New to Weightlifting?
Have you always been interested in weightlifting, but never known where to start? Or have you recently become interested but been put off by the many claims around bulking up?
We’re here to set you right!
Weightlifting is becoming increasingly popular amongst gym-goers. This is great news and at Beckwith Health Club, we’re determined to help you get started with it on the right foot. The best way to do that is to look factually at this workout’s many benefits and dispel some common myths surrounding it.
First of All: What is Weightlifting?
Weightlifting is a form of strength training, which is also known as weight or resistance training. It is a form of fitness training designed to improve muscular fitness by focusing the physical activity on a specific muscle group by exercising it against external resistance.
For more information on how to get started with strength training at the gym, check out our blog tailored to beginners here.
Now, let’s look at some common myths surrounding weightlifting and get to work setting them straight.
Myth #1: Weightlifting Will Make You Look Bulky
The most common myth surrounding weightlifting is that it will automatically increase your muscles, leaving you looking “bulky”. This is completely false!
This myth has particularly discouraged many women from getting started with weightlifting, so it’s the first one we need to tackle.
Lifting weights and resistance training increases your body’s ability to build muscle and subsequently burn fat. Due to this, it’s one of the preferred workouts to gain a leaner, more toned body.
To bulk up requires a substantial amount of training, weight, and additional calorie intake. Adding weights to your workout will increase your muscle volume, but this does not mean you will look bulky – rather, your muscles will be better developed and you’ll simply burn more fat from your workout. What a great outcome!
Myth #2 – Weightlifting is Mostly a Man’s Sport
Again, weightlifting has earned somewhat of a reputation for being more of a man’s activity than a woman’s. Thankfully, any weightlifter will quickly tell you this is untrue.
Gym-goers of any gender and physique can begin weightlifting. It’s a very accessible workout for many! This is because it allows you to completely tailor your workout from start to finish depending on your weights and exercises you choose.
Myth #3 – Weightlifting to Build Muscle Requires Daily Workouts
This is also a commonly-held belief about weightlifting and is one that could lead to injuries.
The process of building muscle involves your body repairing and rebuilding the muscle tissue following each workout. If you don’t leave your body time to rest and do this work after the exercise, you’re losing out on the benefits of the workout.
What’s more, you’ll be at risk of “overtraining”, which could lead you to injure your muscles and cause your progress to stagnate. Especially where heavy weights are concerned, patience and gradual increases, as well as regular rest periods, are key.
Generally speaking, you’ll need to allow your body between 48 and 72 hours to rest following your workout.
Myth #4 – You Can Target Certain Areas of the Body for Fat Loss
You certainly can focus on exercising certain muscle groups in one session and another group in the next session. However, it’s not possible to target specific and isolated areas of the body for fat loss and muscle gain.
For example, only doing endless crunches will not mean you lose all your belly fat and develop a six-pack while the rest of your body remains the same. Bodies naturally store fat in specific areas and in a particular order. So, we don’t have any control over where the fat will fall from first once we start exercising.
When it comes to fat loss, though, strength training is your friend. Focusing on large, compound movements, which use multiple muscles at once, will lead to your body breaking down larger amounts of stored fat.
Need Some Help Getting Started? That’s What We’re Here For!
Arrange for a one-to-one with Beckwith’s personal trainers to find the perfect workout programme to suit your fitness goals. Working with them, develop your own exercise goals and start working towards them!
You can find out more about our PT’s on our website here.