Top 5 Myths About Women and Weight Lifting
1. Women Who Lift Weights Heavier Than a Chihuahua Turn into Men
See those dumbbells over there? Go pick those bad boys up. Oh you don't want to lift weights because they'll make you manly? Well I got news for you sister, your glutes need some weighted squats. The treadmill is not cutting it and it will not get you toned.
Incorporating weights into your exercise regimen is not going to turn you into some creatine-snorting, she-hulking beast. That nonsense only happens when you get your 'roid on, so calm down and for the love of God grab a weight heavier than 3 lbs.
2. Women Don't Need to Lift Weights, They Just Need to Eat Less
Were you not listening to me just now? Fine. We'll address this nonsense. First up, don't tell women what they should and should not eat. It will end poorly for you. Even if you are right, you are wrong. Refer to this chart for further guidance:
Second, you cannot just cut calories and expect lovely toned thighs, glutes, and abdominals. If that were the case, cotton-ball-eating models would look more like athletes and less like tooth picks. While you can't sit there and hork down burgers all day, relying on a diet of bananas isn't going to get you the body you want either. Unless, of course, you enjoy the side effects of a banana diet such as self-induced narcolepsy, cardiac arrest, and nerve damage.
Additionally, you will need adequate protein to help repair muscles after a weight lifting session. If you are getting a decent amount of protein, but are dealing with an uncomfortable level of muscle soreness, you may benefit from preworkout supplements that buffer acid build up such as citrulline malate.
3. Lifting Weights Turns Fat into Muscle
You sir (or madam), are truly a genius. You have unearthed exactly how the human body functions. Just as alchemy can turn every piece of scrap metal into pristine gold, your body can turn fat into muscle. Obviously, weight training is the Philosopher's Stone of fat-to-muscle transmutation.
There is this minor problem of fat and muscle being two entirely different types of tissue. They do not and cannot turn into one and other. What actually happens is fat cells shrink as muscle grows. So while it appears as if your fat is turning into muscle on the outside, it's not on the inside. This myth largely exists because fat takes up way more volume than muscle pound for pound.
4. If You Stop Lifting, Your Muscle Turns into Fat
Once again, Philosopher’s stone magic is at work here. Muscle and fat are not interchangeable; they are two different types of tissue. More often than not, when people stop lifting, they also stop eating right. They take an abrupt u-turn and exit the healthy highway for buffet boulevard.
So why do people stop lifting? Because they seem to think their body has a pause button. Once you reach your fitness goal, wishful thinking won't maintain it. When you stop using your muscles, the cells begin to atrophy. Fewer muscles, means fewer calories burned. So even if your diet doesn't change, your physique will from non-use.
5. You Don't Need to Watch Your Diet if You Exercise
I have some sad news for you ladies. Eating like a pig will yield a pig-like physique. Let's say you put 30 minutes in on your beloved treadmill. Assuming you busted your ass like you were training for the Hunger Games, you may have burned 400 calories. Maybe.
So as a treat, you are going to go to town on some pizza and beer. Maybe even a small fry because, girl, you deserve it.
Know how many calories you just stuffed into your gob? Not that calories are all that matters when it comes to diet, but for some reason society seems to fixate on calories alone. Assuming two slices of pizza, 1 standard beer, and a small fry, you just devoured 946 calories. Here's the break down:
- 2 slices of large cheese pizza: 570 calories
- 1 standard beer (12 oz): 154 calories
- 1 small fry: 222 calories
The idea that you can exercise to eat what you want is a crock of crap. Unhealthy foods almost always come with a heavier calorie punch than you can burn off in an exercise session. To put it in perspective, you would need to walk your aunt's socially inept mastiff for 4.5 hours to burn off that meal.
At the end of the day, listen to your body and provide it with the fuel it needs. If lifting weights isn't for you, that's fine, but don't perpetuate the blatant lies about those who do. Remember, there are plenty of weight-lifting ladies out there who are more than ready to set you straight.
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