The Health and Fitness world is a very confusing place, most of the information that is available regarding strength training or nutritional advice is very subjective especially when it comes to female health and fitness.
For some very weird reasons all of the information regarding female bodybuilding is very misleading, most of the information that women follow inside and outside of the gym will always tend to be ineffective and sometimes even a little dangerous. In this article, we are going to discuss four common female bodybuilding myths that should be completely eliminated.
Weight Training will make women look bulky: False
The biggest myth surrounding natural female bodybuilding says that if women take up weight training as a form of exercise they will become bulky and muscular; this assumption is false for various reasons. Women don’t produce the same amounts of testosterone that men do which is a key factor for mass muscle growth.
Now, this doesn’t mean that women can’t build muscle; it simply means that they won’t be able to weigh 250lbs just like a bodybuilder, as much as they (naturally) tried. Weight Training has the same effect on women that it has on men but the female body develops in a different manner, weight training is a great tool for women who are looking to build, sculpt and tone their physique while building strength and improving their overall conditioning and cardiovascular health at the same time, which leads us to our next myth.
Cardio is the only way to lose weight: False
Cardio is definitely a great method for improving cardiovascular health, but it’s not the only way to lose body fat. Cardio is popularly associated with the image of weight loss and it makes sense, men and women think that hopping on a treadmill for an hour a day is the answer to losing weight and achieving total health, this is false. Cardio is only half of the equation that is needed to lose weight; the other half has a lot to do with nutrition and knowing one’s body.
The image of women doing some sort of cardio at the gym is often used by gyms as an advertisement for weight loss, and while it’s true that cardio has its benefits, it’s not all that great. Cardio is great for various reasons it strengthens the cardiovascular system and burning calories, secondary benefits of cardio include warming up and loosening up the joints before a workout.
The tricky part about cardio, that no one likes to talk about is the fact that its effectiveness will always have a direct effect on the person’s nutrition, think about it, if someone is eating 5000 calories of junk food in a day, what good are thirty minutes on a treadmill?
The only way to lose weight is by creating a healthy nutritional plan that is made up out of foods that are rich in macronutrients and micronutrients, in most cases, calories don’t really matter. Other than having a healthy diet, weight training is key because not only has it been proven to burn more calories than cardio, but it also builds muscle, conditioning, resistance and explosive strength. Women will always benefit more from weight training than cardio, it’s not a myth, it’s a fact.
Calories are everything: False
This topic is directly related to the other two that we just discussed. As it was stated at the beginning of this article, the general perception that people tend to have towards health and fitness is completely misunderstood. The general part of society thinks that calculating calories are the key to living a healthy lifestyle, not only is this false, it’s completely confusing, understanding how this false statement became popular is mindboggling.
A lot of women (and men) don’t have a clue on what a macronutrient (macro) is, the same goes for micronutrients (micros), this usually leads them to measure their food intake based on their caloric consumption.
Understanding macros and micros are very simple, these are basically the nutrients that your body needs, macronutrients need to be consumed in high quantities and are separated into three groups: protein, carbohydrates, and fat. Micronutrients are nutrients that also need to be consumed by the human body in order for it to function but in way smaller quantities; micronutrients come in the forms of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, etc.
Caloric measurements should become obsolete, the general part of society needs to learn about macros and micros, this will greatly improve their health and better their perception of food. Calories are only a way to measure the energy that goes into the body, they don’t measure the quality of it.
Supplements aren’t made for women: False
The last myth that is going to be discussed is supplementation for women. The idea of women utilizing supplements to gain muscle, lose weight and improve energy in the gym is not very popular.
Supplements for women have always been the synonym of manliness but this stereotype is quickly disappearing thanks to the creation of new companies that are willing to encourage women into improving their physiques and health by adding extra forms of supplementation into their daily diets.
Supplements can be used by both men and women in order to improve and enhance their performance. If you are a woman and are reading this be encouraged to try and learn more about supplements because there are many that that can benefit women in many aspects especially as they get older. Supplements will not make you gain weight or look manly; a great number of supplements, if used correctly can benefit you in many unimaginable ways.
Samantha Collins is a contributing author and is an ISSA certified personal trainer that has helped hundreds of men and women get in shape and helped them reach their fitness and weight loss goals.