Some interesting myths about weight lifting.
1. Lifting weights will make you bulk up.
Absolutely not……This is one of the biggest myths and one that is particularly concerning to women when considering starting a weight lifting program. To build muscle you need to consume an appropriate amount of food. Generally speaking, however, if you consume far too much food (energy surplus) then you will likely gain an amount of fat that would then, in theory, make you look bulky. With the right nutrition, lifting weights will create a stronger, leaner body and in some instances actually promote fat loss as the more muscle you have the greater your calorie burn at rest becomes.
2. Muscle turns to fat if you stop lifting.
Muscle NEVER turns into fat and fat NEVER turns into muscle. They are two completely different things. Muscle (as stated above) on the other hand, can help you lose fat. Studies suggest that an intense bought of strength training results in more calories burned in the 16 to 24 hours after your training session ends. It burns more calories at rest and from a health perspective can help fight off age related disease. If you take a break from lifting, you may gain some fat and you may lose some muscle. Sadly that’s life.
3. Hit one muscle group per day (BRO SPLIT)
You’ve probably overheard locker room chatter about it being “back day” or “leg day,” but unless you’re a bodybuilder (or dedicated lifter) it’s not always beneficial to adopt this schedule.
For the majority of us, exercise needs to fit into our busy schedules and so with limited time we need the most effective workout possible. Generally, this means some kind of time efficient full body programme. Body part splits are fine but if you are consistently missing a day or two with work, then that’s muscle groups that are not receiving necessary attention. Pick a full body workout, 4-6 exercises and aim for anywhere from 2-4 sessions per week. If successful each muscle group will get worked multiple times, with adequate recovery in between and with the same, if not more, total volume than you would have had you done the body part split. Example:
|A||Medball slams||3||5||Hard and fast|
|B||Squats||3||5||Work up to a heavy weight|
|C||DB Chest Press||3||12||Last three reps should be challenging|
|D1||Low angle or feet elevated TRX Row||3||15||As a circuit|
|D2||Farmers carry||3||30m||Challenging weight – hold away from the body|
|D3||Plank||3||30s||Tight core, tight glutes, hips paralell with the floor|
4. Lifting heavy weights stunts growth in kids
Weightlifting will NOT stunt the growth of adolescents. There are NO studies that show lifting weights stunts growth.
Can the wrong programme executed poorly lead to issues over time. YES. But that is as true of Adults as it is of kids. There is plenty of research to support the advantages of well-designed and supervised weightlifting programs for kids. Children and adolescents who lift weights not only benefit from improved strength and body composition, but also tend to have more robust bones, increased self-esteem, a reduced risk of sports-related injuries, and a greater overall interest in fitness, which pays lifelong dividends given the rising rates of obesity across all ages. It can also improve coordination and control as they grow quickly during puberty. Best of all, training for kids can be fun and can keep them occupied during hose long summer school holidays.
5. Weightlifting is bad for the joints.
It’s a common misconception that weight lifting puts a harmful load on the joints. Studies published the Journal of Rheumatology found when people suffering from knee joint pain performed weight bearing exercises, they experienced a 43 percent reduction in pain after four months. They were also better at performing daily tasks and reported a higher quality of life than those who didn’t strength train. This is because strength training can help grow strength in the structures around your joints, causing them to be better supported.
An additional indirect benefit of weight training can be weight loss which in turn assists with the reduction of joint pain especially for those with knee issues.
6. Weight lifting causes high blood pressure.
For years, people with hypertension have been warned to stay away from lifting weights because it could further increase blood pressure. In reality, as with aerobic exercise, weight lifting can actually lower both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Overtime and when applied appropriately, weightlifting can help overall heart health.
7. Weight lifting decreases flexibility.
If done correctly, weight lifting can actually have the opposite effect. A studies in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research found that resistance training improves flexibility as well as static stretching. The key is to work through a full range of motion while lifting, For example, lifting dumbbells all the way up and all the way back down during a chest press will allow you to utilise the full potential of your chest and shoulders. It effectively applies load in the stretch position which can increase flexibility. DOMS or Muscle soreness from workouts can temporarily reduce muscle range but this passes within a few days and generally experienced less over the lifetime of your training. Having said that, every effort should be made to incorporate mobility and flexibility training as part of your recovery protocol from any activity, not just lifting weights.