The world of fitness is full of myths and this is specially true when it comes to the information available to ladies. Women are brainwashed to believe that lifting weights will turn them into female versions of He-Man or that doing endless repetitions of leg kicks will help them shape their legs. It also doesn’t help that the fitness industry is heavily influenced by money thus propagating plenty of myths is actually desired by those who live off the industry. I mean, if I have this super machine costing 200 bucks that I claim will help you tone your abs, you better believe that I want you to think that doing 500 crunches a day will help you tone your abs!
There are too many fitness myths that have been built throughout the decades
Considering that I have a strong female following (both here and at Manly Curls) due to my no-bull approach to lifestyle advice, it is, thus, that I would like to debunk the following three fitness myths that target women so that you can gain an advantage in your physical improvement efforts:
Myth 1: Weight training will make you gain hefty amounts of muscle
I want to kick things off with this big myth. Oh my, have I heard it so many times! No, no and no, weight training will not bulk you up or turn you into an abomination of the female form. Whenever you have seen a bulky woman carrying as much muscle as a bull, you have seen a professional female bodybuilder who lives off bodybuilding and is a physical example completely unrelated to what you will ever achieve. Scrap that image off your head!
Weight training will build small amounts of muscle which will not only help you look better but also help you keep a healthy body composition and improve your quality of life. Even if you hit the weights hard for years, you will only build enough muscle to look good with and without clothes. Women have very low levels of the key hormone testosterone when compared to men and this hormone is the one responsible for gaining a lot of muscle. Thus, right off the bat, your body itself will limit your muscle gain potential. There are other physiological factors that limit the potential for you ladies to gain too much muscle so do not be scared into thinking that even merely looking at a weights set will have you looking like a silverback gorilla.
If you follow a smart weight training routine for several months, expect to gain 2 or 3 pounds of muscle while losing fat and looking even better. Weight training is really that useful as a physical enhancing tool and I recommend it to all females looking to have a better quality of life!
Myth 2: Losing weight will correspond to a physical improvement
Ladies, just because you have lost 4 pounds, it doesn’t mean you will look better! Instead you should be focusing on losing fat, which is the stuff that makes you not look as good in a bikini! I am not trying to burst your bubble, not at all, but it is necessary for you to know that when you lose weight, this loss of weight will be made up of different body’s tissues such as fat, water, muscle mass and much more. If, out of those 4 pounds, about three of them are muscle and only one is fat, then you are doing yourself a disservice because losing muscle mass is actually counterproductive to your dieting efforts. Moreover, four pounds of fat loss is much more physically enhancing than a mere one pound of lost fat.
You have to understand that your body loves your own fat stores! Back when we used to live in caves, body fat was extremely useful because it helps retain body heat and because it acts as a protective padding to the essential hip region (essential because that’s where the reproductive organs are located). Thus, when you start a diet, your body will try all sort of tricks to save the losing of fat and will instead flush out water, muscle and other tissue weight, hence why the rate of weight loss occurs faster in the beginning of any diet. The body encourages fat loss best when it is put under a sensible non-drastic diet and when the weekly weight loss is not extreme.
To ensure that you are losing fat and not muscle mass, you should strive to lose a maximum of 2 pounds of body weight per week, anymore and you will be certainly losing too much non-fat mass.
Myth 3: You can lose fat from specific body regions aka “spot reduce”
This one is perpetuated by people trying to sell you silly machines on late night TV infommercials. No, spot reducing is not possible, no matter how many knee raises you try to do to shape the contour of your derriere! Body shape and body fat distribution is genetically determined and the body chooses which area it grabs fat stores from without regards to your personal preferences. I always say this: the first places that your body packs on fat are the last places to lose fat from, this means that the hip and thigh areas are a very difficult area for women to lose fat from and reduce bulk.
If you want to improve specific areas such as the glutes or thighs, the best thing you can do is to exercise the area with specific weight training exercises such as squats or step ups while sticking to a long term diet that encourages fat loss. Your body will eventually tap into the unsightly fat stores of the body region you desire as you continue with your dieting efforts, it will only be a matter of time. Overall, the small amounts of muscle you will gain from weight training plus the fat loss you will experience from the diet will improve the physical look of the area you are targeting. This is the only way that you can target the physical improvement of a specific body region so stop wasting your time doing endless repetitions of leg kicks thinking that it will spot reduce your thighs!
Women Fitness Myths on Weight Loss & Muscle Building
As you can see, these three fitness myths that I have debunked have a lot in common. They are targeted at women, they stem from misconceptions of what using weights and losing weights is all about, and they are ingrained in pretty much any female wanting to get in better shape. Thus, I, Rogelio, want to put down for once and all these myths and assure you that an optimal weight training program coupled with a smart diet over a long enough period of time will help you look better and feel better.
Yours in training.
All the best.
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