In today’s fitness world, I get so many questions around training - specifically about resistance training and cardio. So today I am going to debunk the most common myths that I hear on a regular basis!
1. If I lift weights I will get bulky
This opinion is certainly less common now, however, I do know of some girls who are still afraid that they will get ‘bulky’ by lifting weights. If you wish to tone your body, that means that you need to lift weights and grow the muscle! Gaining muscle is a slow process, and I promise you that it does not happen overnight. You will see the slow changes over time, most of which is likely to be in your glutes and legs if that is predominantly what you are training.
2. Doing light weights will help to tone
Following on from the last myth, many women believe that to ‘tone up’ they need to lift light weights for high repetitions. Once again, there is nothing wrong with lifting heavy weights! To continuously grow your muscles, for example, your glutes, you need to be progressively overloading them. This means that there needs to be a constant increase in the overall weight lifted. Your glute growth will plateau if you perform 4 sets of 15 hip thrusts at 30 kg every week. To continue to grow them, you need to increase either the weight, repetitions or sets. The best and most time-efficient option to choose is increasing the weights, which means we are aiming to lift heavy!
3. Cardio = fat loss
Although doing cardio will help you to burn more calories, you ultimately need to be in a calorie deficit to lose fat. This is created by expending more calories than you eat, so whether your activity involves resistance training or cardio it does not matter, as long as you are consuming slightly less than you expend. I actually recommend prioritizing weights, even in a fat loss phase, to maintain as much muscle as possible!
4. You need to push yourself to failure to see results
We want training intensity to be high during our sessions to ensure that we are challenging ourselves, however, that doesn’t mean pushing to your absolute failure. This will affect your recovery between sessions (so your overall training volume will likely be lowered) and you will not leave yourself very much room for growth! Even though the goal is progressive overload, we want the progression to be slow, so that we can keep it continuous. This is where a structured training plan is recommended so that the consistent progression of the program means that you will be overloading at a stable rate! I have multiple workout programs on offer that will guide you every step of the way.
5. You can spot reduce body fat
The key to showing your abdominals is not just training them every day, just as if you would like to shred down your legs, purely focusing on training them will not do so. Once again you need an overall calorie deficit to create fat loss, and your genetics will decide where it comes from first. If you naturally store fat around your stomach, then it may be the last place to go (even if you train abs every day). Persistence and adherence are key to continue losing fat. Keep in mind that not everyone is going to show their abdominals. I train hard and love my body, however only show my abs when I am at a low body fat percentage, and usually feel tired and lethargic! So if you consider yourself fit and healthy, embrace your body no matter where it stores body fat.
Just remember that not everything you read on the internet and social media is going to be true, so stick to reputable sources that you trust! And if you have any questions, make sure you email my support team at firstname.lastname@example.org.