Fallacies & Myths of Working out for Women
Women who lift weights get big, bulky muscles
Women do not have the levels of testosterone and human growth hormone required to increase lean muscle mass dramatically. The majority of women will only have the capability to replace the muscle that they have lost naturally since they turned 20 years of age. At most, an increase of a couple of kilograms of lean muscle mass, above and beyond what your genetics determine, may occur in a very small percent of LUCKY women. Lucky, because more muscle means a faster metabolism, faster fat burning and a major slow down of the ageing process!
Did you know that the use of anabolic steroids will result in enhanced muscle growth because the missing testosterone is being injected?
Your beautiful, lean, hard muscles will turn to flabby fat if you stop lifting weights
Muscle cannot be turned into fat. This is as impossible as turning metal into water or wood into plastic. If you stop training you will naturally lose muscle size. You could possibly put on fat because you are still eating the same amounts of food that you were eating while you were active and training. Your metabolic rate will also decline because you are losing active muscle tissue. All of this will decrease daily energy expenditure and promote fat gain. So yes, if you stop training you could get fat but not because muscle turns to fat.You will get fat because you have lost muscle which causes fat gain – one cannot physiologically turn into the other!
Specific exercises are great for toning muscles
Toning is a slang term that really means low levels of body fat, leaving the muscles under the skin more visible. Obviously you need to lift weights so you have enough muscle to be visible. However, there is no such thing as an “untoned” muscle. Muscle is active tissue, it does not hang down, or hang off your bones and it cannot be ‘untoned’. The “untoned” appearance comes from having too much subcutaneous fat over the muscle and not having enough muscle under the skin to give your body any form or shape.
Specific exercises are great for ‘spot reduction’ as they burn fat from specific areas
Spot reduction exercises promote working a particular body part or muscle to burn fat from the worked area. Unfortunately, this theory goes against every scientific principle of exercise physiology. We cannot choose where we want to lose fat. If you worked one leg and not the other with side leg raises, you wouldn’t get a fat leg and a thin leg! When you move more, eat less and lift weights, fat will come off from all over your body. Where from and how quickly is different for everyone dependent on your genetic make up and your general body shape. If fat did come off in the areas that we worked or moved the most, we would not have fat on our faces – we move our facial muscles all the time! We also would not have fat on our bottoms, hips and legs, as we use all of these muscles for our daily, regular transportation – standing, walking, running, cycling, swimming and so on. To use fat as a source of fuel, it can only be oxidized (burnt off) aerobically. This simply means while you are alive, breathing, sleeping, moving or exercising your body uses fat as a fuel source to survive. Move more, for longer and faster and you will burn fat, from all over your body faster. Exercises that work one body part at a time, such as crunches and side leg raises, create a ‘burning’feeling or sensation in the muscle which people commonly misinterpret as exploding fat cells; this burning sensation is only a build-up of lactate – a substance produced by the body when you are working anaerobically, NOT aerobically! When you are using your anaerobic system to produce energy you will be using glycogen(carbohydrate) as the main source of energy. This means you are NOT burning any significant amounts of fat.
Lift weights at high repetitions and low weight for toning
As we now know, muscle tone comes from having adequate amounts of muscle that can be seen under low levels of body fat. Maintaining muscle (women) or building muscle (men) can only happen if the muscle is placed under significant overload (low reps). Overload can only come from a regular increase in the loads you are lifting. As your body adapts (gets stronger) to lifting a certain weight, that weight will now be easy to lift and you will need to lift more weight to create an overload effect. Doing the exercise more times (reps) will force your body to ‘endure’ more weight but there will no longer be an overload. Put simply, get stronger, to maintain/build more muscle and to burn fat faster. If you are not getting stronger, your body does not have to work harder.
You can eat and drink protein powders to build extra muscle
People spend thousands of dollars on protein shakes, powders and bars in the hope that the extra protein will add more muscle than they can build in the gym. Sadly for the people who have spent the money, there is no published research to show that extra protein, beyond the body’s requirements of 1 to 2 grams of protein per kg of body-weight, will add extra muscle to the body. Yes – protein is made of muscle but it is also 60-70% water. Drinking all the water out of the local dam will not add any extra size either. Any extra water, above what the body needs, is taken into the body and then passed out. The same is true of protein. The body uses stores and then oxidizes off any extra protein eaten beyond what is needed. It is not converted then it is stored as fat and it is not stuffed into the muscle to make it bigger.
I hope this article of fallacies and myths was helpful. There are so many out there these days that it’s hard to tell which ones are legit. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask us. We are here for your health and well-being. We enjoy what we do and want to educate everyone properly so these “fallacies and myths” are less prevalent.
Have a wonderful month and hope to see you around the studio!
Best of Luck in your Goal Making!
Angela Mitchell NSCA-CSCS, NASM, MMT
Master Trainer at Bodyfit
*for consultation on achieving your physique please call the studio 248-305-8414, ask for Angela.