Below are some of the more common weight/strength training myths.
Q. I don’t want to lift weights because I don’t want big muscles.
A. This is a common misconception. Lifting weights does make your muscles grow but it ultimately makes your body appear smaller. Yes… smaller. As you strength train, you begin losing fat. Muscle is much more dense than fat, occupying less space on your body. As you add lean muscle mass, your body will begin to appear smaller, tighter, more compact and defined. When part of a rigorous cardio routine and sensible diet, strength training helps you attain your ultimate body, making you bigger in the places you want to be bigger and smaller in the places you want to be smaller. “Bulking up” and getting “big” requires an intense regimen of lifting heavy weights and an increase in calories. Most women don’t have the capacity to get big muscles due to their body chemistry and lack of testosterone.
Q. Won’t exercise increase my appetite?
A. There may be an increase in appetite when beginning a regular exercise routine. This is normal due to the fact that your body is burning a lot more calories. Listen to your body and feed it what it needs (good healthy foods). If you’re exercising regularly, chances are you are still burning more calories than you’re taking in. Have you ever noticed that you crave healthier foods when you’re exercising regularly? Eventually, as your exercise routines become more intense, you will actually experience a decrease in appetite, especially for several hours after your workouts.
Q. I’ve tried weight training for a few weeks and there was no loss of weight.
A. You may actually experience weight gain in the initial phases of a strength training program. This is normal and temporary. As you add muscle, you are increasing your metabolism and burning fat more efficiently. Remember, the goal is not necessarily weight loss, it’s fat loss, and the fat will come off. Don’t worry about what the scale says. It is misleading. Some people actually end up weighing more due to the fact that they’ve added a significant amount of lean muscle. However, their body fat percentage has decreased dramatically so they look fantastic.