We spoke to The Workshop Gymnasium strength training PT Niki Bird to get the truth about weight lifting and getting long, strong muscle.
What about all those long, lithe women – are they lifting?
We had a lot of questions…
MYTH: WEIGHT LIFTING WILL MAKE YOU BULKY
TRUTH: Females have considerably less testosterone than males and because of this, it also effects the amount of muscle they are able to gain.
A total-body weight training programme, done regularly without too much volume, is an effective way to strip fat that is covering muscles giving that ‘toned’ appearance a lot of women desire.
MYTH: STRENGTH TRAINING WITHOUT WEIGHTS ISN’T WORTH IT
TRUTH: Some of my favourite exercises to create length from strength training include single leg RDLs(Romanian Dead Lifts), inchworms (walking the hands from a forward fold into plank and back again) and high planks with alternate arm reaches – all of which can be done without weights.
MYTH: STRONG LEGS = BOXY THIGHS
Glute bridges, RDL’s and back extensions are all great exercises for lengthening the legs. They can be done using body weight, or made more challenging with resistance bands or weights.
MYTH: ENDLESS CRUNCHES WILL GET YOU ABS
Ab exercises alone won’t be what creates a toned looking stomach. You need exercises that will burn fat, which is where weight training comes in.
A combination of clean nutrition, good quality sleep, some high intensity interval training (HIIT) cardio circuits such as Tabata training, along side resistance training (lifting weights) will help you develop better abs.
MYTH: WEIGHT IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN REPS
TRUTH: It really depends on your body type. Some women respond better to heavier weights with fewer reps, where some respond better to lighter weights and more reps.
You have to find out what works for your body.
MYTH: NO TRAINING IS COMPLETE WITHOUT USING THE LEG PRESS #LEGSDAY
TRUTH: There are lots of different body types and machines can be quite rigid in their set up.
Some people may have longer legs, shorter torso’s, and using free weights allows for the variability of body type.