Debunking Popular Health & Fitness Myths – Part 2

By Adrianna McDonald

MYTH #1 I DON’T WANT TO GET BIG.

This is a big misconception amongst the ladies. I say it over and over again: lifting weights to build muscles is a long, hard journey, which requires lots of discipline. Weight training is by far the best way to increase lean muscle mass, speed up your metabolism, lower your body fat, and most importantly improve overall health.  Women do not produce enough testosterone to suddenly turn into HULK! At least, not naturally.

Trust me, I’ve been lifting, for more than 10 years, regularly! Women on average have about one tenth the testosterone of men, the level of testosterone varies greatly and influences women’s strength development more than is typical in men. What’s more magical about lifting iron is that it improves confidence, self-esteem and increases libido. So, step off the treadmill or stepper and start lifting! Stop being “afraid” and embrace weights to build and sculpt the body you want.

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MYTH #2 – I WORKED OUT TODAY, SO I CAN EAT WHATEVER I WANT

Even though you’ve worked out and raised your metabolic rate, the caloric deficit may not be enough (and in most cases never is) to be able to eat whatever you want. You can’t out train a bad diet! It’s still calories in vs calories out. This is most likely why you are not seeing any progress in the gym. Be smart!

MYTH #3 LOW WEIGHTS WITH HIGH REPS WILL GIVE YOU DEFINITION

Believe it or not this type of training on its own will only increase your muscle endurance. It for sure has it’s place in a weight training program and in bodybuilding it has its purpose at the very end of the comp prep. However, the definition and shape of your muscles is defined by a mix of muscle mass and body fat. The bigger the muscle and the less fat, the better the definition (genetics do help as well).

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MYTH #4 NO SORENESS NO GROWTH

Muscle soreness (DOMS) becomes evident six-to- eight hours following activity, peaking around 24 to 48 hours post-training and it simply is an ‘inflammation’. DOMS is most pronounced when you introduce a new activity, increased intensity or volume or if you are a total beginner to physical activity. Your body is making adaptations to better prepare your muscles to do that activity again.

You may not get soreness all the time since your body will be able to withstand a bit more after every training session, especially if you are working out regularly. But stop for a week or more and you will get sore again. The strength and size gains will still happen providing you target the muscles with the right stimulus.

MYTH #5 THE FITTER YOU ARE THE LESS SUSCEPTIBLE YOU ARE TO DOMS

As stated above, truth is that you will feel less sore as your body adapts to your workouts and learns to distribute the workload across your muscle fibers more effectively. That is why you should regularly change your workout routine (2-3 weeks). But genetics play a major role to how sensitive we are to pain and soreness. People have different pain-threshold (i.e. no-responders, low-responders or high-responders to soreness). If you’re a high-responder, you will experience DOMS more acutely than someone who is a no- or low-responder when given the same training load.

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