9 Biggest Myths about Free Weights (for women)

Female Free WeightsSome women are worried about lifting heavy due to being misinformed on the basics of free weights. We want to set the record straight!

Our gym facilities aim to have a welcoming environment for all; regardless of age, fitness ability or gender. Ultimately, we would love to see more females using the weight areas of our gym, and with a good level of knowledge and confidence.  To encourage more women to pick up weights, we’ve looked into the top myths around weightlifting and provided the educational truth!


Female Only Free Weight Sessions

This workshop aims to help build your confidence and increase your knowledge on weightlifting. We welcome all fitness levels – whether you are completely new to weightlifting or looking to improve your technique. Our fully qualified instructors, April and Hannah, will be demonstrating technique, providing advice and encouragement during the workshops.

Myth 1: “Lifting heavy weights will make you bulk up!”

Truth: lifting heavy weights will not make you bulk up!

This is one of the most common myths, and one of the biggest concerns for women when they start to consider weightlifting. With proper nutrition and technique, lifting weights will create a leaner physique – not a bulkier one! To achieve the physique of a body-builder takes years and years of constant work and dedication – you’re not going to gain bulk to moment you touch the bar!

Myth 2: “If you stop lifting, your muscle will turn in to fat!”

Truth: if you take time out, your muscle will not turn into flab! 

Fat and muscle are two completely different types of mass. Muscle can never turn into fat and fat can never turn into muscle. Having more muscle will, on the other hand, help you to burn more fat from your body. Studies have shown that after a weight lifting session, your body will continue to burn calories at a higher rate for up to 24 hours!

Myth 3: “I feel like I’m being judged by others in the gym!”

Truth: You are not being judged!

A common barrier to using the weight area of a gym is feeling you do not belong there. You may feel others are judging you, counting your reps and checking your form. They’re not – other gym users are so involved in their own workouts that they will hardly notice you, believe us! But if you do feel intimidated, in any shape or form, please let a member of staff know – this is not the environment we want for our gym and we will do our best to resolve it!

Myth 4:  “You should only work one muscle group a day!”

Truth: Unless you’re intending to be a bodybuilder, this may not be ideal for you!

Have you ever heard other gym users refer to ‘Back Day’, ‘Chest Day’ or ‘Leg Day’? These members will be focusing on that one muscle group for their entire workout. Although there isn’t anything wrong with this approach, it doesn’t work for all – especially beginners. Instead, choose compound exercises that will work more than one muscle group at a time. Squats, pull-ups and deadlifts are excellent examples of compound exercises and provide a more effective workout for your whole body.

Myth 5: “You have to lift really heavy weights to see results!”

Truth: you can achieve results with a varying amount of weight!

Studies have shown that lifting lighter weights with more reps is just as effective as lifting heavy weights with fewer reps. The key is lifting to the point of fatigue, where you feel you couldn’t possibly lift another rep. Bodyweight exercises can also be just as effective. It’s good practice to vary your workouts with a mixture of heavy weights, lighter weights and body weight exercises.

Myth 6: “Weight lifting is really bad for your joints!”

Truth: it can help strengthen the structures around your joints!

It’s a common misconception that weightlifting puts a harmful strain on your joints. Correct strength training can actually improve your joints by strengthening the ligaments and tendons around them. This will help to prevent injuries through better shock absorption. It can also help protect your joints from high-impact exercises such as running or tennis.

Myth 7: “You can raise your blood pressure by lifting weights!”

Truth: weightlifting can actually lower your blood pressure!

For years, people with hypertension have been warned to stay away from weightlifting, for fear it could increase blood pressure. But just like cardio, weightlifting puts a good stress on your heart which helps it to grow and strengthen. Over time. this will ultimately help lower your blood pressure and make your heart healthier!

Myth 8: “The more you lift weights, the less flexible you’ll get!”

Truth: weightlifting will help you gain flexibility and maintain it!

Weightlifting requires a full range of motion and can actually help you to become more flexible. Performing powerful lifts, such as squats, pushes your muscles out to a full stretch. Weightlifting regularly each week, with correct form, will increase your flexibility over time.

Myth 9: “But cable machines are more effective than free weights!”

Truth: lifting free weights mimics natural movement

Mimicking natural movement helps to create greater muscle activity. Cable machines, such as the leg press, help to isolate the muscle. They can force your body to move in a single plane of motion. This limited range of motion can also limit your results. Free weights help to counteract these limitations with a full range of movement.

Our Health and Fitness Team have researched and contributed to this article. Whilst they are fully qualified and trained professionals, these articles should not be treated as a substitute for medical advice. If you have any concerns about your health, we encourage you to contact your GP.

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