The most damaging health and fitness myths continuously perpetuated by the media and so-called ‘fitness experts’
The lie: Lifting weights will make you big and bulky, even if you are a girl.
This is one of the oldest and most resilient myths in the industry, I am happy to say that this particular myth is actually very slowly on the way to being debunked, with quite a decent percentage of the gym-going community being aware of the benefits of weight training for muscle gain and for fat loss goals.
The reason I did not specify gender in the opening line is because the case of gender helps to prove the point further.
The Why: A lot of gym-going females still steer well clear of the weights sections, specifically the free-weights area, under the impression that some of the muscular people within got that way by accidentally strolling too close one day. In all seriousness let me speak on behalf of anyone – guy or girl – who has ever gained an appreciable amount of muscle mass:
If you are worried about getting “too big” DON’T WORRY, you won't!
In fact, every time someone says this, an angel dies.
The Truth: Getting “big” requires years of commitment and dedication. Read that again.
No-one ever became muscular by accident, so if you are a guy concerned about putting on too much muscle, you can rest easy, it aint gonna happen.
On a daily basis I see a countless number of guys that are putting in the hours, day in and day out trying to ‘get big’ and very few succeed in this endeavour, so please don’t insult these people’s efforts by insinuating that you have to hold yourself back so that you don’t unintentionally win the next Mr Olympia bodybuilding show. There I said it.
As for women who also have this concern, I’ve been around the industry a while, and I’ve never heard a horror story of a woman who did her first weights session and woke up the next day looking like Arnold Schwarzenegger, that’s just not the way it works.
Bit of basic biology, males have roughly 10 times the amount of Testosterone (the main muscle-building sex hormone) as females; this is why professional female bodybuilders take synthetic testosterone (anabolic steroids) to gain ‘unnatural looking’ amounts of muscle. So unless you are accidentally using these substances you really have nothing to worry about if you are considering weight training.
Including smart weight-training in your program is probably the single best thing you can do if you are interested in any of the following.
Bottom line, lifting weights won’t make you big or bulky, a full-time commitment to eating and training for mass-gain does.
It is important to be discerning about the sources you use to obtain your information, I understand that not everybody has the time to study advanced nutrition and physiology, but we must understand that a little bit of extra interest in these subjects can save us a lot of time and money in the long run.
You only have one body, be wary of the people you entrust it to.
Until next time