Myths You Need To Stop Believing About Weight Training

Ever since Lori Harvey announced on a red carpet that pilates was her secret to more defined abs, weightlifting has been catching a lot of slack in the beauty fitness world (via Beauty Crew). As a result, some people who previously learned to deadlift are now trading their gym passes for pilates and yoga subscriptions. There's a growing fear that weight training can make women big and boxy, causing them to ditch the weights while looking to other fitness solutions to make them slimmer and curvier. However, fitness trainers and nutritionists want you to know that weight training does not always mean being big and boxy. It also is not only reserved for men. What's more, there are several ways to incorporate weight training into your fitness routine that you may not have expected.

Before throwing your weightlifting gloves and belt in the trash, remember that many fitness myths are unfounded. Here are some common misconceptions about weight training that simply aren't true.

It's dangerous

If you've never lifted before, the idea of weight training can be very intimidating. Maybe you've only grabbed the 10-pound dumbbells off the gym rack because anything more seems dangerously impossible. Not only can it be intimidating, but there's also an assumption that weight training is harmful to the body, creating stress on your joints and muscles.

Despite this widespread belief, sports medicine researchers have concluded in a Sports Med. study that bodybuilding and weight lifting have relatively low injury rates. The key is that it should be performed correctly with proper training. Finding a trainer who can teach you the basics will deepen your understanding of weight lifting if you don't know where to start.

Women who lift become bulky

The biggest myth surrounding weight training is that women trade their curvy figures for a more masculine, bulkier shape. Women's Health notes that this couldn't be further from the truth, considering women do not have enough testosterone to produce the same amount of muscle mass as men. In fact, lifting weights can emphasize a curvier shape for those wanting a Brazilian butt lift effect without the procedure. As a result, glute weight training for women is becoming increasingly popular, reaching over 18 million searches on TikTok.

Lifting weights doesn't burn fat

Along with the belief that weight training leads to a bulkier physique also comes the assumption that it cannot help you lose weight or burn fat. Relying only on intense cardio for weight loss is a common mistake many women make. However, research shows that lifting weights actually burns more calories throughout the day and while the body is at rest (via Healthline). According to personal trainer and weightlifter Sara Carr, "As soon as you stop doing cardio, you stop burning calories." Meanwhile, with weight training, you continue to burn calories long after you are done.

You should do the same number of reps with each weight

In many workout plans, you may see the same number of reps for each exercise. But if you're looking to improve your weight training continuously, it's essential to diversify the number of reps per weight. For example, if you want to increase your strength, start with a weight that you can only lift six to eight reps in. Once you can do up to 12 reps, you should increase your weight until you can only do up to eight reps. This is called setting a personal record, which is important in the world of weight lifting, which can keep you motivated over and is progressively measurable (via Ben Graham Fitness Solutions).

Weight training does not improve flexibility

With a focus on strength improvement, you would think that weight training does not offer any help with flexibility. Wrong. True lifting includes an emphasis on the lengthening and extending of muscles (via Texas Family Fitness). Because you are repeatedly engaging your muscles and encouraging their full range of motion, you are improving your flexibility rather than limiting it (via Legion). With continued practice, your body can even develop a muscle memory that encourages a deeper stretch with each lift.