Common myths of weight training
Myth 1: “If you stop exercising, your muscles will turn into fat”
This is impossible. Muscle tissue and fat tissue are two completely different things. One cannot turn into the other. If you stop training, you will gradually lose the muscle and strength, but you will put on weight only if you eat more calories than you burn.
Myth 2: “It takes a lot of time and effort to see good results”
As long as you do the three main things—train, eat, and rest—correctly, you can experience remarkable results within just six months, training one hour a day, four days a week. That’s just four hours a week—and the benefits are invaluable! Your friends and family should start to notice a significant difference within just two months. See How quickly can you gain muscle?
Myth 3: “Weight training decreases your flexibility”
If you train correctly, making sure to use proper form and put your joints through their full ranges of motion, you will likely improve your flexibility, not lose it! However, loss of flexibility is possible in three instances:
- If you consistently lift heavy weights using a partial range of motion.
- If you overdevelop one muscle group relative to its opposing muscle group.
- If you damage a muscle, joint, tendon, or ligament while training.
Myth 4: “Weight training damages your joints”
Actually, weight training is an effective way of strengthening your joints! Other forms of physical exercise, such as running and jumping, actually place far more stress on your joints than weight training does. As long as you perform weight training exercises correctly, using proper form and technique, and adhere to safety recommendations, weight training will strengthen the ligaments that hold your joints together, thus making them more stable and less susceptible to injury.
Myth 5: “Weight training makes women look masculine”
This is one of the most discouraging of the myths of weight training. It’s regrettable because weight training can help women to increase energy levels, reduce fat, improve muscle tone, create a better body shape, reduce the risk of developing certain diseases (e.g. osteoporosis), and even slow down the aging process—all without making them look masculine! It’s actually very difficult for women to achieve that big, bulky, masculine look because they lack testosterone, possessing only one-tenth of the amount as men do. The only way that women can achieve the bulky, masculine look is if they train like crazy and use steroids.
Myth 6: “You have to guzzle down lots of protein shakes”
Protein shakes and protein bars are preferred by many weight trainers and especially bodybuilders because they offer convenience. However, protein shakes and bars are just fast sources of protein. You’re free to consume whatever you want to achieve your goals. Provided you have good substitutes, you can completely forego protein products. Note, however, that if you’re after speed and convenience, nothing compares with tearing open a protein bar after a workout, or preparing a protein shake at home.