Myths of Strength Training Part 1

Kevin Turner-Turner Strength & Performance

There are many myths when it comes to the topic of strength training. We are constantly being inundated by television, radio, and social media with promises of quick weight loss through fad diets, more muscle or better toned abs if you take this supplement or perform this revolutionary new exercise. It is no wonder why many people get overwhelmed when searching for the right approach in achieving their fitness goals.

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Debunking the Myths of Strength Training

  1. Strength training is just for men. FALSE- Strength training is a must for women. An estimated 8 million women have osteoporosis in the United States, strength training has been shown to slow bone loss and in some studies actually build bone. Weight training can provide benefits to the bones that are more at risk of fracture, like the wrists, hips, and spine. (1)
  2. Female athletes do not need strength training. FALSE- Female athletes absolutely need strength training! Males have long performed weight training in order to excel in their sports and reduce injuries, females are no different. The female athlete requires the same strength training as males in order to have a competitive advantage, reduce injuries (2) and in preparation for play at more elite levels. College is not the time to start a strength training program!
  3. Weight training will stunt a child’s growth.  FALSE -The misconception that strength training can stunt a child’s growth can be linked to the myth that lifting weights damages growth plates. Growth plates are soft cartilaginous areas of growing tissue at the end of long bones and these plates harden with maturity. Although, 15-30% of all child hood fractures involve growth plates, many of these injuries happen during recreational and sport activities. It is a common consensus among medical professionals that weightlifting is safe for people under the age of 18 as long as there is proper design and supervision. In fact, there are numerous benefits to children who strength train!
    • More strength and bone density.
    • Reduction in sports related fractures.
    • An increase in self-esteem and positive habits. (3)
  4. Strength training will make you bulky. FALSE- You will not get big and bulky by moving heavy weights! Both men and women mistakenly believe that by lifting a weight they will be gracing the cover of the next issue of a muscle magazine. Nothing could be further from the truth. A properly designed strength and nutrition program will increase lean muscle mass while reducing body fat, creating the desired muscle tone and shape of your physique.

Strength training is not just for men, women and children can reap amazing results and health benefits from weight training. All athletes can achieve a competitive edge and reduce risks of injury with a comprehensive strength training program. Barbell training such as squats, bench press, press and deadlift are examples of compound movements that people of all ages and genders can use to achieve their fitness and health goals. The first step to achieving the results you want is by strength training.

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