When it comes to strength training, there's a surplus of myths that often steer people away from this highly beneficial form of exercise. Misconceptions such as "lifting weights make you bulky" or "strength training is bad for your joints" are common, but they are far from the truth. Today, we are diving into the scientific truth behind strength training to debunk these myths and shed light on the real benefits that come with lifting weights.
Myth 1: Strength Training Makes You Bulky
One of the most common misconceptions about strength training, particularly among women, is that lifting weights will result in a bulky, overly muscular physique. However, the truth is far from this.
In fact, strength training is one of the most effective ways to lose body fat and maintain a lean physique. A study published in the American Journal of Physiology found that strength training boosts resting metabolism, meaning that you continue to burn calories even after your workout has finished.
As for the fear of becoming overly muscular, it's important to understand that gaining muscle mass is a slow process, especially for women. Due to lower levels of testosterone, a hormone that facilitates muscle growth, women will generally build muscle and increase strength without a corresponding increase in size. So, instead of bulking you up, strength training is more likely to give you a lean, toned appearance.
Myth 2: Strength Training is Bad for Your Joints
Contrary to the common misconception, strength training, when done correctly, can actually improve joint health. Lifting weights helps build not only muscle mass but also increases bone density and strengthens the tendons and ligaments surrounding the joints.
Research published in the Journal of Rheumatology found that strength training improved muscle strength, physical function, and disease activity in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, a chronic inflammatory disorder that affects the joints.
Of course, the key here is proper form and technique. Lifting weights that are too heavy or using improper form can lead to injury. It's always advisable to seek professional advice when starting a new exercise regimen.
Myth 3: Cardio is Better for Weight Loss than Strength Training
While it's true that cardio workouts burn more calories during the exercise itself, strength training has been shown to increase metabolic rate post-workout more than cardio does. This phenomenon is known as Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC), or simply, the 'afterburn' effect.
In addition, strength training helps build muscle mass, and muscle tissue burns more calories than fat tissue, even when at rest. Thus, by increasing your muscle mass through strength training, you can increase your calorie burn throughout the day, aiding weight loss.
Myth 4: Strength Training is Only for Young People
Many people believe that strength training is only suitable for the young, but science suggests otherwise. In fact, as we age, strength training becomes increasingly important.
A study published in the Journal of Aging and Physical Activity found that strength training improves physical function, bone density, and muscle mass in older adults. It can even improve cognitive function and slow the progression of diseases such as osteoporosis and arthritis.
To summarize, strength training, when done correctly, is a safe and effective way to boost your metabolism, improve joint health, aid weight loss, and maintain muscle mass and bone density as you age. Don't let these debunked myths hold you back from reaping the incredible benefits that strength training has to offer. It's never too late to start your strength training journey! Come see our facility and tap into our amazing benefits as a member! ask for a tour