Lifting weight is one of the best, most rewarding and safest activities one can engage in to stay healthy and fit.
A popular as it got in recent years, many still refrain from it due to unjustified fears and limiting beliefs.
In order to defend lifting's good name, I'm here to debunk 3 big myths that will help you get started with a peaceful mind, knowing you're doing the right thing.
Weightlifting has become quite a popular these days, and with good reason.
Lifting can fulfill the average beginner's dreams - Strength, looks, a sense of accomplishment - all those and more can be achieved by hitting the iron. Lifting weights is now embraced in all professional sports as well.
Today, you will not see a single pro athlete that doesn't spend at least twice a week at the weight room, no matter the sport.
“A strong building must be build upon strong foundations”
Unfortunately, many people today associate weightlifting with bodybuilding - a sport that is aesthetics-oriented by definition and has nothing to do with functional movement or health whatsoever.
As a coach, one of the most common reasons I hear from people to not lift weight is that they are afraid to look like a bodybuilder. In truth, there is minimal connection between the two, and the chances one will accidentally look like a bodybuilder is close to zero, but more on that later.
The second reason I often see, is people don't want to have large muscles.
Similar but not identical to the first reason, lifting weights does not necessarily mean large muscles.
The focus on this "side effect" of weightlifting leads to missing out on the amazing benefits lifting weights has: improvement of stability, intermuscular coordination, bone density, strength, and longevity are just a few examples. The third reason people avoid the weight room is fear of injury. As someone who lives and works in gyms for 10 years now, injury is a common thing, yes.
However, I find that injury is rarely due to the sport and more often the practitioner's fault. Truth be told, lifting weights is one of the safest activities out there. Even more than jogging.
So, I want to break those myths for you, set a few facts straight, and show you weightlifting can actually be an amazing, powerful, and even meditative experience:
The face of pleasure.
Myth 1: Weightlifting is NOT Bodybuilding
So you walked into the free lifting area of the gym a few times and saw a bunch of sweaty, jacked, huge "Bros" puffing and huffing, posing and checking themselves out in the mirror obsessively. , You might have thought to yourself: "Oh god, lifting weights is for such meatheads, I don't ever want to look like those guys."
I don't blame you if you feel uncomfortable or even intimidated by these guys.
I was too at the beginning of my lifting career.
Well, firstly if it makes you feel better - usually, the bigger the bodybuilder the nicer they are. But putting that aside, I can see how one might refrain from looking like a sweaty cloud made of human flesh.
I assume you are into sports for one or more of the following reasons: Function, Health, or looks.
The entire goal of bodybuilding as a sport is increasing muscle mass.
That is a hard thing to do as of itself and requires much discipline and persistence, but it is by no means a function or health-oriented sport.
By thinking weightlifting = bodybuilding, you are focusing on one thing you can potentially do with weights.
You are also ignoring many amazing things you can do with weights.
One can use weights in various ways, and perform functional patterns and exercises to support movement capabilities that are otherwise harder to achieve.
Weights are the means, Bodybuilding is a goal.
Myth 2: Weightlifting Makes You Bulky
Your body is a direct expression of your daily movement patterns.
If you are an avid couch potato, your body will look accordingly. If you swim a lot, you will have a body of a swimmer. Simple as that.
Since many affiliate weightlifting to bodybuilding, many are afraid to end up looking like one if they lift too many weights. A bodybuilder's lifestyle is dedicated to growing muscle mass and burning fat, meaning the entire goal of their training, nutrition, lifestyle, and way of thinking is towards that end.
Their entire being is and essence is aesthetically oriented and is dedicated to, well, getting big, ripped, and fit.
Moreover, getting to the level in which you look like a human cloud requires years upon years of living that lifestyle, consistently. In other words, to get bulky, you need to have the intention to get bulky.
If your life goals are not to bulk up, and you are not aiming for that goal trust me, you won't get bulked up. There is no chance in hell you will find yourself looking like Phil Heath by accident.
If you lift weights 3 times a week, and your goal is simply to preserve health, look better, and be a bit stronger, you are most likely to look something like this:
Not too bad isn't it?
Myth 3: Weightlifting is Dangerous
As in any practice of sport and movement discipline, injuries are an integral part of the cycle.
It is likely that sometime throughout your training career, you will get some sort of injury.
Most common injuries may include: Muscle pulls, Mechanical inflammations, Bulged Discs, Cartilage degeneration, Ligament pulls, and the like.
Most weightlifting-related injuries are usually not because weight-lifting is dangerous. In fact, weightlifting, when done following proper technique and workloads is one of the safest ways to train. Most injuries are caused by either a wrong movement being repeated over time or by a certain muscular imbalance in our body. This can be usually avoided with proper guidance from a good coach, and by complementing your training with adequate sleep and nutrition.
Done properly, lifting weights can be not only sustainable but actually an amazing time saver.
with only three hours of weightlifting a week, one can see stupendously positive results at early stages.
One just gotta do it right.
Weightlifting is an amazing tool to gain health, vitality, function, and looks.
The bodybuilding culture that brought it to popularity also gave it a bad rep that made the average joe/jane abstain from it because of fear of bulking up.
However, weightlifting is very different from bodybuilding and, a variety of outcomes can result of doing it.
Weightlifting really is for everyone: it is safe, challenging, and overall offers an amazing return for the effort.
With a good guide, anyone can use weightlifting to reach amazing results in minimum time.