Exercise, for men, women, and children, is incredibly important for a whole variety of reasons. Not only do we need to exercise in order to lose weight and look great, we also need to exercise to keep our bodies fit and healthy. Over the last few years, there has been a steep increase in the amount of women heading to the gym to workout. Perhaps most surprisingly of all, is the fact that many of these women have been exercising not only to lose fat, but to actually increase their lean muscle mass whilst simultaneously dropping their body fat percentages in the process. Now, when it comes to seeking help and advice regarding working out, it seems as if everybody is seemingly an expert in their own minds, as they’re quick to dish out advice on what you should and should not be doing. sometimes this help and advice is helpful. Other times however, it can actually be detrimental. There are a number of myths and misconceptions associated with women’s fitness, and we feel that now is the perfect time to clear things up and set the record straight once and for all. So, without any further delay, here’s a look at some common myths and misconceptions about women’s fitness that are simply not true.
When you don’t lift weights your muscle will turn into fat
This is another surprisingly common myth associated with women’s fitness, that is simply not true in the slightest. A lot of women out there are hesitant to pick up the dumbbells for fear of building muscle. The reason for this is that people have wrongly stated, numerous times, that muscle will turn into fat if it is not maintained. This is ridiculous and it is like saying that silver will turn into gold if it is not polished. Fat will always be fat, and muscle will always be muscle. It is physically impossible for muscle to transform into fat because it isn’t magic. Muscle does not turn into fat if it is not maintained. If it isn’t maintained you may lose muscle tissue, but it certainly won’t morph into something different. What could also happen is that your muscle could be replaced by fat, if you find yourself gaining weight, but as for muscle turning into fat. Nope, absolutely not. If this has been a concern of yours, hopefully we’ve now set your minds at ease and you’re now a lot more reassured in regards to lifting weights in the gym.
You need to train legs every day to develop a squat booty
As you know, having a round, toned, firm, and shapely behind is now very much in fashion, and this is a look that women across the globe are striving to achieve. It’s well documented that one of the keys to developing a curvaceous booty is to perform squats and various leg exercises, but this certainly doesn’t mean you need to hit legs every day. There are women out there who will seemingly stop at nothing in their pursuit of a shapely and toned booty, which is why they feel the need to train legs every day. In reality you do not need to train legs every day in order to build a booty, for the same reasons that you do not need to train biceps every day if you wish to build up your biceps. In reality, all you really need to be doing is training legs, once, maybe twice, per week, as anything more could result in over-training, which would result in you actually losing muscle, rather than gaining it. Remember, all those leg training exercises are stimulating the muscles in the butt and in the lower body. Your body needs time to replace and repair these muscle tissues, and if you’re over-training, you aren’t allowing your body enough time to recover.
Eating six meals a day will make you fat
A lot of the time, when you talk to people just starting out in the gym, and talk to them about the importance of proper nutrition, they gasp in horror when you tell them that they should ideally be consuming six meals per day. In their minds, when you say six meals, they imagine six huge plates of food. Of course, what we actually mean is six fairly small and balanced meals. A lot of women are hesitant to adopt a healthy, bodybuilding inspired nutritional plan because they’re worried that eating six meals per day will make them fat. In actual fact, eating in this way will have the exact opposite effect, as it will ensure the metabolism has a steady flow of nutrients delivered to it, making it more efficient. The more efficient the metabolism is, the more calories it will burn off and the more energy it will produce. When it comes to weight loss and weight gain, it doesn’t matter how many meals you eat, what matters is how many calories you consume. You could eat just two meals per day, but if both of those meals contain 2000 calories, those 4000 calories would take you well above maintenance and you would therefore gain weight. On the flipside, if you consume 6 x 300 calorie meals, you would still only have consumed around 1800 calories for the day, placing you in a caloric deficit. Put simply, the number of meals you consume is not important, what is important is what you are eating, and how many calories you are taking in.
Lifting weights will make you look like a man
This is perhaps the most common myth associated with women’s fitness, and it needs to be put to sleep once and for all. When women lift weights regularly, they do not suddenly start to look more masculine at all. In fact, lifting weights can help women to appear more feminine. By lifting weights and increasing lean muscle tissue, women can accentuate their curves and build a firmer, leaner, more shapely figure that just oozes sexuality and femininity. The problem is that women often associate bodybuilding and weight lifting, with professional women’s bodybuilding. It’s fair to say that there are pro female bodybuilders out there who appear masculine, but that isn’t down to the exercise, it is instead down to the hormones and steroids they use to build muscle. When women use certain hormones and steroids, virilisation can occur, which can cause a women to appear masculine. Side effects include:
All of these things can cause a woman to appear more masculine, but all of these things are only caused by the use of hormones and steroids. The only changes that lifting weights will cause to your body, is slight reductions in body fat, and slight increases in lean muscle tissue, which could give you a more shapely and rounded physique. Put simply, as long as you don’t use hormones or steroids, you won’t look like a man when you lift weights.
Eating after a workout will undo all of your hard work in the gym
Another common misconception associated with women’s fitness, is that you shouldn’t eat directly after working out, as it will undo all of your hard work in the gym. In reality, whether you have busted your butt on the treadmill performing cardio, or if you’ve lifted weights with the intention of building lean muscle, you should always make sure you get a healthy post-workout meal in after finishing your training. The reason for this is so you can replace lost nutrients, proteins, and amino acids so that the body can begin repairing and rebuilding itself right away. In order for lean muscle tissue to be built, damaged muscle tissue needs to be replaced and repaired, and the body can only do so if it has the right proteins, amino acids, and nutrients to hand. By drinking a protein shake after training, or eating a chicken salad, you aren’t undoing all of your hard work at all, you are actually nourishing your body and giving it the nutrients and materials it needs to build lean muscle tissue. Now, if you were to head to the nearest pizza store and stuff your face with XL stuffed crust cheese supreme, obviously you would be undoing your hard work, but drinking a protein shake, or eating a healthy, protein-rich meal, will help give your body exactly what it needs to repair itself and function at its best.
You don’t need a lot of protein
Again, this is not true. Protein is vital for muscle growth, recovery, and repair, not to mention the fact that it also ensures our cells are healthy as well. If you aren’t getting enough protein, you won’t build muscle, and your muscles won’t repair themselves. Women don’t need to consume as much protein as men, but they still need to ensure they’re getting enough each day. Ideally, women should aim for around 1g of protein per pound of bodyweight. If you aren’t getting enough protein your body could eat away at your muscle tissue to make up the difference, which is obviously the last thing you want to happen.