There are a lot of ‘facts’ out there… La Jolla Sports Club helps you cut through the workout myths
Hello, LJSC’ers, welcome back to our Ju-Lie series where we cover fitness-related non-truths. Last week, we tackled running, and this week we’ll be discussing some workout myths that have become a little too prevalent for our industry.
Theories and ideas change every day, so always, always, always pay attention to your body–if something doesn’t feel right (as opposed to tough & challenging), don’t do it.
If you have any questions on any of these workout myths, grab one of our awesome La Jolla Sports Club Personal Trainers, they’re a friendly bunch and are there to help. Let’s jump in!
Myth 1: Toning comes from lifting light weights at high reps
Nope. Muscle definition comes from muscle mass and low body fat. If you’re only using light weights, your muscles (Type II especially) will fail to grow. And when your muscles fail to grow, your metabolism fails to function at its best. According to this ACE article, one pound of skeletal muscle burns 5-7 calories a day at rest. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but add on some lean muscle and then multiply that by the day, by the year, and you’re looking at a nice little burn while you’re watching your favorite character bite the dust on Game of Thrones.
Additionally, lifting heavy helps stall your biological age. By age 35, both males and females have declining levels of testosterone, growth hormone, metabolism and bone density. We need all of these, so get after it! Note: ALWAYS MAINTAIN GOOD FORM. There is zero benefit to progressing a dysfunctional movement. Older-you will thank younger-you.
Myth 1a: Lifting heavy will make women bulky
One of the most prevalent workout myths and this is obviously for the ladies, but gentlemen, help spread the word: Lifting heavy will not make women bulky. Females have 10% the testosterone of males, so unless you plan on channeling your inner-Hulk with steroids, lift heavy and don’t be ashamed. You made the commitment to get to the gym, ladies, make it worth it!
According to a study from Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, women who lifted a challenging weight at eight (8) reps burn nearly twice as many calories as women who do 15 reps with lighter dumbbells. Don’t want bigger arms? Gotta lose the fat and increase those guns just waiting to get out. Check out this empowering article on women of all sizes.
Myth 2: I can spot-reduce my ‘problem areas’
I wish. Those annoying fatty areas need increased muscle all over the body (and a healthy diet [more on that in a couple weeks]) to slim down. Compound movements, exercises that target at least two or more joints, are your best bet. Those people busting out 1,000 crunches are only building muscle under the fat that pushes out the gut, in addition to putting their lower backs at risk.
Myth 3: Machines are better than free weights
A majority of the time, free weights are going to win. When you are on a machine, you are isolating a muscle group, whereas when using free weights (dumbbells, barbells, medicine balls, etc) you use the entire body to stabilize and help, therefore working more muscles and burning more calories. And while you are practicing good form, you are engaging your brain, as well, opening up and flossing neural pathways. And speaking of good form, most machines were created with males in mind, which could make it difficult for females to get the most out of the exercise.
There are times for machines (injury, age and new to working out being the most prevalent), but there is a reason that dumbbells and barbells haven’t changed much since the beginning.
Myth 4: Cardio before weights
This one is easy. If you hit cardio too hard before the weights, you’ll be too tired to train as well as you could. Good form, or no form.
Myth 4a: Cardio beats weights for fat loss
Tying into Myth 1, if you lose fat and lose muscle along with it, you’re not going to build that metabolism to burn those calories. Less muscle = lower metabolism. Cardio warmup, workout and then if you still have energy, knock out your miles.
Myth 5: Yoga will build muscle as well as weight training
Yoga! No-ga! If you’re looking for a meditative flow and to get your namaste on, yoga is what you need. If you want to get your #gains and boost that metabolism, you’ll need to push some weights around. A great combo would be weights three times a week, mixing in yoga on your off days. Beautiful idea, you say?! Try one of our classes!
Have any ideas / myths for next week’s article, or just want to share your favorite Ju-Lie? Leave your comments below!
Check back next week for part 2 of our Ju-Lie workout myths. Until then, have a great week / end!
//Your La Jolla Sports Club team