The myths about women's weight training and female bodybuilding do not ever seem to go away. I'd like stop the weight training and bodybuilding myths from circulating in gyms and instead, share the real facts about female bodybuilding.
*Women's Weight Training Myth #1 -Weight training makes you bulky.
Due to the fact that women do not and cannot naturally produce as much testosterone (one of the main hormones responsible for increasing muscle size) as males do, it is impossible for a woman to gain huge amounts of muscle mass. Unfortunately, the image that may come to your mind is that of professional female bodybuilders. Most of these women, unfortunately, use anabolic steroids (synthetic testosterone) along with other drugs in order to achieve that high degree of muscularity.
In addition, most also have good genetics coupled with an unbelievable work ethic that enable them to gain muscle quickly when they spend hours in the gym lifting very heavy weights. Believe me when I say that they do not look like that by accident. Women who conduct weight training without the use of steroids get the firm and fit cellulite-free looking body that you see in most fitness/figure shows these days.
*Women's Weight Training Myth #2 - Exercise increases your chest size.
Sorry girls. Women’s breasts are composed mostly of fatty tissue. Therefore, it is impossible to increase breast size through weight training. As a matter of fact, if you go below 12 percent body fat (which I don’t recommend doing), your breast size will decrease. Weight training does increase the size of the back, so this misconception probably comes from confusing an increase in back size with an increase in cup size. The only way to increase your breast size is by gaining fat or getting breast implants
*Women's Weight Training Myth #3 - Weight training makes you stiff and musclebound.
If you perform all exercises through their full range of motion, flexibility will increase. Exercises like flyes, stiff-legged deadlifts, dumbbell presses, and chin-ups stretch the muscle in the bottom range of the movement. Therefore, by performing these exercises correctly, your stretching capabilities will increase.
*Women's Weight Training Myth #4 - If you stop weight training your muscles turn into fat.
This is like saying that gold can turn into brass. Muscle and fat are two totally different types of tissue. What happens many times is that when people decide to go off their weight training programs they start losing muscle due to inactivity (use it or lose it) and they also usually drop the diet as well. Therefore bad eating habits combined with the fact that their metabolism is lower due to inactivity, and lower degrees of muscle mass, give the impression that the subject’s muscle is being turned into fat while in reality what is happening is that muscle is being lost and fat is being accumulated.
*Women's Weight Training Myth #5 - Weight training turns fat into muscle.
More alchemy. This is the equivalent of saying that you can turn any metal into gold; don't we wish! The way a body transformation occurs is by gaining muscle through weight training and losing fat through aerobics and diet simultaneously. Again, muscle and fat are very different types of tissue. We cannot turn one into the other.
*Women's Weight Training Myth #6 - As long as you exercise you can eat anything that you want.
How I wish this were true also! However, this could not be further from the truth. Our individual metabolism determines how many calories we burn at rest and while we exercise. If we eat more calories than we burn on a consistent basis, our bodies will accumulate these extra calories as fat regardless of the amount of exercise that we do. This myth may have been created by people with such high metabolic rates (hardgainers) that no matter how much they eat or what they eat, they rarely meet or exceed the amount of calories that they burn in one day unless they put their mind to doing so. Therefore, their weight either remains stable or goes down.
*Women's Weight Training Myth #7 - Women only need to do cardio and if they decide to lift weights, they should be very light.
First of all, if you only did cardio then muscle and fat would be burned for fuel. One needs to do weights in order to get the muscle building machine going and thus prevent any loss of muscle tissue. Women that only concentrate on cardio will have a very hard time achieving the look that they want. As far as the lifting of very light weights, this is just more nonsense. Muscle responds to resistance and if the resistance is too light, then there will be no reason for the body to change.If you want to transform your body, don't be afraid to pick up the weights and lift hard!
Thanks IslandGirl, I'm a certified personal trainer and have to dispel most of these myths daily!!! Maybe I'll just copy your page, print and hand it out to all the ladies in the gym!!! If I could only get some of these girls to lift a DB after they get out of their precious "Zumba" class!!! Any suggestions?!
I have a question, and if anyone of those in this forum should be able to answer, then indeed it would be this section.
Why do some women have more vascularity in areas then in other areas of their bodies? I was looking over a pix that Prince had put up of Jamie Eason; whereas, she has a ton of veins popping out in the upper portion of her body and the skin is so different in looks, than that of the lower.
I was looking at her Glutes and then the upper legs and there was nothing alike the upper. Is it they workout more, and this is then why?
Training is everything. The peach was once a bitter almond; cauliflower is nothing but Cabbage with a College Education.
The little receptors that help get fat out of the fat cells (adipocytes) and into the bloodstream are more abundant in her (women in general) upper body than her thighs and butt. Therefore, it's relatively 'easier' to have a leaner upper body relative to the lower body.
The same applies for males and their fat patterns. More fat tends to group around the belly and lower back due to a relative 'shortage' of of those receptors.
You can google 'beta-2-adrenergic receptors' for more details. The '
alpha-2 receptors have importance as well.