Weight Training Controversy

Weight Training Controversy

There are many people that are currently telling women not to lift more than three pound weights because it can cause excess skin. There are also many people that tell women to go heavy in weight lifting.  Sparkspeople addressed common misconceptions in an article, and here are the main points:

Women who lift weights will become bulky. This is NOT true, yet many women believe it—probably because of hearing it from trainers and thin women like Gwyneth who swear by it. Women do not have the testosterone levels to build big muscles like men. And even so, muscles are good for you! They boost your metabolism, keep you strong, fit and independent as you age, and all that weight lifting strengthens your bones, too. And did you know that muscles can become stronger even without getting bigger? Later in the show, Gwyneth talked about holding her 30-pound son in one arm “all day.” She sure doesn’t look bulky for lifting 10 times the weight recommendation of her trainer, right?

Certain exercises will give you “long and lean” muscles. This is a myth surrounding all sorts of exercise programs from Pilates to ballet to lifting light weights. In fact, it is physiologically impossible to change the length of a muscle in response to exercise.

And that the only reason to exercise is to be skinny. It seems to me that this trainer isn’t trying to help women become healthier, stronger and fitter, but that she sees exercise as a means to an end (being skinny). In reality, it’s much more than that. And if you ask me, we too often focus on the aesthetic effects of exercising (which can be really unmotivating) instead of the most important benefits: being healthier, being stronger (and capable of lifting more than three pounds), feeling accomplished, and being able to handle day-to-day activities, and preventing disability and disease, to name a few.

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