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Top 5 Women Weight Lifting Myths

December 13th, 2013 · No Comments ·


Many gym goers are loaded with information or advice about weight lifting for women.  More often than not, most are bad ones.  The other day I heard that running is bad for women because the running motion will make one drop her ovary!  Hearing this myth is somewhat disheartening, knowing that many beginners are asking the wrong person for bad advice.  The other day, I was once again being told that steam bath will help one to lose weight easily without dieting or exercising.  Sigh.

I have compiled 5 myths and let’s go through them, one by one…

Myth 1: Women Will Be HUGE with Weight Lifting

Even as a guy, when I first started training with weight about five years ago, I thought I would be able to gain huge muscles overnight.  No, it is not that easy.  Typical women have 10 times lower level of testosterone (which is hormone responsible in muscle growth).  Do not be fooled by the cover of the bodybuilding magazines which feature muscular women.  Those models have spent years to train and some have taken much supplements to build those bulky muscles.  Get over your little phobia.  Do not worry on things that never going to happen on your body.  You have much more things to worry about – worry about Iraq war, worry about global warming, worry about Nicole Kidman’s love affair, but stop worrying weight lifting.  It will never make you big like the Hulk.

I will use the same reason to encourage women to train their legs and butt muscles.  Do not worry about them getting too big and therefore only train your upper bodies.  The largest group of muscles, whether women or men, are actually legs and butt.  Neglecting these huge muscles means you are not actually working out!


Myth 2: Women Should Train to Tone Their Muscles

Some people believe that only men build muscles whereas women should trim and tone.  This school of thought says that if you lift heavy, you will gain muscle size; if you lift light weights with high repetition, you will get “toned”.  I am not going to argue whether this is true or not.  Based on my personal experience (even I am a man) and observations on other women gym goers, let’s agree that how big muscles will be depends on gender (as mentioned in first point) and genetics.  Muscle will grow, whether it is man or woman.  After all, men and women have the same skeletal muscle composition. So, instead of just keep thinking that woman should “trim and tone” with light weight, you should try using heavy weights for your resistance training.

Myth 3: Women Should Lose Weight Before Lifting Weights

Too often I hear girls saying that they should slim down first before picking up the dumbbells.  It is just a lame excuse.  Muscle is actually an excellent fat burning machine.  Each pound of muscle can burn between 30 and 40 calories a day.  Imagine with additional 5 pounds of muscles, you burn additional 175 calories a day which is about 5,250 calories a month.  Therefore, contrary to belief, instead to wait till you slim down to start weight training, you should start it now to help your weight lose.


Myth 4: Women Become Fatter When They Stop Weight Taining

First, some people think that muscle will become fat.  As I mentioned in my article of “Will Muscle Become Fat?” , fat and muscle are actually two different types of tissue.  Muscle will never turn into fat and vice versa.  What actually make women (and men) become fatter because many still eat the same amount of food even when they are no longer doing weight training or exercise.  Combined with lower metabolism and unhealthy eating habits, they tend to become fatter.

In short, it is not weight training that make them fatter after they stop training, it is their bad eating habits and lose of muscles that make them fatter.

Myth 5: Muscles Are Ugly

I understand that most women find that bulk muscles with veins are ugly.  But, you do not have to train like a hardcore bodybuilder, spending 3 to 4 hours a day at the gym.  What you need is an hour for a sessions with 3 to 4 sessions a week.

Check out Jennifer Aniston’s arms.


How about Jessica Biel?


Muscles are not ugly. They make you look better and prettier than many other skinny fashion models out there!

After reading the above women’s weight lifting myths, I hope that most female readers will be receptive to the idea of training with weights.  In my future article, I will list out few useful weight lifting tips for women (and applicable to men too).  These tips will ensure you will gain the best result out from your workout.  As usual, I will not push any unnecessary supplements and never is my style to give one size fits all exercise and diet prescription.  By reading these tips, you will be able to get a great head start and no longer confine yourself on treadmill, cycling machine or cross trainer at your gym.  You will be more confident to step your feet into the free weight area.



Category: Weight Training

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