Don’t Fall For These Women and Weight Training Myths
Ladies, it’s important that you don’t fall for the many myths about women and weight training. Regular weight training will put sexy curves in all the right places and improve your symmetry and proportion. You have to realize that muscle is firm and fat is soft and mushy. By having more muscle development you will have improved health, strength, vitality, and a fit and sexy body. It will also improve your endurance, sleep, sex, and many other areas of your life. Let’s not forget that working out with weights will also decrease your chances of injuries in everyday life and recreational activities.
Myth #1: Women Must Train Differently Than Men
When it comes to women and weight training, the workouts shouldn’t differ that much from men’s training. Men and women have the same number of muscles and they contact in the same fashion. The only difference between men and women are hormones.
Men naturally have higher levels of testosterone, a muscle-building hormone, while women are constantly fighting the estrogen issue, a fat storing hormone. Now I’m not saying that just because you are female and have higher levels of estrogen you are doomed to gain weight. What I’m saying is that you can use what you have to your advantage. Lee Labrada states, “Although there are obvious hormonal differences between men and women, from a physiological standpoint men and women’s muscles function pretty much the same way. So the short answer to your question is that women SHOULD train in the same manner as men.”
Regular weight training will build lean body mass. The more body lean body mass you acquire the more you increase your metabolism. An increased metabolism results in more calories burned per minute. Sounds interesting? Read on….
Myth #2: Muscle Weighs More Than Fat
The women and weight training myths seem to go on. How often have you heard that muscle weighs more than fat? Probably a lot. Did you know that’s not true? A pound of muscle and a pound of fat weigh the same, a pound. But, what you have to understand is that a pound of muscle is more dense and takes up less space than a pound of fat does.
Muscle allows you to eat more food without getting fat because muscle is the only body material that is metabolically active. Once you put muscle on your body you will burn an additional twenty to thirty calories an hour. Bodybuilders actually burn fifty to seventy-five additional calories per hour due to their higher than average muscle mass.
Myth #3: Muscle Turns to Fat
With women and weight training, fat is always a huge concern. Many avoid pumping iron because they hear the statement that if they stop weight training, the muscle will turn to fat.
Now, let’s analyze this statement. People start weight training programs to get rid of body of fat, not to gain it. Muscle can’t turn into fat any more than fat can turn to muscle. Muscle (metabolically active) and fat (metabolically inactive) are two completely different tissues responsible for their own functions. Just as your heart and liver are two different organs performing completely different functions, the same goes for muscle and fat. Now I ask you, can your heart turn into your liver, or vise versa? If there were any truth to the above statement there would be a lot of people out there with great muscle potential, if you catch my drift.
An explanation to the above myth is that some bodybuilders do gain extra weight off-season in preparation for the up-coming competitive season. Many veterans of bodybuilding gain weight when they get older or retire, how does that differ from the average American?
There is a biological reason for the weight gain. The metabolism slows down as we age, meaning the body needs fewer calories per day to maintain itself. The downfall is that most people, including bodybuilders, don’t reduce their caloric intake to compensate for this slowdown and the end result is fat gain.
Another explanation is that bodybuilders, in hard training, develop enormous appetites and need the extra calories for muscle growth and repair. If the intake stays the same when training volume is reduced or ceased, the unburned calories get stored as fat; again, this is no different than the average American.