Anyone who has embarked on a wellness journey can probably relate to the fact that the fitness world is filled with misinformation. And unfortunately, perhaps no area of exercise advice suffers greater than that directed at women. We caught up with Greg Gentile – certified personal trainer, nutritionist, and owner of Apex Training – to try to squash some of the most widely spread workout rumors affecting women.
1. Lifting weights will make you jacked
Nope. It’s simply not true. The reason men get all swole up when they lift weights is because their testosterone levels are almost ten times as high as females. So, unless women live deep into the supplement world or explore other not-so-natural means of muscle-building, they should worry very little about weight training turning them into The Rock.
2. Doing squats will give you a nice, round booty
Well, squats will definitely help in this endeavor, there is truth in that. But simply banging out set after set of traditional squats won’t get the job done. Pairing your squats with other exercises – many of them which don’t even require equipment – will help get that rump lookin’ ripe. Consider adding curtsy lunges, single leg deadlifts, sumo squats, and plank leg lifts to your routine, and you’ll be looking like Nikki Minaj and Kimmy K. in no time.
3. The best way to lose weight is cardio, cardio, and more cardio
Sure, cardio is a necessary part to any balanced workout routine, and it’ll definitely help you trim down. But while cardio does raise your heart rate and metabolism right away, it also fizzles out quickly, so mixing in a healthy dosage of weight training will help you keep your metabolism cranking for much longer, helping melt those pounds right off.
4. Your new muscle will turn to fat if you stop working out
This rumor is a widespread one, and it simply isn’t true. If you’re keeping up with your workout routine using resistance training and cardio as well as staying on top of your diet, yes, your muscles will grow. It’s a concept called hypertrophy. So, if you put a hold on training, your muscles will indeed shrink (this is called atrophy), but will they turn into fat? Nope. Now, if you were to abandon your diet and go hog wild with the McDonalds, your rock-hard abs and chiseled arms might start feeling a little more soggy. But just remember: that’s simply more body fat being created, not muscle magically transforming into fat.
5. Not eating will help you lose weight
This may be the biggest and most dangerous myth of them all, especially if you’re in heavy training mode. While working out on an empty stomach – like early in the morning, before breakfast, for instance – can help burn more fat, ignoring your body’s need to refuel afterwards can do more harm than good and basically remedy your workout meaningless. After exercise, your body needs protein, which goes on to break down into very important amino acids, which then go on to help repair those muscles you just got done burnin’ up. If you’re not ingesting these necessary helpful agents, your body might just go ahead and use those amino acids in another department, like a defense mechanism against metabolic shock.