There are countless exercise myths, and even more when it comes to females.Add more confusion to the already mixed-up recipe, when you talk about girls lifting weights.
Here are the two myths I have cleared earlier on females:
There is another, and a more common myth, which simply refuses to die, the myth of ‘Muscle Toning’. The word ‘toning’ is often used in context of females simply to differentiate them from men, and also to make them realize as there is some different bodily mechanism in them, or some separate exercise for them being from a different sex.
Well, it’s been decades and this myth still continues, and worse, is being used by so called trainers and social media influencers. Before I clear this myth, I would really like to ask these trainers and influencers, are you using these fancy terms to attract clients, or you are using these words, because you yourself aren’t clear on this?
Females coming to me of course have all those universal mythical doubts in their mind, about building muscles if they lift heavy, or some special exercise for females etc. but this word is virtually in everyone’s mind, toning. ‘I want to tone my body’, or worse, ‘I want to tone my arms and thighs only’.
Let me clear this doubt once and for all. When you talk about resistance training or exercising, you are using your muscles. And, your muscles are blind. They do not understand the difference between female and male, or type of exercise, or the type of weight etc. There is no word ‘TONE’ which your muscles know about.Your muscles do just two things, i.e. Shrink or what you call atrophy, or grow,also called hypertrophy. There is no third term. Medically, muscle tone refers to how much a muscle is contracted at rest and has little to do with how a muscle looks.
What women actually means is that they want to build some lean muscles mass, strength and a bit of hypertrophy. For this effect, you need to put resistance on the muscles, to which it adapts to and grows bigger and stronger. On the other hand, if you do not use your muscles, then it will waste away or simply atrophy or shrink in size.
What women ideally want to have is fat loss, increase in muscle size (don’t worry you can’t grow big, you don’t have that amount of testosterone in the body) and gain strength. This is what women actually mean, when they use the word ‘toning’.
The problem is that all these myths are interlinked. For e.g. women using the word toning generally are afraid to lift heavy weights, because they fear, they will have a bulked up physique. But as I explained in the video and related blog, that women cannot build muscle size. As the prerequisite to gain in muscle size is the hormone testosterone, which is present in both men and women, but to a much lesser extent in women, because of which they can’t build the size in their muscles, even if they lift the same amount of weight as men. But they will have the necessary strength gain and fat loss. Check the video link above for more.
Now, because women get afraid of lifting heavy weights, they get into another myth of low weight and high reps. Which surprisingly is not just being promoted,but actually preached quite seriously by some fitness professionals, both online and offline.
Instead I tell everyone irrespective of sex to use just one word when working out i.e. ‘Strength’. Aim should be to get stronger in the gym. Remember, “stronger you will be, leaner you will be”.
Use of these stupid words like ‘toning’ not just misleads you, but keeps you away from right knowledge. This is in fact a classic way to assess whether the trainer or influencer you are following is fooling you or educating you.
Female fitness market is actually a more lucrative and easy to break in market.But it is also seen that most women still have this myth of building muscles because of lifting weights. So, the trainers and other fitness professionals, take the easy way out to let the clients remain misguided and just lure them into taking their services.
So, toning in simple terms is just building muscle, losing fat and gaining strength. There is no ‘man exercise’ or ‘women exercise’. Exercise is same for all sex and age, what differs is intensity and individual medical restrictions. Ladies, you want results, don’t be afraid of lifting heavy.
I am still searching for that idiot, who has colored the dumbbells pink in the gym.