The Fitness Zone
The fitness industry may have more myths than ancient Greece, but one that continues to be the most common is the idea that women who lift weights will become big, bulky wrecking balls. My name is Chris Adamson, Master Coach at the Australian Institute of Fitness – Adelaide, and I am here today to put some of these myths to bed once and for all.
Myth 1 – Weight Training For Women Makes You Look Like Rambo.
One of the biggest differences between males and females is the testosterone to oestrogen ratio, and what these hormones do. Basically, testosterone leads to increases in muscle and bone mass (amongst other things). In men, testosterone levels are significantly higher, therefore increasing muscle mass becomes much more attainable. According to certain studies, females can have testosterone levels 15-20 times lower than men.
Verdict: Most definitely FALSE. In fact, lifting weights and increasing muscle mass can actually increase your resting metabolic rate (meaning you burn more fat whilst doing less).
Myth 2 – The ONLY Way To Burn Fat Is By Doing Oodles Of Cardio.
Whilst steady state cardio will burn some fat, we would all need to spend many, many hours pounding the pavement. A great way to get more “bang for your buck” would be to do a combination of strength and cardiovascular training. High Intensity Interval Training (H.I.I.T.) is a great way to get the best of both worlds, and burning more calories in less time. HOORAY!
Myth 3 – Weight Training Takes Too Long To See Results.
There are most definitely ways to see GREAT results, whilst not having to spend excessive amounts of time in the gym (and data when checking in on Facebook). This is where circuit training comes into the mix. Completing a series of exercises with little - to - no rest in between sets is a great way to burn more calories in less time.
Verdict: If done correctly, FALSE! Get in there and after it!
Myth 4 – You CAN Spot Reduce Fat.
Unfortunately genetics are a huge part of our body’s size and shape. We are predisposed to store fat in different places. Sure it would be great to be able to do a few crunches and get rid of our belly, but the reality is that our bodies are going to lose weight from where it wants! Doing bicep curls to get rid of flabby arms is not an amazingly effective course of action, we would be better off looking big picture and moving a number muscles during the same exercise to maximise the calories burnt!
Verdict: This would be nice, however this is most definitely FALSE!
Myth 5 – If I Put On Muscle And Then Stop Lifting, It Will Turn To Fat.
Muscle and fat are 2 different types of tissues, just like water and wine. There has only been one person who could turn water into wine, and even he couldn’t turn muscle into fat! The old adage of “if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it” is the closest to being true. If a muscle is not used, the individual fibres decrease in their cross sectional size (get smaller – this is called atrophy). If we continued to eat the amount we were whilst we were training, whilst burning fewer calories, of course we would put on weight. This would be due to the energy ‘in’ being greater than the energy we are putting out, which leads to weight gain – not muscle turning into fat!
Verdict: FALSE. If you stop moving, and keep eating, you will most probably gain weight.