Over the last 20 years, a great deal of information has been published about exercise and nutrition in magazines, the internet and self-help books. Prior to this, few exercise magazines were in existence. There are many fitness magazines which workout people go to for exercise information. Now that weight training has been acknowledged as a great way to get in shape, many self proclaimed experts jumped on the opportunity to exploit the fitness public to make a dollar. Unfortunately many of these experts have hardly exercised before.
Some are downright fat! They don’t work out! Or don’t work out right, anyway! If they can’t get in shape themselves, how can anything they say be credible?
One fitness expert that practices what he preaches and writes about is Canada’s John Cardillo Premier Fitness workout and nutrition expert. We asked John Cardillo to weigh in on some of today’s most misunderstood fitness myths:
MYTH: Working out with weights is not a good idea for women due to the fact that they will start to develop an over muscles manly looking body.
John Cardillo: The myth that females who workout with weights will develop manly muscles is impossible and scientifically debunked. There are several reasons why women cannot build large muscles; most notably that women have very low levels of the testosterone hormone, a factor that restricts how much muscular size they can develop. When we see a woman heavily muscled like a male, it must be noted that for a woman to build such large muscles other factors are coming into play such as performance enhancing drugs and extraordinary genetics to increase muscle size. Sadly women’s bodybuilding relies on steroids and other performance enhancing drugs to the same degree as male bodybuilders.
Working out with weights will allow women to enhance their muscles and with a proper diet their fat cells will reduce in size. A woman’s anatomy is similar to a man’s, in that each muscle can be exercised to look toned and “in shape.” Without the use of anabolic steroids, a female cannot build bulky muscle. The best results working out can deliver is a firm, lean, toned, sleek body without fat covering the muscle, under the skin. Working out will improve a female’s body, because it will help her develop shapely buttocks, thighs, hips and upper body. As a bonus, most women who start a weight training program reduce in size, since muscle cells are more compact than fat cells. Even with a gain of 10 pounds of muscle and a loss of 10 pounds of body fat (therefore remaining the same body weight), a female will look a lot smaller and fitter.
High reps should be performed if you want to tone your body, because performing low reps will add bulk to you.
John Cardillo: The myth that high reps increases definition and that doing low reps will help build bulky muscles is scientifically impossible. Muscle definition can only be achieved with proper diet and increased aerobic activity, rather than the number of repetitions performed. Also, if you think about the effort needed to lift 100 lbs for ten reps versus 50 lbs for twenty reps. More calories will be burned lifting the heavier weight because it is more taxing on our body. Because of individual hereditary differences people have proven to respond differently to weight training.
There are some who develop a thick muscular body, while some add very little muscle, staying thin regardless of how much training they do. Genetics play a major role in muscular development. However, what is most important in developing an athletic muscular physique is the intensity with which one trains and the proper repetition range. Hi-Intensity weight training has been proven to produce the best muscular gains when the repetition ranges between 8 and 12.
What is certain is that when performing a maximum of 10 repetitions with heavier resistance, to muscular failure you will achieve more muscular growth. As far as muscular definition is concerned, the key is to monitor your food intake for the purpose of not adding body fat. Keeping your fat levels low will make you look more muscular and contribute to a state of premier fitness
Weight Training leads to loss of flexibility and a state referred to as “muscle-bound”.
Achieving a muscular physique is not an easy endeavor just because a person starts working out. Years of hard weight training combined with the right genetics are needed to accomplish some modest muscular gains. There is no scientific evidence that muscular size reduces flexibility. There are some muscular lifters who may have inferior flexibility and other muscular lifters that may have superior flexibility. Genetics play a major role in this along with the system of training that the lifter is following. Lifters who perform less than full extension and full contraction movements will overtime reduce their flexibility. However lifters that continue to perform full extension and full contraction movements will actually increase their range of motion and flexibility. As an example lifters who do not extend their arms fully down when performing a Dumbbells curl will start to experience less range of motion as the biceps muscles increase in size. The opposite is also true with lifters performing Dumbbells curls to full extension and full contraction. As the biceps muscles grow their range of motion will not diminish. As an added precaution, a good practice is to stretch a muscle before and after