Over the past two weeks we have learned a lot about strength training. It is only right that the myths women have heard about strength training get addressed. The three big myths discussed in this article are bulking up, spot training, and training differences for men and women.
“Will I get big and bulky like a man?” This is one the most asked question from women to a personal trainer. Not many women want to bulk up, so the question is understandable. The answer is, only if you decide to. Ok, I know that’s very vague, but it’s true. The first thing you need to know is that until puberty the strength levels of girls and boys are pretty much the same. Guys get stronger around puberty when their bodies produce more testosterone. A man’s testosterone levels are 10 to 30 times higher than a woman’s, which makes it easier for guys to build muscle. Some women do have high testosterone levels, but most don’t and that’s why women do not build big muscles. Besides your sex, the other thing to determine the size of muscles is an illegal drug. The big, bulky, and oversized men and women you see usually are taking drugs to allow their bodies to get that way. This is not natural or safe! Taking drugs to enhance your physique is dangerous and highly frowned upon! The last thing to determine muscle type is genetics. Look at your parents’ muscle types, those are good indicators of the muscle build you will have. So, if you are very skinny and your mom was also, you would gain strength, but it would be very difficult for you to bulk up.
“Can I just loose the weight in my hips?” Sorry, but the answer is a big NO. You cannot spot reduce. The fact is that when you loose weight, you loose it all over. You may loose in some areas more than others (that is due to genetics also), but you cannot pick a spot and selectively loose there. You may focus and work on the same area over and over again because it needs more attention, but spot reducing does not work. If it did, all of us would have our dream figures!
“I’m a woman, shouldn’t I work out differently from a man?” Nope! Although women have different biomechanical and hormonal influences and concerns, their workout should not differ from a man’s. “Girl push-ups” are not really meant for girls, but are for people who are not strong enough to do a regular push-up. There is no difference between guys’ muscle fibers and females’ muscle fibers. Women just have less (quantity) fibers and testosterone. Every individual has special concerns and goals, that’s what should be taken into consideration, not the fact that you are male or female.
This article should dispel any of the following myths women have about strength training. Unfortunately, these myths have discouraged many women from starting a strength-training program or stopped one because they didn’t want to look like a man. Now that the truth is out there, ladies, let’s get to a gym and get going!