As a woman are you afraid of lifting weights because you think it will make you bulky? Then check out this post that will bust the top 7 workout myths that women have.
If I had a penny for each time a woman told me that she does not want to lift weights because it will make her bulky, I would be a rich man today.
While the trend has started to change a bit and women are entering the weight training rooms these days, there are still lots of myths that keep women out of the gym.
This post is my attempt to take a look at some of the most common myths that women have about working out.
Then bust the heck out of them so that women get more confidence in strength training and be able to achieve their best fitness, strength, and weight loss goals.
This is the most common workout myth that I keep hearing from women.
They keep asking the question whether lifting weights will make them bulky.
Well, the simple answer is that it’s really hard for a woman to get bulky lifting weights (naturally).
The reason is that a man has 10 to 15 times more testosterone than a woman. And it’s even difficult for us men to get big and bulky.
It takes years of intense training and eating to gain muscle mass for men.
So it’s impossible for a woman to naturally gain as much muscle as a man.
Heavy weight lifting is the only way a woman can get a good body with tight abs, a good butt, and a toned body.
However, a major factor that can make you look bulky is if you have a good amount of muscle and a high amount of body fat.
This will make the body fat cover the muscle and make you look bulky.
Lower your body fat and your muscles will start showing that great, sexy, toned body.
The ideal body fat for a woman to reach this level is around 15 to 20 percent body fat.
This is another common workout myth that woman face.
They feel that performing thousands of crunches and side bends will “burn” fat from their belly.
Nothing can be further from the truth. In fact, if you do those exercises and build muscle without losing fat then as I mentioned, you will start looking even bulkier.
There is no way to spot reduce fat from your body by doing targetted exercises.
Instead, you need to lower your overall body fat and the fat will start coming off from various sections of your body.
How the fat starts coming off will entirely depend on your genetic predisposition.
For some, it could start from the stomach, arms, butt, etc. But for others, it could be a completely other order.
But as long as you get into a calorie deficit and start losing fat, you will gradually lose fat from your entire body.
If you want to lose fat faster then you need to focus on your diet to lose fat. This along with heavy, compound exercises will help you burn more calories and reach closer to your lean, fit, and strong goals.
Another workout myth that women have is that when you start working out your fat will turn into muscle.
And conversely, when you stop working out your muscle will again turn to fat.
This is a completely false understanding because muscle and fat are two completely different things like fire and water.
One cannot get converted into another.
When you start working out as a beginner, what you can do is build muscle and lose fat at the same time. This is also called as getting your newbie gains where you build muscle while keeping your body in a slight calorie deficit.
And conversely, when you stop working out at the gym, you will start losing strength and the muscle that you have gained. And if you eat more food to get into a calorie surplus, then you will start gaining body fat as well.
But keep in mind that muscle and fat are two completely different things and you cannot mix one with the other.
The main purpose of lifting weights is so that you can put stress on your muscles.
Then your muscles get micro tears in them and need to rebuild.
Once you provide them with good nutrition and sufficient rest, then the muscles rebuild and grow stronger to cope with the increased load that you are placing on them.
This is also known as progressive overload where you need to keep challenging your muscles.
This is the only reason why your muscles will grow because you keep on placing stress on them and challenging them to grow stronger.
Women have the myth that to get a toned body you need to lift light weights for a high number of repetitions.
If you lift light weights that don’t challenge your body then you are wasting your time in the gym.
To build muscle and get a toned body, you should lift weights that you find challenging to perform a rep range of 8 to 12 and no more.
This is another common workout myth that most women get trapped into.
Visit a gym and you will see all the treadmills and ellipticals occupied by women who spend hours doing cardio.
The idea seems to be that the more cardio you do the more fat you will burn.
However, this is not true. You do not need cardio to lose weight. A good combination of diet and strength training is more than sufficient to lose weight.
The danger of cardio is that if you do lots of it, you may lose fat but you will also tend to lose muscle.
This will make you end up in a skinny fat situation and we don’t want that. Instead, we want a lean and toned body.
Strength training along with a negative energy balance is the best way to achieve this.
When you workout with weights, for the next 24-48 hours, your body is recovering from the stress you put on your muscles.
This requires calories and so the metabolism of your body increases. This means you burn more calories even when your body is at rest. This is also known as the after-burner effect.
Doing some cardio is quite beneficial to improve your endurance and give you that boost in burning more calories.
However, instead of dragging yourself on the treadmill for hours, what you can use is high-intensity interval training.
This is a form of cardio where you perform a mix of high-intensity and low-intensity phases of cardio.
The advantage of doing high-intensity interval training is that you can get the same or more benefits of regular cardio with just spending 1.5 to 2.5 hours per week.
Personal trainers seem to put men on a training regime of heavy lifting including squats, deadlifts, bench press, etc.
But for women, many trainers suggest lightweight dumbbell exercises, stability ball squats, triceps extensions, etc.
This is a workout myth that men and women need to train differently. The myth is based on the view that men need to build muscle and strength while women need to get a toned look and need light weights and high reps.
This is incorrect and men and women should be training with heavy weights because that is the way to achieve strength and muscle for men and a toned body for women.
The science behind this is that women have much lower testosterone levels than men and cannot build muscle like men.
So while both men and women will use the same strength training exercises, the outcome is different for both because of the way the body works.
So if you as a woman want to get a toned body with sexy abs, a great butt, and fine legs, then you should be performing a workout that contains heavy compound movements like squats, deadlifts, bench press, overhead press, etc.
And you need to perform these exercises with an intensity that could put a man to shame. That is the only way to achieve the body of your dreams.
This is one of those myths that women have tried out for ages.
If you eat less, you will lose weight, right? And if you eat even lesser, you will lose more weight very fast, right?
Well, by eating less you will lose weight. But that does not mean you need to go on an intense diet where you are consuming 1200 calories or less. That is insane.
Your body requires calories so that you can be healthy and have enough energy to go through your day.
Your body requires energy for functioning and for performing exercise.
If you do not feed your body with the required food, you will feel tired, depressed, and lethargic.
And you will not have fun while exercising. Instead, you will feel out of energy and dread going to the gym.
The goal to get a lean and toned body means that you need to eat the proper calories from whole foods.
This includes foods such as vegetables, lean meats, whole grains, and dairy.
When you are lifting weights and trying to lose fat, a high-protein diet has proven to be the most effective when it comes to keeping you full for a long time and providing your body with the essential nutrients for building muscle.
Your diet should also be rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber from fruits and vegetables.
And you need slow-digesting carbs from whole grains to get the energy you need for performance throughout the day.
The most important thing to consider if you want to lose fat is that you are in a negative energy balance or calorie deficit.
Here is how you can build your own weight loss diet plan without starving yourself.
With a good meal plan, you can eat 10% of your foods from any thing you like like cookies, chips, and chocolate as long as you can hit your daily targetted calorie requirements.
I hope this post helped you understand the top 7 workout myths that women have that keeps them from working out and getting the lean and toned body that they dream off.
So if you are looking to build muscle, lose fat, and get that amazing physique, stop worrying about such myths and start working hard at the gym and with your diet.
You will start seeing some great results in no time especially when you are a beginner.
Do let me know if this post helped clear your doubts about strength training for women. If you have any other myths that you need busted, just post a comment below and I will be glad to help.
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