“I’m telling you, when I work out my triceps, they get ginormous! So I really don’t want to do any tricep dips or extensions or anything like that because they get big, real big and I’m not looking to bulk up.”
“I’d like to lose all the weight that’s in my midsection so lets make sure to do a lot of sit-ups and crunches, I’m really good at those.”I’ve heard variations of those two lines more times than I can remember and here’s a little tip for those who have said either of them… if there is another trainer within earshot, rest assured that when you’re not looking, they’ve both exchanged the “slow head shake with eyes closed” look. Which is equal to saying “Great, here we go again, I need to sneak in tricep exercises and work in 10 minutes of useless “crunches” time.”
But what isn’t true is the belief that too much resistance training is going to “bulk” us women up. It’s just not going to happen because we’re missing massive amounts of a specific hormone that allows for that; testosterone. We have a little of it in our bodies, but not the amounts necessary to gain huge, bulging muscles. Sure you see women with the manly pecks, football player thighs and arm-wrestler biceps, but they’re pumped full of who knows what that allows them to get that big. They’re not in the gym three days a week for 45 minutes getting bodies like that. No way, the freaky man-lady is in the gym for 9 hours a day, eating bucketloads of protein at each meal. It’s their life and their passion and winning fitness competitions is their livelihood. If you’re not that serious about fitness, then you have no reason to believe that by working out your biceps you will soon be walking around like an orangutan with oversized arms and knuckles scraping the ground.
There may be a sensation that you’re muscles are getting bigger but what happens when you work a certain muscle is that oxygen and blood flow to that area and can create a tightening feeling. This could possibly be misconstrued as an Incredible Hulk moment, but it doesn’t last as long and it’s totally natural, so don’t’ fret, you’re not turning green or busting at the seams!
Next, the midsection and spot-reducing.
There is no such thing as spot-reducing. I don’t care how many sit-ups you do, which fitness gizmo you purchased claiming a smaller belly in three days or which being you pray to; the reality is that fat in the midsection is stubborn and it isn’t going away just because you want it to. We’re genetically inclined to gather fat in that area so as to cushion the child within when the time comes. We’re little baby factories and have been for centuries. To get rid of fat, you need to focus on your cardio, get the heart rate pumping and make healthy eating choices. Too much sugar in the diet will land in the belly region and quickly turn into lovely jiggly-bits! No amount of crunches will cure you of belly-fat. Think cardio and diet for making an impact in that region.
So there you have it, two fitness myths plaguing the minds of fitness minded women for decades, exposed for the lies they behold and the truths they deny. Workout hard, eat right, and get your heart rate up, those are the only three things you need to know when it comes to fitness and feeling your best.
And do not fear the Incredible Hulk for he cannot overtake you, I promise!Anne Marie Costanzo is a nationally certified personal trainer and owner of Little Black Dress Personal Training. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (914) 841-1121.