In honor of National Women’s Health and Fitness Day, we’re busting 4 popular fitness myths!
- “Lifting weights will make you bulky”
Wrong! Lifting weights doesn’t make you look bulky, in fact, it will actually help you to look even leaner as building muscle helps to elevate your RMR (Resting Metabolic Rate). An elevated RMR will cause you to burn more calories even at rest! Don’t worry about gaining too much muscle too quickly either. You won’t lift weights for a few months and then wake up looking like a bodybuilder overnight, despite what most male Instagram ads may show. The changes in your muscle mass will be gradual, and if you ever feel like you’re getting “too big” simply stop lifting for a while. It should be noted that hormonal differences between men and women will also make it even more difficult to become “bulky.” At the end of the day, any change that you make to your body will be gradual and you’re in control of how you look, so don’t be afraid of lifting!
2. “Doing tricep exercises will help burn fat behind your arms”
Nope! Spot reduction (the idea that you can target where fat burning occurs) is not real. While building muscle underneath the fat may help your appearance, tricep exercises won’t burn fat on the back of your arms just like crunches won’t burn extra fat in your abs! However as stated above, these exercises can lead to an increased RMR, allowing for more systemic fat loss.
3. “You should stretch before you workout”
Static stretching (the classic stretch and hold) will actually impede your muscle’s stretch reflex. Think of your muscle as a rubber band. Stretching the rubber band for an extended period of time will cause it to lose its elasticity, just as static stretching will cause you to lose your strength. Instead, save the static stretching for after your workout and focus on a more dynamic warm-up beforehand. Lightweight, banded, and body weight movements are all effective ways to warm-up in addition to foam rolling.
4. “Protein shakes have too many calories”
So do salads if you eat enough of them! Granted, you would have to eat a TON of salad. My point is that a protein shake will only cause you to gain weight if you’re taking in more calories than you are burning. What protein will do is help your muscles to recover and rebuild. Again, increases in muscle mass will increase your RMR. So, while you may have to drop some calories from elsewhere in your diet, the increases in muscle mass will be well worth it in the long run.
Thanks for Reading! Let us know what else you want to see in the comments below, and be sure to reach out on social media (@thefitexpo)!