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We hear a lot of misconceptions about weight training being thrown about in the gym, and with the start of our next Stronger by TT programme approaching, we’re out to set the record straight!

Myth #1: I’ll bulk up if I lift weights

We get asked a lot – won’t I bulk up if I lift weights?

Yes, it’s true that with a certain diet and training programme you can bulk up, and for some people that’s what they want. But if you’re worried that lifting weights will make you ‘bulky’, we give you permission to stop worrying right now because it’s just not true.

The right weight training programme will actually help you to get leaner and more ‘sculpted’. Our Stronger by TT programme is perfect if you’re looking to build strength and muscle but not size.

Myth #2: If I stop training my muscle will turn into fat

The first thing to say to this one is that muscle cells and fat cells are two completely different structures, and for this reason it’s actually impossible for them to turn into each other. Phew!

What is true is that if you stop weight training, the muscle tissue that you’ve built up can sag and you’ll lose muscle density because you’re telling your body that it doesn’t need those muscles anymore. And if you keep eating the same diet as when you were lifting weights regularly, fat can begin to ‘cover up’ the muscles you had built up, making it look as though your muscles may have been replaced by fat.

Myth #3: Lifting weights is bad for your joints

We can understand why this one is so common because lifting weights in the wrong way or with bad form can lead to muscle or joint injuries. When exercises are done with the proper form and technique though, weight training can actually be really good for your joints.

Lots of studies have shown this to be true, and we have experience ourselves in helping personal training clients overcome injury through weight-bearing exercises. Ask us if you’d like to know more on this one!

Now for a couple of the benefits of weight training…

Reduce your risk of getting injured

You don’t have to be a premier athlete to get involved in a bit of strength training. Although athletes obviously put more emphasis on reducing their risk of injury for obvious reasons, it doesn’t mean that we normal gym-goers can’t get the benefit too. Strength training can really help you reduce the risk of injuring yourself because, as well as building muscle, it also strengthens bone and improves your balance in general.

Find life in general a little bit easier!

All of these benefits mean that your ability to perform activities of daily living (ADLs) is improved. ADLs are the activities you need to be able to do to look after yourself and be independent like walking, feeding yourself, working and leisure activities. Strength training is a great way of making day to day life easier and more enjoyable, and can be particularly effective for older people for this very reason.

Interested in trying strength training yourself?

If you’d like to have a chat about your personal fitness goals how strength training might help you achieve them, give us a call us on 01524 389616 or you can email info@traintogether.co.uk and one of our personal trainers will get back to you.