Myth Busters: Weight Lifting is Far Better than You Think
While most fitness beginners are happy to take up cardio, you can be a little more cautious when it comes to weight training. Unfortunately, there are many wellness myths surrounding weight training, and these can put you off what is an excellent resource for your fitness efforts. Let’s take a look at four of the more common weight lifting myths, and why you should absolutely stop believing them.
1. Bulking Up and Building Muscle is the Same Thing
You might be sticking to your gruelling cardio routine and body weight exercises at the gym, but avoiding weights means that you can really impede your toning progress. You won’t bulk up if you lift weights; you’ll simply challenge your body, improve your muscle strength and endurance and increase your metabolic wellness. For an average person who does regular weight training and eats a calorie controlled diet, the results of lifting weights will simply be toning up. That’s right, you’ll replace fat with lean muscle, and that’s good for anyone’s weight loss efforts.
2. Lifting Light Weights May Tone Your Body, But Heavier Ones Still Add Bulk
Many people – both men and women – refuse to lift heavier weights because of this major misconception, but some people can and should go heavier. More often than not, people tone up by lifting lighter weights at a higher number of repetitions. However, while this is good for the endurance of your muscles, it is not the ideal way to tone your body. Try lifting heavier weights at a lower number of reps – so long as your muscles are ready. By doing this, you can really build your muscle strength while also burning more fat and increasing metabolism.
3. You Cannot Get Stronger If You Lift Light Weights
People seem to think that it’s all about how much weight you lift, but that isn’t really what matters. Rather, it’s a question of whether you are training your muscles hard until fatigue or not. Especially if you are a beginner, you can very much get results from lifting lighter weights. In fact, if you lift heavier weights from day one, your form will be negatively be affected. Having the right form is vital for most exercises, and also results in reduced chances for injury. You can definitely strengthen your muscles when you train with lighter weights, although you’ll have to work out for longer to take your muscles to fatigue. Therefore, if you’re pressed for time, you might want to start with lesser weights and quickly progress to heavier weights.
4. Some Exercises Can Lengthen Your Muscles
Unfortunately, there is no exercise that can make your muscles grow longer and, as a result, more lean. You can get a lean body through the reduced body fat percentage you get from lifting weights, but it’s simply not possible to add length to your muscles. Your muscles are attached to your bones and, as such, have a certain fixed length. No matter what exercise you do, your muscles cannot grow beyond the length of your bones.
If you hear someone say that a certain weight lifting routine has helped them achieve longer, leaner muscles; what he or she really means is that the routine has helped to create an illusion of longer and leaner muscles by improving their posture and their stance. This is often the case with people who enjoy exercises like Pilates, yoga and dance, as these exercises will improve your range of motion and flexibility. This is because the exercises are mainly cardiovascular in type, but also use bodyweight training that helps tone muscles.