Strength Training Myths

Myth: Only body builders should do strength training.

Fact: Strength training impacts weight management, weight loss and overall health. Fat is burned in your muscles. The more muscle you have, the more efficient your body is at using fat as a fuel source. Having more muscle mass means you burn more calories in everything you do, even sleeping. Weight-bearing exercise strengthens bones; builds muscles that prevent injury and minimize joint stress; and reduces high blood pressure, improves cholesterol profile, and enhances glucose metabolism.

Myth: I don’t need to do strength training because I’m a construction worker … landscaper … mother of several toddlers … (fill in the blank).

Fact: While these are tough jobs, they’re not strength training. Strength training is a form of exercise that utilizes body weight, resistance tubing, free weights (barbells, dumbbells, kettleballs), and weight machines to build muscle strength, endurance and mass by targeting specific muscle groups.

Myth: Do high reps of three or four abdominal exercises every other day to burn abdominal fat, slim down your waist, and show off your six-pack.

Fact: No matter how highly developed your abs are, no one will know if they’re covered by an inch of fat. No amount of exercise will help define your abs in the presence of bad nutrition. You’ll find your abs in the kitchen: Avoid all processed foods. Avoid high-fat and high-calorie foods. Keep an eye on the low-fat and fat-free foods too; they may still contain way too many calories and processed carbs. While veggie-based dishes pack fewer calories, they may not provide adequate protein or complex carbs for fueling your fitness program.

Myth: Once you find a workout combination that’s comfortable for you, stick with it and just increase the weight every few weeks.

Fact: The body adapts to your workout and stops improving once it gets used to the same exercises and sequence. So change it up every few weeks. This maximizes muscle growth, strength and endurance. You’ll also be maximizing metabolism and fat loss. However much you vary things, you should always integrate the principle of Progressive Overload, basically stressing or overloading a muscle in order to increase the strength and size. This means asking your body to do more than it is used to doing in a progressively intense manner by adding weight, repetitions or sets; decreasing rest time; and changing rep speed.

Want to get in shape? Want to work with the facts instead of getting sidelined by the myths? Contact us to get on the right track.

Rich and Ryan Gilman
Rich and Ryan Gilman operate Gilman Brothers Personal Training at Faith Community Center. The Gilmans earned their personal training certifications through the National Exercise and Sports Trainers Association in 2004 and Bachelor of Science degrees in Recreational Sports Management from Indiana University in 2005.