5 Myths of Strength Training.

With the increase in popularity and reporting on strength training, we have more people than ever trying it out for the first time, which is awesome.

There are so many different philosophies, routines and programs to follow, this can lead to confusion around what affect strength training has on the body, lets take a look at 5 myths of strength training.

1. Muscle turns into fat

This is going to be a short one! – Fatty tissue is fatty tissue and muscle tissue is muscle tissue, they are not interchangeable. So after disuse muscle will not turn into fat and unfortunately fat will not turn into muscle, building addition muscle can assist in burning fat but cannot convert it.

2. Strength/resistance training doesn’t burn fat

A very common one, mostly born out of how we measure success, spoiler alert the overall weight number on the scales doesn’t tell the whole story….

Strength training is usually up against cardiovascular training, going to get a little sciencey for a bit:

When we undertake cardiovascular training we tend not to build muscle, however our fat percentage will decrease (provided we are eating a healthy diet and not in a surplus of calories) lower the scales.

With strength training muscle mass is increased, whilst decreasing our fat percentage leaving the scales only slightly lower.

So on the face of it we lose more weight from cardiovascular training, this however misses the important part of the additional strength we gain, with both reducing fat percentage.

We should also note that each additional pound of muscle will burn 10-20 calories each day whilst we are just living and breathing.

It’s vital to remember that your composition (body fat and muscle mass) determines how you look not your overall weight…..

3. Lifting weights makes women bulk up


This is simply one of the most frustrating myths, it’s linked to a very 90’s myth (covered in number 5).

First off, should anyone want to get bigger and lift heavy weights, go for it!

For those worried about putting on muscular size, we need to understand how our bodies respond to strength training.

Building muscle, especially for size takes years requires eating adequate calories and specifically training for it. Female’s have a lower testosterone level, a key ingredient to muscle growth so with these two pieces of information alone we can debunk the myth that women bulk up when lifting weights!

What I will add is some of the benefits:

  1. Improve your bone density and help prevent osteoporosis, a degenerative bone disease common in older women
  2. Improve your body composition (increase lean mass and reduce fat mass) – oh you mean number 2 on this list…..
  3. Benefit your mental health
  4. Improve your flexibility and mobility
  5. Make you feel strong, empowered and confident

4.Strength training is for young people only

No way this one wasn’t going to get included, yeah yeah, I know we’ve covered this plenty of times before in these articles!

I’ll keep it short, strength training isn’t just for building muscles, it helps with the following:

  1. Improved Balance and co-ordination
  2. Increased flexibility and range of movement
  3. Decreases the risk of osteoporosis
  4. Helps make daily activities easier

Far too often we see strength training as needing to lift big weights whilst making some questionable noises! However, the reality is that we need to keep our muscles working to assist in all of our other activities.

5. Use light weights and high reps to tone.

Wow, where to begin? – how about the 90’s (ten years ago for someone my age!)

‘High reps to tone your body’

There is nothing wrong with higher reps, in fact they are beneficial in building muscular endurance and are regularly present in workouts with good reason.

When looking at strength training, we need a weight that challenges the muscles, now not saying it has to be brutally heavy, think more around a challenge to keep correct form on reps 9 and 10 of a 10 rep set.

Increasing muscle mass has many benefits including helping to lower body fat with when paired together tone your body.

Important to note here that we really do require a good mix of training, cardio and strength together play an important part in keeping us fit and healthy.

If you’d like more information on how best to structure your workouts, contact team SF on info@spikefitness.co.uk