I really love weight lifting and it is core to my workouts, even more than cardio. But I have come across a lot of people who have not even given weight lifting a try.
I have put together some of their reasons for not lifting. Is your reason also one of them? Find out if its actually a myth and what you might be losing out on:
Myth #1: I don’t want muscles
I thought this would be the reason for most of the girls but even guys say they want a sleek, fit body and no bulging muscles anywhere. The truth is that it takes a LOT of hard work to get that ‘muscley’ (I know this is not a word :P, but you get the idea) look. You have to be VERY LOW body fat for your muscles to shine through.
For any ‘normal’ person like you and me, our muscles are more like the engine under the hood, not exactly visible but doing their job quietly. Your muscles will help give your body good definition while also burning extra calories.
You know those bat arms with flabby flesh jiggling at the bottom. Replace them with muscles and there will be no more wiggly loose skin.
Myth #2: I will get BIG
Some people gain weight easily while others have to struggle. To get big, you don’t just have to gain weight but gain pure muscle weight – this requires not just military type precision in your diet with respect to your protein and caloric intake but also a lot of sweat and tears in the gym.
Basically what I am trying to say is that you would not be able to reach that extreme unless you plan your diet and routine to specifically get big.
What lifting weights does for regular people like you and me is it increases your bone density (Ref1 below), increases your metabolism (Ref 2), improves your posture and all the other benefits that come with having a healthy heart and strong muscles.
Myth #3: I don’t want to take protein powder and or any supplements.
Not all people who go to the gym need protein powders. Your diet can provide you sufficient proteins, BCAAs, vitamins to make up for your routine. Find out how much protein you need here and protein profile of common foods you consume everyday.
Myth #4: I am too old to get into this.
Well, are you too old to move, sit, bend, throw? If not and if you want to keep it that way, you should start lifting. Even those above 50 years of age have experienced gain in strength and movement when they have started lifting (Ref 3). Get yourself enrolled in a gym and learn the right way to lift.
Myth #5: Weight training = 100 sit-ups or bicep curls
My trainer at Gold’s made me do 100 squats on the legs day in the first week of my personal training with her. But it ended there, we progressed to more weights and less reps. It was her way of seeing if my muscles were ‘conditioned’, if my form was proper and I guess to make sure I wouldn’t collapse under a loaded barbell.
Weight training is more about having a focused workout – aim for short duration and high intensity and you can get away with only 3 days at the gym.
Myth #6: All these people who build muscles are vain and I am not like that
To be honest this is not a entirely a myth. The people who build muscles can get vain even if they are not. Yes, even if you refuse to admit this, people lift weights to look good. They train so that their clothes fit them better and they feel strong.
But is working on your speeches, on your presentation or on your voice any different. It is about improving yourself and getting to a better version of you. If for some people that means lifting, then who are we to judge and call them vain. 🙂
So now, instead of excuses for not doing weight training, FIND YOUR REASON TO LIFT 😉
Ref1: Layne JE, Nelson ME. The effects of progressive resistance training on bone density – a review. Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 1999 Jan;31(1):25-30
Ref2: Osterberg KL, Melby CL. Effect of Acute Resistance Exercise on Post Exercise Oxygen Consumption and Resting Metabolic Rate in Young Women. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, 2000 Mar; 10(1):71-81
Ref3: Peterson M, Sen A, Gordon PM. Influence of Resistance Exercise on Lean Body Mass in Again Adults: A Meta-Analysis. Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 2011 Feb; 43(2):249-258