Weight and strength training have been some of the main forms of exercise for years now, but people still have a lot of misconceptions when it comes to lifting heavy weights. Some think that it can be dangerous to lift such heavy weights, and others believe that it will make them bulky when their goal is to get lean. These myths are proof that there is a lot that we don’t know, and a lot to learn regarding strength training.
Lifting weights will make you bulky
This is the main misconception people seem to have when it comes to heavy weights. It is not so difficult to see where this myth comes from since we tend to think of bodybuilders lifting weights to grow their bodies.
However, there is so much more to growing muscle mass than weights. Bodybuilders don’t simply wake up one day with huge muscles, they have to work out in a very specific way, eat the right kind of food (and lots of it) and dedicate a lot of time to this sport. If you start lifting weights, you will only get stronger, not bigger. This is the reason that a lot of women avoid weight training at all costs when in reality it would only help them get their desired bodies. Muscles are denser than fat, so you will actually shrink in size, rather than bulk up. Strength training is an excellent way to redefine your body and become stronger, both physically and mentally.
Weight lifting cannot help you lose weight
This is another myth that has been so widely spread but is actually not true. People who want to lose weight usually spend endless time doing cardio, such as running, elliptical or bike riding and don’t even think about lifting weights and working on their strength for weight loss. In reality, the recipe for losing weight is actually pretty simple: combine cardio with weight-lifting and add a healthy diet to the mix. Lifting heavy weights burns a lot of calories and not just while you work out – there is the so-called ‘afterburn’ effect that you get from lifting weights and that is responsible for your losing weight even while you are sitting.
Lifting heavy weights is dangerous
Of course, you need to be careful when you are lifting weights. You should always do it with a trainer if you don’t have any previous experience and never try to do more than you can handle.
Having said that, lifting weights is very healthy for your body and mind. Not only will you be stronger and more fit, but you will also fight the risk of developing osteoporosis. Adding weights to your exercise routine guarantees you a good rest during the night and more energy during the day. Overall, if you do it responsibly, there is no reason not to include weight lifting in your workout.