Are you afraid of the weight room at your local fitness center? You shouldn’t be, but you aren’t alone. Plenty of health-conscious people and fitness buffs around the globe are intimidated by the world of weightlifting, even though study after study has confirmed that lifting weights is one of the best things you can do for your overall health and well-being.

It doesn’t help that there are still many weightlifting misconceptions floating around the fitness world. In today’s post, our fitness experts at Miami Beach Gym’s Beach Body Health Club break down four weightlifting myths so that you can feel confident heading into the weight room. Want to try out our weight room in Miami Beach? Contact us today to get your free first day pass or get in touch with one of our certified personal trainers! In the meantime, read on to learn more about four common weightlifting misconceptions.

Myth #1 — Weightlifting gives you a bulky physique

Many women are wary of lifting weights because they are concerned it will give them a bulky or more masculine physique. However, unless you’re consuming an insane amount of protein calories, your metabolism will limit your muscle growth to a normal, healthy size. Lifting weights alone is not enough to bulk you up to bodybuilder-level mass — you have to support that muscle growth directly with the calories you consume.

Additionally, it’s more difficult for women to bulk up than it is for men. Higher levels of estrogen and lower levels of testosterone make it that much harder to gain muscle mass.

Myth #2 — Muscle turns to fat as soon as you stop lifting

Muscle and fat are two completely different things, and one cannot magically turn into the other. Although it’s true that if you stop lifting, you will lose some muscle, it won’t turn into flab. If you wait long enough between weightlifting workouts, you may lose muscle and gain fat, but one does not become the other.

Weightlifting is beneficial for anyone who wants to cut down on body fat, since having more muscle actually boosts your metabolism and helps your body burn excess fat. You won’t lose all your gains the second you take a break from strength training, but preventing muscle loss is easier than gaining new muscle, so don’t wait too long before your next workout!

Myth #3 — Weightlifting is bad for your joints

Many people still believe that weightlifting puts too much load on your joints that can lead to long-term harm. Although it is important to lift the right amount of weight with proper form to prevent injury, strength training can actually help support and strengthen your joints and increase the levels of synovial fluid that lubricate them. A 2001 study in the Journal of Rheumatology found that patients suffering from knee pain experienced a 43% reduction in reported pain after a four-month weightlifting program. When properly done, weight training actually keeps your joints healthier.

If you’re just beginning your weightlifting journey, then be sure to consult a personal trainer or fitness professional to make sure you don’t injure yourself and can safely enjoy all the benefits of lifting weights!

Myth #4 — Cardio is better than weightlifting for weight loss

When most people think about weight loss, they picture someone running on a treadmill, not doing squats in the weight room. But because of a fitness phenomenon called “excess post-exercise oxygen consumption” (EPOC), your total caloric burn from an hour-long weightlifting workout will be much higher than the caloric burn from an hour-long run.

As your body recovers from your workout, it consumes oxygen at an increased rate, which burns more calories. Research has shown that EPOC values are much greater after weightlifting than sustained cardio, since the recovery process of building up new muscle is longer and more involved.

Essentially, when you lift weights instead of jogging on the treadmill, your body burns more calories in recovery, so you’re seeing better fitness returns on that hour of workout time! Additionally, having more muscle helps your body burn more fat efficiently, so as you gain muscle, it becomes easier to lose fat.

Join Beach Body Health Club to start lifting weights today!

Ready to get started on your weightlifting journey? Our fitness center in Miami Beach has everything you need to succeed. With experienced personal trainers, state-of-the-art equipment, and daily fitness classes, Miami Beach Gym’s Beach Body Health Club is your path to a healthier, happier life. Contact us today!