There are a lot of weight training myths out there, and a lot of that information can be downright dangerous. When it comes to strength training or any sort of physical activity, you want to play it safe. This means having confidence that the information you get is correct and always getting your doctor’s approval before beginning any new exercise regimen.
If you’re thinking of starting a strength training regimen, Tony Horton wants you to do it the right way. Your program needs to be effective, and it also needs to minimize the risk of injury. Here’s a look at some of the different forms of weight training and the pros and cons of some of the various methods used to build muscle mass. This can help better inform you when it comes to getting the most out of your exercise routine.
Lifting Weight To Build Muscle Mass And Increase Strength: What Is Weight Training?
Whether you call it weight training or strength training, this type of exercise is actually a form of resistance training. Lifting weight forces your muscles to work against an opposing force. And that force, whether it’s a weight bar, a barbell, or some other piece of equipment, provides the resistance. Strength training not only increases endurance but also muscle mass.1
Each muscle involved in a particular strength training exercise contracts or shortens. In order for you to be able to perform a weight lifting activity, your muscles must contract and produce more force than the weight. If this doesn’t happen, you can’t lift the weight.2
Common Weight Training Myths: What Men And Women Should Know About This Type Of Exercise
Again, there’s a lot of misinformation out there when it comes to strength training. There’s so much of it, in fact, that it may scare off a lot of people from trying it. Don’t let that be the case. Here are a few of the more common misperceptions regarding this form of exercise.
- Weightlifting Will Bulk You Up Too Much
Many people, women, in particular, may be hesitant to try weightlifting because they fear they’ll put on more muscle than they would like.
But weightlifting on its own doesn’t cause this to happen. A lot of it has to do with what you eat right after a workout. Also, people who bulk up tend to eat and drink a lot after lifting. They’re trying to get more bulk, so they don’t exactly pay attention to every calorie they ingest.3
- Weightlifting Will Damage Your Joints
This is probably one of the most common strength training myths. According to one study, people who suffer from joint discomfort in their knees actually saw a reduction in that discomfort after performing weight-bearing exercises. They reported a better quality of life than those who didn’t perform any sort of strength training.4
- If You Don’t Keep Lifting All The Time, Your Muscle Growth Will Turn Into Body Fat
No matter what type of muscle group you’re trying to work on, you won’t have to worry that your muscle will immediately turn to fat if you stop your strength training regimen. Eventually, every muscle you have will start to lose its tone and weaken if you stop working out. Now, if you stop working out entirely, and keep ingesting the same amount (or a greater amount) of calories, then your body will produce more fat.5
What Are The Benefits And Drawbacks Of Weightlifting?
Lifting weights as part of your strength training regimen can deliver a lot of potential benefits. As previously mentioned, this form of physical activity boosts endurance. It may also help strengthen your bones. If you’re on a weight loss program, strength training might also help you increase lean muscle mass and burn fat.6
Strength training through weightlifting can deliver other advantages. It may help with motor skills that can reduce the risk of being hurt in a fall. This form of strength training has some potential intangible benefits as well, like helping to boost self-confidence about the way you look.7
It’s important to note, however, that lifting weights isn’t for everyone. You have to be totally committed to a strength training regimen. If you’re not, then you’ll find it almost impossible to reach your performance goals. In addition, you’ll need equipment. You’ll either need to buy it or go to a gym. Both options can get expensive.8
What Are Some Of The Pros And Cons Of Other Types Of Strength Training?
If you don’t have the time or money to devote yourself to a weightlifting program, there are many other options when it comes to strength training. Here are just a few examples, with information on the advantages and drawbacks of each.
This is an effective type of strength training, but it doesn’t feature the extensive muscle contraction associated with weight lifting.
Isometric exercise typically incorporates pulling and pushing motions, rather than lifting something up and down. Some people, for example, will use their body weight against something as simple as a wall. Others perform exercises such as holding a weight in place with their arm bent. In most cases, though, you don’t need any equipment – you just need to be able to push or pull against something stationary.9
While isometric exercise can help build muscle and strength, it can result in a decrease in endurance. This type of exercise is best used as just one piece of an overall strength training regimen.10
Plyometric exercise increases strength, but its main function is to help boost your speed and agility. Plyometrics is best for people who want to increase explosiveness. One example is a standing long jump, which helps build the quadriceps. Plyometric exercises typically don’t require a lot of equipment, and they can help increase bone as well as muscle strength.11
There are a few drawbacks associated with plyometric exercise, however. It can pose a high risk of injury, so it might not be right for people of a certain age. In addition, it might not be a good idea for those who have any previous or current injury.12
Strength Ball Training
The strength ball, also known as a “medicine ball,” is one of the oldest forms of strength training. But the medicine ball has stood the test of time because it works. It’s inexpensive, and you can use it at home or at your local fitness center. If you’re looking to boost your core muscle strength, a medicine ball will give your abdominal and oblique muscles – as well as your hip flexors – a serious workout.13
Just like about another kind of exercise routine, there are some areas of concern you’ll need to think about using a strength ball. It’s not a very versatile piece of equipment, so you’ll be fairly limited in the kinds of exercises you can perform. You also need to pay particularly close attention to technique. If you don’t use it correctly, a medicine ball can cause injury.14
Is There A Difference Between Resistance Training And Weight Training?
As stated earlier, weightlifting is a form of resistance training. Your muscle tissue works against a weight or some other type of force that provides the resistance. But resistance training is much more than banging weights together. It often requires nothing more than your body. Chin-ups, squats, lunges, and several other types of exercise are also forms of resistance training.15
Talk To Your Doctor Before You Choose To Strength Train
Lifting heavy weight does come with risk. But as long as you follow the proper technique and have your doctor’s approval to start this form of exercise, the chances of being hurt are relatively low. Take things slowly – start with smaller weights and gradually build your way up. In no time at all, you’ll be feeling great (and looking great, too).