When i first started out in this industry, i believed wholeheartedly in the story that women can’t do too much heavy lifting or they’ll get guns bigger than Dwayne Johnson… you BETTER know who he is! Fitness mistake making is like a plague by this point, so here’s my attempt to quell some of those.
And this is, in part, down to the exercise community at large telling you this story and backing it up with articles, magazines, infomercials about the latest new equipment and promising things like:
“Burn away belly fat WITHOUT changing your diet”
“Tighten those abs in 10 minutes per day”
“shred your butt into your new teeny, weeny bikini with this rabbit food shake diet”
The last one i MAY have edited a tad, but you get why most fitness professionals and other gym industry leaders don’t buy, buy into OR change our training and how we train our clients based on this advice.
However when magazines have flashy titles, big budgets & fitness models doing their poses for them… it’s easy to see why so many people get sucked in!
The nutrition advice they provide is something that you can only buy in health food shops on a Wednesday, and the magazine recommendations require a budget that would DEFINITELY pay for a personal trainer if you could, rather than organic quinoa chips … bleurgh!
Regardless whether the “men section” of the gym intimidates you, if you’re reading it because you’ve got five minutes,,, or want a curvier butt 😉
You’ll be able to take something away from this next bit as I’ve got you covered!
Thou Shalt Not Go HEAVY
What dumbbells would you grab if you DID decide to venture into a body pump class or the weight section of the gym? 1kg, 2kg or if you’re feeling brave…3kg?
Now let me ask you this, how much does your shopping bag weigh? Or let’s go even further… your going out handbag, with all the make-up, baby wipes, purse, deodorant, umbrella (just in case) different shoes<-really?, you get my point!
If this doesn’t make you big, and you carry that around every day… then why are we being spoon fed about heavy meaning women get big muscles?
You WILL NOT wake up one day after lifting some 10kg weights and be MASSIVE, like some freakish female Rambo who’s got to cut all her hair off!
Women bodybuilders, have trained for years to get into that shape, taken testosterone boosters(usually) and since women have 10x less testosterone than men, and testosterone builds muscle, this is why it’s HARD for women to even put a little bit of muscle on!
You can burn fat in specific areas
WRONG, just wrong! Another common fitness mistake – Otherwise i’d be able to say to myself “ burn fat from your legs today Glenn” and i’d be ready for my LBD this New Year!
You can build muscle in certain areas which will make it more toned, but if that fat is still in the way,,, what you need to do is:
EAT healthy. Our bodies are predisposed to storing fat in areas such as: belly, bum thighs and bingo wings, and MOOB’s for fellas!
So the amount of fat in these areas will ONLY be mobilised and used as energy, because that’s all fat is, un-used energy, is by doing more and eating less/ better! Using big muscle groups that target lots of areas of muscles at once, like squats and planks get a lot more muscles working, so raise your heart rate… and burn calories faster! Stick to what’s called compound moves.
Cardio is the best way to burn fat
This has some rings of truth when people talk about the amount of calories burnt in an hour, and this is where I think, that the myth comes from!
Let me ask you a question, have you ever seen anyone looking happy on a treadmill? Bit of a trick one, you might well have done, but in general, the cardio stations are the most hated part of any gym…
So let me clarify, the calories you burn DURING cardio will burn a lot of calories yes! BUT, and it’s a Kim Kardashian sized one… weights will make muscles burn calories at a higher intensity AFTER your workout has well and truly stopped.
Cardio, by most people’s standards is thought of as steady state, sit there and watch TV with your headphones in, where people think they should do an hour, or longer is ALWAYS better. The problem with working at this steady state of low intensity though, is that it’s not breaking down your muscles far enough to a point where they need to be rested, when muscles need rest, they become hungry, like a teenager and just want to eat and sleep… so by breaking your muscles
…(with heavier weights) you’re now opening up the door to your muscles being hungry for longer, and actually wanting to burn more calories than taking it easier on the cardio!
Sexism is OK in the gym
My personal story with this one, is that some of you know i’m studying to become a precision nutrition coach right now, and with this obviously we look at muscles and posture and how to help it get better…
So i got told the other day that my butt muscles were quite weak, and this lead to a shake of the head dismissal by me because “i train all the time, so that can’t be true”
Which followed with me getting my ass whooped in a strength contest (gluteus medius if you want to look it up)
The particular machine that does this muscle is the one called a hip abductor (very “feminine”) and I’ve always avoided it, other than when I’m teaching inductions.
So to then have this pointed out that, because I saw an exercise as feminine and wasn’t doing it… this had lead me down the path of weak ankles and hips.
Now the reason I make this point, is due to my view actually messing up my posture, and this is MY industry where I’m supposedly an expert, so imagine how many potential things other people could be hiding.
Coming back to what I told you about testosterone, 10x the amount for guys… you can do the same exercises as the fellas/ladies and see drastically different results. Due to diet and lifestyle, we shouldn’t be put into categories which unfortunately are hindering all of our own development towards health… simply because it might be seen in a negative light.
Sure women are less common in the weights area than men, but conversely how many women are happy with their figure from using that gym membership they signed up for and never used?
The answers (some of them) are in this post, and i think it’s time to go grab a 10kg weight don’t you?! For a couple of generalised workouts for gym, i’d recommend www.bodybuilding.com as a fantastic way to start. Full of helpful articles & ways to get your techniques on point. <– don’t let the title “bodybuilding” scare you.
Thanks for reading,