Many 8fitters join the 8fit community with one of two goals in mind: lose weight or get stronger. However, if you search the web for “best weight loss exercise” or “best muscle gain program,” there are many resources out there promoting different — and often conflicting — methods.
Here at 8fit, we believe in mixing a wholesome nutrition with regular movement that, ideally, incorporates some kind of strength training whether that’s with your body weight or added resistance (e.g. resistance bands, kettlebells, free weights).
Now, you might’ve heard that strength training isn’t an effective way to lose weight or that lifting makes you bulky. Our coaches debunk some common weight lifting myths below.
Myth #1: “It’s not possible to build muscle and increase strength with bodyweight exercises.”
It’s definitely possible! If there’s a will, there’s a way. Once you mastered the proper exercise form, all you need to do is simply increase the load of the exercises by “leveling up” to build strength. For example, you might start by doing push-ups on the wall, then move to the countertop, then coffee table height, and finally the floor.
You can improve your power by doing the movements at your maximum speed. Remember, if weight gain or muscle gain is your goal, do bodyweight strength exercises more often and increase your calories too.
Myth #2: “Lifting weights will make you bulky.”
It is true that weight lifting can make you bulky, however, it depends entirely on your exercise program and caloric intake. For example, hypertrophy training (e.g. weight lifting) paired with a high-calorie intake will increase your muscle size. That said, if you don’t increase your caloric intake, you can increase strength as well as muscular endurance without increasing the size of your muscles. To clarify, it’s a myth that weight lifting alone makes you bulky, but when paired with increased caloric intake, your muscles will grow.
Bulking up aside, lifting weights has a number of other added health benefits like:
Increasing bone density
Improving postural alignment
Myth #3: “Lifting weights is bad for your joints.”
Lifting weights can actually help strengthen your joints. Lifting weights properly with the correct amount of resistance and repetitions for your fitness level helps build the connective tissues that stabilize your joints. However, if you have existing joint trouble, please see a physical therapist before lifting weights and never attempt to rehabilitate yourself without their tips and guidance.
Myth #4: “All weight training will give you the same results.”
There are a number of functions that your muscles perform that can be improved by weight training. For example, you can train to improve muscle strength, to become faster, to increase power or explosiveness, to improve agility, or to increase stamina.
To this point, evidence-based research in the field of sports science clearly demonstrates that specificity has a big impact on results and it’s entirely possible to train to improve each of these physical qualities separately.
Now that we’ve busted some strength and weight training myths, download the 8fit app for some specialized workouts that help you read your unique goals.