Day: July 13, 2011

Top 5 Weightlifting Myths

Myth #1:Weight Lifting is Bad For Your Joints.
One of the biggest concerns regarding weight lifting is that it is bad for your joints. What most people don’t know is that running alone can be far more strenuous on your joints than weight lifting is. Weight lifting involves controlled, non impact movements, that in turn will strengthen the muscles, ligaments and tendons surrounding the joints and improve overall joint movement and functionality. Studies have been preformed on top power lifters and has shown that even with extremely heavy loads their knees are far stronger and healthier than the general population.

Myth #2: Weight Lifting Makes You Bulky.
Have you ever found yourself on the scale week after week seeing the same number yet somehow your clothes are fitting better? This is due to the density of muscle compared to that of fat. Muscle is far more dense than fat and it is because of this fact that the scale appears to play tricks on us. It is impossible to build muscle without adding the calories behind it. In order to achieve that “bulky” you must first provide your body with the necessary amount of calories to build muscle. Bottom line is as long as your daily caloric intake doesn’t exceed the amount of calories that you burn throughout the day, it is impossible to become “bulky”. Simply training hard alone won’t do the job.

Myth #3: Weight Lifting Decreases Flexibility.
One of the realizations people who get into weight lifting have is how inflexible they are. Years of sedentary lifestyle may have tightened your hips, preventing you from squatting correctly. Weightlifting helps regain flexibility and maintain it. The squat is a great example of a lift that will give the muscles surrounding your hips a great stretch and in turn improve joint mobility. Increasing your muscle mass or strength alone will not hinder your flexibility.

Myth #4: Muscle Turns to Fat If You Stop Weight Lifting.
This myth is common throughout gyms and advertisers around the world. The fact is due to their different chemical makeup that transformation of muscle into fat and vis versa is impossible. In fact, you are born with all the fat and muscle cells you will ever have, they merely shrink and expand due to the amount of excess calories you consume and the physical activity you are currently doing. If you stop weightlifting completely, in time your muscle fibers will shrink and your fat cells will expand. Weight gained from discontinuing resistance training is due in large part to a decrease in your metabolism. Muscle is like an engine and calories are its fuel. To maintain muscle it requires upwards of 20 calories per day. So, 5 pounds of muscle would in turn add 100 calories to your daily caloric burn. Not to mention the 400-500 calories consumed during the workout and an estimated 300-600 calories burned through a process known as “post exercise oxygen consumption”.

Myth #5 The longer you work out, the better.
It just isn’t necessary to do 10-20 sets for a body part, or even 5 sets like many ‘experts’ would have you believe. In fact, research has shown that it is possible to completely fatigue a muscle in one set, provided that during that set the muscle incorporates as many muscle fibers as possible and takes them to the point of ischemic rigour where, rather than contract and relax, the muscle fibers freeze up. This kind of intensity can usually be achieved by doing “drop” or “break-down” sets where you rep out, lower the weight and continue doing reps until you can’t do another rep.