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5 Myths About Strength Training In Women

November 14, 20235 min read

Myth Number 1: Women tend to gain muscle quickly when they first start strength training.

This simply isn’t true. It’s not really true for men either. It takes time to gain muscle. For most, it takes more time and work to gain muscle than it does fat. Most folks, women and men alike, tend to mistake the temporary muscle pump (when fluid rushes to the area exercised) as muscle growth that has happened quickly. Sometimes when wearing clothes right after a workout, they might feel a bit tighter from said muscle pump. You’ll notice over the course of the day, that changes.

Myth Number 2: Weight lifting causes women to look bulky.

“Forget your fears of bulking up, unless you have the DNA of a gladiator, strength training will help to slim you down rather than hulk you up.” (New Rules Of Lifting For Women)

Here’s the truth: Lifting weights may cause you to gain weight. But that’s okay. Here’s why, muscle is denser than fat. Yes one pound of muscle weighs the same as one pound of fat, but it doesn’t look the same!

It takes up quite a bit less space. So, to get that toned look you are looking for, lifting weights is needed for sure! More importantly, healthy isn’t a number on a scale. It’s a combination of physical, spiritual, intellectual, and emotional states. Not to mention, how you feel about yourself.

Myth Number 3: I can look toned from cardio or weight training. I get it. The word “toned or toning” generally refers to the way most people want to look. Have you considered to definition of the word? The word “tone” is actually short for “tonus” and has a specific meaning. It’s the firmness of any muscle at any given time when you aren’t contracting (flexing) it. The cool part is it does improve with a progressive strength training program but it isn’t anything you can see. Most times the word is used in marketing towards women, as it is used it in the myth above, is to assume “you can make your muscles look better without making them bigger”. It also, in most marketing, assumes that you can perform workouts with lots of reps and light weights. Honestly, this isn’t true in terms of the type of workout and it’s not a healthy way to view your muscles.

If the weights don’t challenge your muscles, they won’t change or grow. Even if you lose the fat on top of the musculature, a healthy look won’t be present without well trained muscle. More importantly, when you strength train regularly, you WILL ACTUALLY BECOME HEALTHIER, not just look better.

Myth Number 4: You can get results in strength training by doing the opposite of what you do in other methods of exercise.

What I mean here is often times, you might see a woman build an amazing core through working super hard in pilates, maintain or improve mobility through a consistent yoga practice, and build an awesome level of cardiovascular endurance through hard work in a spin class or running. All of these things are important and are probably something she enjoys. That is great! The only problem here is that traditionally, this level of hard work and dedication doesn’t translate into the weight room. For some reason, women have been fed marketing that says they must lift weights differently and without the level of hard work they put into other aspects of their fitness. This marketing is nuts! The results most women or men for that matter seek from strength training requires as much hard work and dedication as their continued participation in pilates, yoga,or cardio programming. This means weights that are heavy enough to make you struggle on the last 2-3 reps of every set. That doesn’t mean it always has to be super heavy, but we need to choose the correct weight for the given rep range we are in. If this seems intimidating, don’t worry, we have experienced women and men at BFP that can help guide you to this point safely!

Myth Number 5: Men are made for strength training thus making it easier for them.

Men have more testosterone than women which helps them grow more muscle. This has no bearing on the structure and basic composition of the muscle fiber between a man and a woman. Structurally, they are pretty much the same. Women have several advantages over men in the weight room. In fact, these advantages are evident every day in our Group Training Sessions at BFP!

1: Women’s muscle recover faster! Women regenerate ATP, the primary energy source for muscular contraction faster than men!

2: Women experience muscle soreness to lesser degree than men. Let’s say you and I both perform a workout that is unfamiliar to both of us. You may notice the soreness before I do but it lasts longer for me. For this reason, we can often successfully challenge women more than we can men in their initial programs.

3: Women may incur a bit more inflammation than men post workout. This is a good thing! This leads to micro tears in the muscle tissue and as long as everything is in working order, you will recover stronger!

So, ladies who aren’t performing regular strength training, I ask, why not? It does the body good and you have the potential to be great at it! If you have any questions at all, please feel free to comment below! Ill answer ASAP.

By the way, we have a workshop coming soon for women only! You can:

  • Learn why women SHOULD be lifting weights-Learn the truth about your muscles

  • Learn how many days you should lift weights, how long to recover, and

  • Get a 6 week Strength Training Program to take home!

The benefits to strength training are numerous whether man or woman. Join us in a fun and interactive workshop and learn about strength training specifically for women and why ALL women should be hitting the weights and putting old stereotypes to bed for good!

Click HERE to sign up now!


Coach Joe

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Breakaway Fitness & Performance

Breakaway Fitness & Performance focuses on strength training, weight loss, and a healthy lifestyle in their blogs.

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