So you’ve made the decision that you want to get a little bit more serious and structured with your exercise routine – this means a more focused program of fat loss, muscle gain or even both!
You may want a body like Beyonce or J Lo, but you’re worried about using heavy weights at the gym or taking on sprints at your local track, because you don’t want to develop a ‘bulky’ physique!
Or perhaps you need to lose weight (fat) quickly, and you figure that you’ll do hours of cardio to help you hit that goal.
First of all, stop. One of the best tools you can arm yourself with when you choose to take on a fitness plan, is education. Read, read read. Talk to qualified instructors, and work with a plan that suits you and your body type. But above all, do not allow outdated views on women’s bodies and how they respond to stimuli, to direct the way you train. The goal of training is to get you healthier, and fitter – and with that will come a body that is tighter and more capable of withstanding the stresses that life throws at it.
With that in mind, let’s debunk some of the myths that continue to keep women from striving for their fitness goals:
Lifting heavy weights will make you look like a man.
This is perhaps one of the most prevalent myths.
Yes, lifting weights in a progressive will get you stronger, but it will take a hell of a lot to get you the bulky muscle of your male counterparts.
Women produce such a small amount of testosterone required for serious muscle growth, that only serious female bodybuilders will (over time) be able to get to that point.
What heavy weights will allow you to do is progressively build up lean muscle that helps top burn more calories, and ultimately help you maintain a leaner structure. Lift heavy, and enjoy the results – great definition and fighting strength!
I want to spot reduce my belly fat!
We’ve all been there: hating on one particular part of our bodies (usually our tummies) and believing that 500 situps a day will help us develop the abs of our dreams.
This is a no.
Fat distribution is genetically determined, and when you start dieting or working out, some areas will seemingly melt off, while others might take a bit more time.
Your stubborn areas will typically require a more fastidious effort with regards to diet and exercise. Commit to the overall process, and you will eventually get lean – even in the most difficult of areas!
I need to spend thousands of hours doing cardio if I want to burn fat.
For many, a fat loss program will consist of endless hours running on a treadmill or the elliptical machine, instead of the weights room. In fact for too many of us, the weights room is the man’s domain.
But if you’re really serious about burning fat, then you have to work out a programme that is the most efficient at that very outcome – and this will typically consist of High Intensity Cardio (HIIT training) couples with heavy compound weight lifting focusing on squats, deadlifts, rows and bench presses.
If you go too heavy on the cardio, you won’t be building any muscle tissue, and if you couple this with dieting, you will actually be losing it! The sweet spot is burning fat, while building muscle. That means a great diet, and training that gets your muscles strong and lean, so that they continue to burn fat even when you’re resting.
There are so many ways to improve your training or diet regimen. Seek out the right sources online, and arm yourself with knowledge to get you to your best health yet!