5 Common Myths About Weightlifting You Should Ignore

By DuBose Fitness

When you hear the term “weightlifting,” what comes to mind? A large man, ripped with muscles tossing back protein drinks? Oiled, tan women flexing their muscles at the Iron Maiden Competition? It’s true: weightlifting does help you build muscle mass and bulk up. However, just because you lift weights doesn’t mean you’re ever going to look like an Olympic bodybuilder.

There are many myths associated with weightlifting, and those myths often deter people from attempting resistance training as a part of their workout routine. In this article, we’ll discover 5 of the most frequently held beliefs about weightlifting, and why those beliefs are not true.


Myth 1: Heavy lifting means automatic bulk.

It’s absolutely true that lifting weights will help you bulk up – if that’s what you want to do. See, resistance training causes tiny little tears in your muscles. Your body works to repair those tears by rebuilding muscle that’s even stronger.

If you regularly lift heavy weights, it’s likely that you’ll eventually build large, lean muscles. However, with guidance from a personal trainer that’s not necessarily the case. Your trainer can teach you how to properly lift weights to build muscles that are strong and healthy, but not too large.

Your muscles won’t be enormous, but the benefits of weightlifting are! When you follow a carefully designed weightlifting program, you’ll begin to experience:

  • A reduction in depression
  • An increase in energy
  • Better quality sleep
  • Better sleep patterns
  • A reduction in the likelihood of many diseases

Incorporating weightlifting into your workout routine won’t make you look like a bodybuilder. It will, however, produce many positive effects to your everyday health.


Myth 2: Weightlifting is bad for your joints.

Many people think that weightlifting is bad for the joints. To the contrary, however, weightlifting is actually good for your joints. With proper technique and preparation, lifting weights will strengthen the muscles surrounding your joints, making injury and strain less likely. Weight lifting will help decrease bone loss. And it will help decrease pain and swelling in your joints.

Note, of course, that weightlifting must be done properly to produce the desired effects. Be sure to get guidance from your personal trainer as to the correct way to lift and do exercise to avoid injury and joint damage. When done properly, weightlifting can be very beneficial to the joints, including in those with arthritis!

People who regularly lift weights report a reduction in joint pain, back pain and neck pain. The improvement in joint health means a lower likelihood of injury; that likelihood reduces even further when you consider that weightlifting improves your balance.


Myth 3: I can burn more calories doing cardio.

Well, technically there’s a bit of truth behind this myth. Most cardiovascular activities do burn more calories per hour than weightlifting will. So if you’re looking to rack up some major calories burned on your FitBit, cardio is the way to go.

However, lifting weights is a better solution for long term caloric burn. See, muscles help your body burn calories even when you’re at rest. A recent study conducted showed that, after 24 weeks of weight training, men’s resting metabolic rate increased by around 9%. In women it was a 4% increase.

So, while you may burn more calories by jogging for an hour than by weightlifting for an hour, weight training has the advantage in the long run. Of course, weight training will also help strengthen your heart, further improving your overall health.


Myth 4: Weightlifting will slow me down and decrease my flexibility.

We’re not sure where this myth originated, but we can assure you: it’s just not true! In fact, just the opposite is true.

When you lift weights, a few things happen. First, your balance is improved, allowing you to be more agile. Secondly, you become more aware of the muscles in your body. This leads to an awareness in day to day life, meaning you’ll make more efficient use of your energy. You’ll also be safer, with quicker reaction times and the ability to move in the correct way.

Athletes frequently use weight training to better themselves in their sport. By having an awareness of muscle function as well as the strength to perform, an athlete who lifts weights will be stronger and more agile in her sport than an athlete who does not.


Myth 5: I’m too old to lift heavy weights.

Weightlifting isn’t necessarily about lifting heavy weights. What it is is moving your body in a way that uses resistance to grow stronger muscles. That means you don’t have to bench 100 pounds to participate in weightlifting. Smaller, more manageable weights are just fine, and will provide positive, long term benefits to your health.

Studies show that weightlifting can help improve the quality of life of seniors. When you incorporate weightlifting into your routine, you’ll experience better balance, less joint pain, less back pain and even a better mood! Weightlifting can help alleviate depression, and a study by Penn State found that seniors who participated just twice weekly had lower odds of dying than those who did not!

Don’t believe that you’re too old to lift weights; it’s never too late to start! As with any activity, check with your doctor before you begin, then meet with your personal trainer to develop a plan that’s perfect for your lifestyle!


How Should I Get Started?

As mentioned, the first thing you’ll want to do is clear a weightlifting program with your doctor. Tell him or her that you’ll be working with a certified personal trainer who can help assist you in working out safely.

Then, just call us or come on in! You’ll work one on one with a personal trainer who can develop the perfect weightlifting plan for you. Together you’ll determine the proper amount of weight to lift, how many reps you’ll do and how frequently you’ll work out to meet your fitness goals.

Don’t fall for the five most common weightlifting myths. Instead, get started today! There’s no time like the present to get started working toward your goals.

Get Started With A FREE Personal Fitness Assessment

Deal of the Month:

10 one-hour personal training sessions at DuBose Fitness Center for just $199!