There are a few myths I tend to hear quite a bit so I thought I'd take some time to debunk them.
Myth #1 - Lifting weights makes you bulkyThis untruth is the most common myth I hear, and yet I feel like by now we should all know better. Lifting weights can make you stronger. Lifting weights can increase muscle mass. However as a female, it is very, very difficult to get a massively muscular frame.
Even if muscular bulk was your goal, you'd have to try pretty hard because it's difficult. When you see a woman that's very large, there's a pretty strong chance they're taking some sort of hormonal aide to help them get there.
And I'm not talking about the ultra lean female body builders. Yes, these women are incredibly muscular, but their body fat is so low that it displays the muscle better. This is a very difficult body composition level to achieve, and it requires a very conscious effort to get there.
Trust me, you won't accidentally end up either way.
Myth #2 - Muscle weighs more than fatNo it doesn't. A pound of muscle and a pound of fat weight the exact same - a pound. However, muscle is denser than fat so it takes up less space.
This false belief is usually pulled out in response to someone who has gained weight after beginning a resistance training regime. While it takes awhile to actually put on lean muscle, you should consider that you might be holding more water as well. Your body is making changes and requires more hydration.
Quick tip: Take frequent progress photos in the same lighting, and wearing the same clothing> Use these photos for comparison. That way you can ignore what the scale is saying because you will be able to see the difference for yourself.
Myth # 3 - Women shouldn't take creatineCreatine makes you bulk up.
Creatine is like a drug/steroid.
Creatine will bloat you.
I hear so many bad things about creatine that just aren't true. Creatine monohydrate is the absolutely most researched supplement out there. It's incredibly safe and affordable, and is in no way a drug. As a matter of fact, your body actually makes creatine naturally and it can be found in meat and fish.
Creatine will not make you bulk up (remember I said how difficult that was to do? It will definitely take more than just taking Creatine to make that happen). While yes, it makes your body hold more water, the water is retained intracellular (meaning inside your muscles cells) so you shouldn't bloat.
Don't be afraid of creatine. It will increase your performance in the gym. Just make sure you drink plenty of water and you can thank me later.
Creatine helps you to improve your gym performance, workout endurance and provides the advantage you need to build the body you want.
Myth #4 - You can burn fat and build muscle at the same timeI'm always hearing women talk about how they want to do both. Scientifically, this isn't typically possible. I say typically because there are some exceptions.
Those new to lifting, people with large amounts of muscle memory, people on HGH and absolute freaks of nature will be able to do both simultaneously.
So if you're newer to lifting, have at it. But if you have been lifting for awhile, you most likely will need to choose one goal and then the other.
Myth #5 - Eating clean will make you lose weight/fatIt's common to see women get discouraged. They are consistently working out and eating clean, but aren't seeing the desired changes they are after. While I'm not saying it doesn't matter whether you "eat clean" or not, there's something missing from the equation.
"Clean foods" - also known as nutrient dense or whole foods - are good for you. when you eat these foods you are putting high quality fuel into your body. There are benefits, of course, to this style of eating as opposed to eating food with chemicals, hormones, antibiotics, etc. But what most women are completely missing is that while eating clean is good, you aren't taking into account whether you're in a caloric deficit or not.
When it comes to body composition and fat loss, your body could care less whether you are eating 20g of fat from an avocado or 20g of fat from vegetable oil. It doesn't matter if you're consuming 40g of carbs from whole grain bread or from a Pop Tart.
When it comes to fat loss, all your body cares about is the caloric content. While you might feel better physically with one compared to the other, you can't over-consume the clean stuff just because it's "clean."
Moral of the story is: if you want to lose fat, you need to ensure you are in somewhat of a caloric deficit, not just simply eating nutrient dense foods.
What myths have you heard when it comes to women in the fitness world? Please let me know if the comments section below.
Editor's note: Creatine is an ingredient in the popular pre-workout supplement MTS Nutrition Clash. Flavors include apple mango, pink lemonade and orange. Click here to learn more about the body composition, focus and performance benefits of this industry leading product.