Strength training or weightlifting can be one of the most valuable forms of fitness. By just spending 30-45 minutes a day a few days a week, you may see significant improvements in strength, reduced body fat, and a leaner physique.
Below are a few of the more common reasons we hear from people that are hesitant to begin training with weights. If any of these resonate with you, keep reading—and start lifting!
Myth: “Weightlifting doesn’t burn the calories I need to burn in order to lose body fat”
Truth: Actually, the long-term calorie burn from weightlifting is higher than cardio. From just 1 pound of muscle, the body burns approximately 6 calories per hour, as opposed to 2 calories per hour per pound of body fat. Thus, if just 5 pounds of muscle were gained; over a 24-hour period an athlete would burn almost an additional 500 calories per day! That’s almost the equivalent of spending 45 minutes to an hour participating in cardio exercise! Of course, cardio exercise has its unique benefits, too. A balance of cardio exercise and strength training is recommended to support overall health. So don’t lose the cardio, either!
Myth: “Lifting weights will make me bulky”
Truth: We often hear this from women and endurance athletes. The truth is, it’s actually not easy to add large amounts of muscle mass. It takes time and both men and women have to specifically train to add muscle mass; it just doesn’t happen overnight or even over a matter of weeks. Women typically do not produce the amount of testosterone men do, which supports muscle gain. Lastly, in order to gain muscle mass, one needs to eat a surplus of calories (higher protein diet), and most women simply do not eat enough to gain large amounts of muscle quickly.
As an endurance athlete, simply put, it can be challenging to gain large amounts of muscle because endurance athletes are typically in a calorie deficit and will gain very lean muscle. Weightlifting is extremely important for endurance athletes. It can greatly reduce risk of injury and improve performance.
Myth: “I’m intimidated, I don’t fit in on the weight floor”
Truth: Trying something new, or even just being in a new environment, can be intimidating. Step out of your comfort zone a bit, though, and after just a week, you’ll feel so much more confident. It just might even become your new favorite place at the club!
Bring a friend with you, if that helps. Having that extra layer of support can be a big confidence booster. And if your friend’s not a member, just stop by the membership office, and we’ll be happy to give you a guest pass so your friend can cheer you on!
The one thing you have in common with everyone on the weight floor is that everyone, regardless of where their fitness level is today, all had a “first day” lifting weights. And the moment you pick up that first weight, you will have earned everybody’s respect. You did it. Now make it a habit!