Fortunately, most of our young ladies will not grow up being inhibited by these fictitious statements because of the prevalence of strength training programs in our junior high and high schools.
But...that doesn't help those who are over 35 and wanting to plan an integrated program to lose belly fat.
Hopefully, we can clear up some of the major misconceptions about weight training for women.
Weight training is vital for a program to lose fat
Women lifting weights down at the gym do so with one concept in mind...building lean muscle helps elevate their metabolism and improves fat burning. But, if this is so good...why do many shy away?
Well, for some, it can be intimidating to go into a male-dominated area that includes guys who look like they could bench press a Buick. For others, though, it is because of negative thoughts put into their heads by people with no idea what they are talking about.
Myth - Women lifting weights get bulky and look like men: It is not possible because women just do not naturally produce as much testosterone as men do. Sure, there are female bodybuilders with some unworldly muscularity, but this is normally due to the use of steroids.
Myth - Once women stop lifting weights, that muscle turns into fat: Wrong. That's about as intelligent as saying when you stop saving money, those dollars turn into dust bunnies. Muscle cells and fat cells are TWO DIFFERENT THINGS. What normally happens is, when people go off their lifting program, they keep consuming the same amount of calories...but they are not burning as many of them of any more. A calorie surplus = fat storage.
Myth - Weight training for women makes them musclebound and stiff: A lot of people do two things wrong in the gym, they fail to integrate a quality stretching program and they fail to go through a full range of motion when lifting. Female Ice skaters, dancers, swimmers, and even equestrian athletes all have specific stretching programs. What is that telling you about this vital component of a well-rounded fitness program?
Myth - Weight training for women should focus on very light weights: In order to build lean muscle that elevate your metabolism, you must keep increasing the resistance (poundage.) Muscle responds to progressive increases. It is a fatal misconception that women do not have the capacity to handle heavier weights with sensible progression. Pick any college and contact the women's strength coach. Three minutes into the conversation, you will see what nonsense this really is.
This last bit of fiction doesn't keep women out of the weight room, but it has proven to be a tremendous obstacle in achieving fat loss goals...
Myth - Women who lift weights can eat anything and as much as they want: NO! It doesn't work that way. Your individual metabolism determines how many calories you burn at rest and while you exercise. Some people are fortunate and burn fat like it is Monopoly money, but the other 98% of us cannot. If you have a caloric surplus, you will start putting on fat.
When you decide you want a life without fat, it requires more than just a fad diet. You want an integrated program that is comprehensive in regard to nutrition, cardio, weight training for women, rest and hydration. It needs to be sensible and safe.