If you knew of a form of exercise that helped you torch fat, rev up your metabolism, increase flexibility and even boost self-esteem, wouldn’t you give it a try? Strength training certainly isn’t a new concept, but it’s making quite the comeback in 2017, according to Health magazine. However, there are a few misconceptions that come along with this form of exercise. We’re here to provide the truth behind these common strength training myths:
The Truth: Some women tend to stray from the weight room for fear they’ll exit looking like the Incredible Hulk. We realize that’s a scary thought, but let us calm your worries – that won’t happen. In fact, it’s not as easy as you think to sprout those big muscles overnight. What strength training does do is help you build muscle and achieve a more toned physique. The negative misconception that strength training will turn women into dudes overshadows all of the excellent health benefits of weightlifting, including improved metabolism, muscle development, injury prevention and stronger bones.
The Truth: If you’re new to weightlifting or just learning a new exercise, you’ll definitely want to start with a lighter weight. However, once a certain weight starts becoming easy, that’s when you need to start challenging yourself. If you constantly grab 25 pound dumbbells for a push press, experiment with the next weight up. Try increasing your weight by two to five pound increments until you find something that’s challenging, but still allows you to complete each rep with good form. Using those heavier weights is what’s going to make you see results because they help build lean muscle mass. You may surprise yourself with how much you’re capable of lifting once you push past your comfort zone.
The Truth: Nope. In fact, quite the opposite is true! Strength training can actually contribute to stronger ligaments and tendons to help decrease your risk for injury. Many even rely on strength training to help manage arthritis pain. Strength training lubricates joints and keeps the muscles around the joints strong. Additionally, strength training can help you lose weight, which takes some of the pressure off of your joints.
Need your dose of strength training this week? Check out your local Chicago gym, CrossTown Fitness. Our group fitness classes combine strength training, bodyweight exercises and cardio to give you a super effective total body workout in just 50 minutes. Browse our schedule here! You can also sign up for classes and Chicago personal training sessions through the MindBody app.
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