I must say it has already been several years since I am obsessed with fitness. With my ups and down, I carry on being interested in it. However every time I start a conversation about sport if often leads to a certain level of rejection. Fair enough! I personally dislike getting stuck with one topic during one day [giggling]; however it is not the case I am talking about. Bodybuilding, especially female bodybuilding is one of the conversations many people are not very fond of [note: people around me]. Every time I have risen the topic I would here something like “omg those massive man looking ugly women?” or “Oh yuck” or “you are not serious…” and so on and so forth. Now, bodybuilding does not automatically implies being massive. In fact, it is a bloody hard process of gaining muscle especially for women. Additionally, those massive muscly women most people imagine are most likely on drugs which is to start with cheating secondly not often a case. Bodybuilding means building body; and you are the builder hence you choose what to build it of and how will it look like. I must say getting fat or starving in order to be utterly skinny are also body-building, in other words building your body whatever shape or size you prefer [smile face]. Now, I am not going to go into training details and characteristics and why people do grow slightly bigger and how to perfect it into a slimmer shape because it is a different story for a different post for some other day. Today I want to outline couple of myths I agree with to maybe try and show that bodybuilding is not a self-destroying, massively bulking sport but just a word which describes one of many types of fitness. Enjoy 😀
Myth No 1 – Weight training makes you bulky and masculine.
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 by merely touching some weights. 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.
Myth No 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, 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.
Myth No 3 – Weight training makes you stiff and musclebound.
If you perform all exercises through their full range of motion, flexibility will increase. Exercises like flies, 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.
Myth No 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 diets 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.
Myth No 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.
Myth No 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.
Myth No 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.