they know what they’re talking about aren’t always right. Starting now, ignore them.
Leave a comment on what you’ve heard at the gym and send it over. I’ll question it.
This is a guest post by Diana Zalaquett, currently a certified fitness instructor at CRP. Click here to read some of her other posts.