FACTS AND FICTIONS RELATED TO STRENGTH TRAINING AND MUSCLE BUILDING.
After a person stops resistance training, the muscle turns to fat.
UNTRUE and in fact IMPOSSIBLE!
Muscle and fat are separate and unique tissues and cannot transform into another! What often occurs is a gain in muscle and a reduction in fat during periods of training. Then, if the workout program is discontinued for a significant period of time, muscle mass decreases and fat stores increase as a result of lower levels of energy expenditure. It therefore appears that muscle turns to fat, but it doesn’t.
One way to avoid this, is to make strength training a lifestyle commitment that is lifelong and ongoing. If injury, illness or unforeseen circumstances require a lengthy “break” period, calorie intake should be reduced accordingly which will not prevent muscle loss, but it will reduce the likelihood of adding unwanted adipose tissue.
Women will build bulky muscles through weight training.
Oh- I wish! Only a very small percentage of women possess the genetic potential to experience significant muscle hypertrophy or the ability to “bulk up”! Women are generally smaller in size and have less muscle tissue and of course, lower levels of anabolic hormones than males.
Individuals should use light weights and high repetitions to improve muscle tone, and heavy weights and low reps to increase muscle mass.
Firstly, our genetic make up is largely responsible for our individual muscular responses to resistance exercise and will affect how we respond/ look after different styles of training. Resistance training with lighter weights and higher reps OR heavier weights with lower reps produces similar muscular responses (according to a variety of studies) so long as the exercise set fatigues the targeted muscles within the time limit of approx. 90 seconds. It is essential to use enough resistance to produce a reasonable degree of muscle fatigue!
At some point, people get too old to lift weights.
You are never too old to lift weights! Resistance training works equally well for people of all ages. Yes- as we get older, we lose (on average) 10% of strength per decade but older muscles are very responsive to resistance exercises and therefore older people are able to gain muscle at approximately the same rate during the initial period. However, the potential for total-body muscle mass dimities during the older-adult years.
Children are too young to lift weights.
Again, resistance training does not discriminate 🙂 Whether you are 15 or 85, lifting weights can improve muscular strength, bone density and physical abilities! Adolescents who perform regular strength exercises may experience many health benefits including: improved cardio, better body composition, weight control, stronger bones, more proficient motor-skill performance, reduced injuries and positive psychological outcomes.
Free weights are always better than machines.
Both free weights and weight-stack machines provide resistance exercise that involves dynamic concentric and eccentric muscle actions. They both provide fatigue training towards the prime mover muscle groups and stimulate strength development. One difference is that machines have fixed or relatively controlled movement patterns whereas free weights may be moved without restraint. Therefore free weights require greater activation of the joint-stabiliser muscles and obviously, a higher understanding of how to perform the exercise with correct technique and form.