Strength Training Myths

Strength Training Myths

If you haven't started lifting weights, it may be because you have run into some of the myths about strength training. Read on to dispel these myths and to get the facts about strength training. Taking time each week to build your strength can help you live a more healthy and independent life.

Myth : I am too weak for bodybuilding

Fact : You can never be too weak for bodybuilding. In fact, bodybuilding can be especially helpful if you are frail. It can make you stronger and improve your balance and flexibility. No matter how weak you may feel, there are strengthening exercises for you. Start with a low weight, or even no weight, and slowly build up as you feel stronger.

Myth : Strength training is for men only

Fact : It may be even more important for women to strengthen their bones and muscles than it is for men. After menopause, women lose an average of 2% to 3% of their bone mass every year. Strength training can help slow this loss. It helps delay the progression of osteoporosis ( a disease that causes bones to weaken ). Strength training can also slow muscle loss. This is important because by age 50, most men and women have at least 20% less muscle tissue than when they were age 30.

Myth : Strength training is dangerous

Fact : Strength training is safe as long as it is done correctly. You can learn the proper way to use weights by working with a qualified trainer at a local gym. As with any new exercise, be sure to talk with your doctor before starting a strength training program.

Myth : Strength training is difficult to learn

Fact : For most people, free weights and weight machines are not difficult to master. Work with a trainer or take a class at your gym. Once you are comfortable using free weights, you may want to buy some to use at home.

Myth : Strength training is for young people only

Fact : Nearly everyone can benefit from strength training. Men and women ages 56 to 96 who lifted weights greatly increased their strength. After just 2 months, some were 175% stronger than when they started. Besides making you stronger, strength training may help ease arthritis pain and lower your risk for diabetes.

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