When you start your journey of getting in shape, you may have come across certain opinions or content that people have shared over the years that have made you believe that you must do certain things a certain way.
Resistance training is no different. While it is crucial for the overall progression of your body shape, making mistakes will drastically slow your momentum down and lead to frustration further down the line. The sooner you learn about these myths and how to avoid them, the more likely you will make progress at a faster pace than most.
So, what are these myths? Why do they have a negative impact on your goals? How can you avoid them?
More Reps At A Lighter Weight Are Better For Fat Loss
One of the biggest mistakes people make when it comes to training for fat loss is performing more reps at a lighter weight in the belief that it will burn more calories. On the face of it, this seems to make sense given that you are doing more, but all it will do is improve your endurance during a set, which is not a key component of consistent fat loss.
To achieve the popular goal of fat loss and a better body shape, you must be progressively lifting more over time. This includes sticking to a 10-12 rep range and increasing the weights and intensity safely and effectively over time. This will not only be the key stimulus for adding muscle and improving strength, but it will also increase your energy output during the session, as you are working and pushing your body harder. So, stay within a sensible rep range, increase your strength by increasing your lifts and always make sure that your sessions are intense. This will be key for providing great results.
You Must Train Your Abs Consistently
So, while training your abs does indeed make them thicker and stronger, they should not be the priority, especially in the early days. This is because core training is not effective for lowering your body fat levels, reducing aches and pains, working more important muscle groups, increasing strength and burning more calories.
Abs training does have its place, but there are other areas that you must prioritise first to have the body that you are looking for. These often are the leg (quads, hamstrings, glutes), back, arm and shoulder muscles, as well as work on improving posture and strengthening any fragile areas of the body. If you do not work on these areas first, you will struggle to see progress, no matter how much you train your abs.
Weight Training Will Make You ‘Bulky’
Resistance training has enormous benefits for your body and your life, which is why many people start doing it and never look back. Getting into a regular training routine is often less of a problem with men. However, convincing women to do so can be more difficult.
Why? Well, unfortunately, there is a stigma (of sorts) where plenty of women believe they will get ‘bulky’ or ‘like a man’ if they start training regularly. They worry that their body will explode into a big ball of muscle not long after starting and end up worrying about how it will affect their body shape. Even the word ‘muscle’ can be intimidating.
The reality is far from that. Women have around 10% of the testosterone that men have and, given that testosterone is the most important and prominent muscle-building hormone, they will not produce anywhere near the amount of muscle mass that men will. Furthermore, women do not eat as much as men do, so there is less food and protein taken in to repair and grow the muscles that have been broken down during the resistance training sessions.
There are enormous benefits that resistance training can bring to women, such as stronger muscles and bones, fat loss and weight loss, improved flexibility and energy levels, more self-confidence, and a better life balance. Join that together with other benefits such as a decreased risk of injury, anti-aging benefits, and an improved knowledge of exercise, and the difference it will make to your life is remarkable. So, ditch the fear and get started today!
You Must Squat, Bench, And Deadlift To Get In Shape
This is something that many people feel pressured into doing after seeing social media and video posts. The barbell squat, deadlift and bench press are three phenomenal exercises for building muscle and losing body fat because they work multiple muscle groups at once, burn lots of calories and allow you to improve your strength over time. However, you do not need to do them to get in great shape.
It is important to understand that there is no one size fits all approach when it comes to training programmes. Due to many variables, such as experience, biomechanics, strength and injury history, among others, a certain exercise that is suitable for one person may not be suitable for someone else. So, it is important to select exercises that you can perform and progress optimally, and if you are not able to do this with these three movements, there are many others that you can programme that may be more suited to you. As long as you can execute a movement correctly, apply tension on the targeted muscle group and progress the weight over time, you will still be able to achieve a great body shape.
You Must Change Your Programme Every Few Weeks
After a few weeks of training, many people get itchy feet with their training programme and want to change things. In the early stages, especially if you are an inexperienced lifter, repeatedly performing key exercises consistently is vital for strengthening key areas of your body that may be unstable, fragile and imbalanced. This requires weeks of applying tension on these muscles with the same workout, two to four times per week.
Changing your training plan too early and frequently will not only limit the potential for your key muscle groups to grow, but may also overwhelm and confuse you due to having to understand more exercises in addition to the ones you started with. So, make sure you start with a simple plan that is easy to follow and progress with, in the early stages. You can then look to add some variety further down the line as your experience, strength and confidence grows.
So, when you are on your fitness journey, it is very important that you avoid certain myths when it comes to resistance training so that you make the best progress you can. These myths include more reps being better for fat loss, the need to train abs consistently, weight training making you ‘bulky’, that you need to do the three main compound lifts to get in shape, and that you must change your programme every few weeks. Once you are aware of these myths, you will be in a much better place on the journey towards your goals.
Photo Credits: Envato Elements