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THE TEN BIGGEST WEIGHT-TRAINING MYTHS THAT HOLD YOU BACK FROM ACHIEVING YOUR BEST BODY



Weight training can seem intimidating at first because there’s so much conflicting information about what it will and won’t do for you. The misconceptions about training are endless, but these ten big ones are insidious because they prevent so many people from taking the first step. Let’s bust these myths once and for all.

MYTH #1: IF FAT LOSS IS YOUR GOAL AND YOU DON’T HAVE TIME FOR WEIGHTS AND CARDIO, YOU SHOULD JUST DO CARDIO.

Resistance training is such a powerful health, fitness, and antiaging tool, it’s the one type of training you never compromise. Weight training can burn fat, increase your strength, and maintain or build your lean body mass. Cardio alone can’t do that. Weight training makes the difference between the person with an ideal weight but an average-looking body and the person who looks cut and chiseled like a fitness model. When you have time, do weights and cardio. When your time is limited, always prioritize the weights. With that said, please allow me to step on my soapbox for a minute to talk about time.


MYTH #2: YOU SHOULD LOSE ALL THE FAT FIRST, THEN START WEIGHT TRAINING LATER.

People who are extremely overweight may need to focus on nutrition at first if they’re not very mobile yet. But if you’re physically able to exercise safely, you’ll get amazing benefits from starting a weight-training program, even if you still have a lot of fat to lose. Almost anyone can start with walking for cardio and basic lifts for strength, and it’s never too soon to start developing good habits.



MYTH #3: YOU HAVE TO JOIN A GYM TO GET GOOD RESULTS.

The best place to train is wherever you’ll get the best workouts and do them consistently. I started working out in my parent’s garage when I was 14 with nothing more than barbells, dumbbells, an adjustable Joe Weider bench, a squat rack, and an Arnold Schwarzenegger book to guide me. I did that for six months, then I joined a gym. I’ve been training in gyms ever since because I like having access to all the equipment and I enjoy the motivating atmosphere.


MYTH #4: IF YOU LIFT WEIGHTS, YOU’LL GET BULKY OR LOOK LIKE A BODYBUILDER.

Most natural bodybuilders, myself included, would love to have more muscle size, but we’re still working on it after years because gaining muscle is a slow and difficult process. Beginners can gain muscle easily at first, but the rate of progress levels off quickly. Only the most genetically gifted mesomorphs can gain muscle with ease. Putting on muscle size is even harder for women, who have less testosterone.


MYTH #5: IF YOU STOP LIFTING WEIGHTS THE MUSCLES WILL TURN INTO FAT.


If you stop lifting, your muscles will eventually shrink, and if you eat too much, your body fat will increase. This may appear as if your “muscles have turned to fat,” but muscle can’t change into fat because fat and muscle are two different types of tissue. This myth probably comes from the retired-athlete syndrome. Elite athletes practice, train, or compete for hours every day, burning huge amounts of fuel. When their athletic careers end, their activity levels drop, but if they keep eating the same amount of food, they instantly create a calorie surplus and start gaining fat. This makes it look like their muscles “turned to fat” purely because they stopped working out.


MYTH #6: IF YOU LIFT WEIGHTS, YOU’LL LOSE FLEXIBILITY AND GET MUSCLE-BOUND.

The surest way to decrease your flexibility is to sit on your butt all day long doing nothing. Weight training can actually increase your flexibility if you perform the exercises through the full range of motion. I’ve seen male bodybuilders weighing 230 pounds of solid muscle do full splits as part of their posing routines. As for the women, watch a professional fitness show like the Fitness Olympia. You’ll see some of the most flexible athletes in the world, even though they train with weights every bit as hard as the men. If increasing flexibility is one of your fitness goals, then devote some time for stretching at the end of your lifting sessions and emphasize the tightest areas. An easy way to fit stretching into your routine with no extra time commitment is to stretch in between sets. Some people add yoga into their weekly plan to gain more flexibility. Just remember that yoga is a good adjunct to weight training, it’s not a substitute for it.


MYTH #7: WOMEN MUST TRAIN DIFFERENTLY FROM MEN TO ACHIEVE A “FITTER AND FIRMER” LOOK

Most women who say they want to be “toned” mean that they want to get fitter and firmer without getting bigger. Guess what? The best and fastest way to achieve the “fitter and firmer” look women want is the same way that men achieve the “muscular” look they want: with weight training. And without it, a woman will never get much stronger.


MYTH #8: YOU HAVE TO LIFT FOR HOURS EVERY DAY TO GET A GREAT BODY.

You can finish an effective and thorough weight training workout in 60 minutes or less. While some people train longer for various reasons, and competitive athletes put in more hours a week than recreational lifters, more is not always better when it comes to resistance training. Short but intense workouts always produce great results, but intense training done too long or too often is counterproductive. Even if you could squeeze out more results by putting in more time, long workouts aren’t practical for most people.


MYTH #9: WEIGHT LIFTING WILL MAKE YOU SLOW AND UNATHLETIC.

Weight training makes you a faster and better athlete. Stronger muscles can contract more quickly and produce more power. Athletes in almost every sport depend on weight training to improve their performance. Look at sprinters: They’re the fastest people in the world, and heavy lifting is a major part of their training.


MYTH #10: YOU’RE THE ONLY ONE WHO FEELS OVERWHELMED, UNCOMFORTABLE, CONFUSED, OR NOT SURE WHERE TO START.

You have the knowledge of all the world’s experts at your fingertips today on the Internet, but more than ever you’re also drowning in a sea of conflicting opinions and information overload. It’s normal to feel a little confused or overwhelmed at first. The good news is you can relax, because what would take months or even years to find online and pull together, you have right between the covers of this book. You can also trust that the information here is backed by science and experience.



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About

My name is Steven Goldstein

With over 10 years of experience in the fitness industry, I have worked with clients of all ages and fitness levels. From professional athletes to individuals aiming to lose weight, I have helped countless people achieve their goals and improve their overall health through customized training and nutrition plans.

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Consistency leaves clues

Hundreds of clients of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities have put their health in our hands over the years and achieved truly remarkable results. 

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