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Strength Training Myths

strength training myths

Strength training myths that you might heard before. But before we share about the myths. Let’s talk about strength training,

When I say strength training, tell me the first thing that comes to your mind. Is it an image of a muscular human lifting heavy weights? It most probably is for you and for many others. Our human minds have been cultivated to immediately correlate resistance training to muscular hypertrophy without appreciating the plethora of benefits that it bestows upon the other dimensions of our multifaceted lives.

Since ancient antiquity, the relationship between the mind and the body have been heavily emphasized, with Hippocrates, who lived between 460 and 370 BC stating that “eating alone will not keep a man well, he must also take exercise” (Hippocrates, 2013). Yet strength training is still seen as an object of fear and one clouded in mystery among a lot of us. To embrace its benefits we must first open our minds to learning about what it actually entails instead of clinging onto old beliefs and only with that can we enact true change onto our lives as we explore the benefits of strength training regardless of gender.

It is a disgrace to grow old through sheer carelessness before seeing what manner of man you may become by developing your bodily strength and beauty to their highest limit

There is a lot of fear surrounding strength training from fallacious beliefs that it has a high risk of injuries and, specifically for females, that it will make them look “bulky”. Yet we all stick to our preconceived beliefs without wanting to expose ourselves to the possibility of having them challenged due to fear. We will be exploring these myths in an attempt to *hopefully* change your minds about them so that we can all reap the benefits that strength training provides.

Strength Training Myth 1: Strength training is dangerous.

Fact: Strength training, as with any other sport, poses risks, and as with any other sport, can be mitigated to infinitesimal levels with proper technique. I would argue that it is actually safer compared to other high impact, quick-moving sports (e.g., basketball, baseball), and possibly prolonged running. (Then again we shouldn’t call these sports bad, they have their own benefits and limitations). Resistance training mostly requires a singular plane of movement (uni-directional) and can be modified to suit the needs of the individual easily compared to activities like running which puts high amounts of compressive and shear force on the knees.

Resistance training mostly requires a singular plane of movement (uni-directional) and can be modified to suit the needs of the individual easily compared to activities like running which puts high amounts of compressive and shear force on the knees.

Note: I want to make clear that I am not demonizing any activity but merely using them as examples as basis for comparisons.

Strength Training Myth 2: Lifting Weights Will Make Women Bulky

Fact: Muscular hypertrophy which is needed to gain muscle mass takes longer and is a more tedious process compared to what most people think. Furthermore, to gain muscle mass, a caloric surplus has to be coupled with resistance training. A lot of females just think “lifting weights is going to make me muscular so I should avoid it if I don’t want to look that way”, without understanding the nuances behind it so fear not, because gaining muscle isn’t as easy as most people think.

Strength Training Myth 3: You need external loads for strength training(e.g., weights, machines etc.)

Strength Training Myth 4: It’s not as effective as cardio training for losing weight

 


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References

Hippocrates. (2013). Hippocratic corpus: [Excerpts]. Academic Medicine, 88(1), 80. https://doi.org/10.1097/01.ACM.0000424220.16454.f5