Woman doing barbell squat in crossfit gym

Myths of weight training and bodybuilding

Unfortunately, despite the amazing benefits of weight training, there are certain popular myths that often discourage or dissuade people from taking it up. Let’s go over and dispel some of these myths.

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, shape, 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 and four days a week. That’s just four hours a week. Your friends and family should start to notice a difference after just eight or so weeks. 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 range of motion, you will likely improve your flexibility, not lose it. However, loss of flexibility is possible in three instances:

  1. If you consistently lift heavy weights using a partial range of motion
  2. If you overdevelop one muscle group relative to its opposing muscle group
  3. If you damage a muscle, joint, tendon, or ligament while training

These three instances can easily be avoided by utilizing the full range of motion, stretching your muscles after each workout, following a balanced training program, and being careful when you train.

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 bulky

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, enhance their curves, create a better body shape, reduce the risk of developing certain diseases (for example, 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 that men do. The only way that women can achieve the bulky, masculine look is if they train like crazy and use steroids.

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