MYTH BUSTING: Top fitness influencers bust the myths about women's weightlifting

Been avoiding weight training because you think you'll get too bulky? Think again...

We've compiled our favourite words of wisdom from top fitness bloggers and trainers to change the way you think about lifting weights as a woman

1. Lifting weights makes you bulky (by Zanna Van Dijk)

"No, it doesn't. Lifting weights enables you to build lean muscle and sculpt your body. As much as I hate the word; resistance training leads to the “toned” look everyone desires. It also has a multitude of health benefits including increased bone density and a reduced risk of developing osteoporosis.  Oh and while we're touching on weights. High reps and low weights does not lead to optimal “toning”. Pick up some heavy weights to get the results you want and feel like a badass in the process."

2. Everyone is staring at you (by Lucy Mountain AKA @thefashionfitnessfoodie)

"I hate to be frank but no-one really cares what you're doing in the gym. I guarantee you everyone is way too engrossed in their own training to even bat an eyelid at what you're up to. (Unless you're the guy in my local gym who wears jeans. We all stare at you.) No-one is thinking 'what the hell is she doing with that barbell'."

3. Muscle can turn into fat (from Women's Health Mag)

"These are two totally different types of tissue, so even if you slack off, that hard-earned muscle won't turn into fat. "With lack of use, muscle cells atrophy. If they shrink to a certain size, they undergo apoptosis," says Koch. (Read: They die.) That's not to say there's not a relationship: If you lose muscle mass, you'll burn fewer calories per day. If your calorie intake remains the same, the excess food energy that is not burned can be stored as fat."

4. Lifting is too stressful on your body (from Flora Beverley AKA @foodfitnessflora)

"Conversely, doing aerobic exercise for long periods of time has actually been shown to INCREASE your cortisol levels. Cortisol is the ‘stress hormone’ that all of us experience at some point of other. Small amounts of cortisol is useful, but if it is released over long periods of time, it has multiple effects that can actually lead to weight gain; decreased sleep, increased appetite and an increase of fat storage around your mid-section to name a few. Lifting weights does not increase cortisol levels. On the contrary, it lowers them, decreasing stress levels and allowing you to lose weight without your workouts backfiring on you."

5. You need to use the 1kg dumbbells...or go super heavy (from @basebodybabes Felicia and Diana)

"Choose the weight and stick with this same weight for the whole workout without missing any reps or breaking form. This means that the first set should feel challenging but very achievable, and by the last set, you will be more fatigued and so the level of difficulty will be increased but still attainable. If you are to train with a training partner, their job is to encourage, but not assist with any reps unless it is absolutely necessary to avoid injury."

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