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Myth: “Lifting heavy weights will make you bulky like a man!” Truth: Science has proven that women only produce a tiny fraction (around 5-7% according to Medline Plus) of the growth hormones men do. That means that even if you lift just as heavy as a man and at the same volume, your body will simply not have the necessary amounts of testosterone to get even close to the same muscle development as a man. That woman you saw at the gym with veins popping out of her forehead and a frame larger than the dude next to her? Chances are she had a little artificial help.

Myth: “Lots of reps with 3-pound dumbbells will give you long, lean muscles!” Truth: To get a “toned” body, women need to work a whole lot harder than doing 20 bicep curls with a pink rubber dumbbell that looks like a toy. To get that toned, lean look you need to build muscle and lose fat, which will not be achieved unless you achieve hypertrophy. Substantial hypertrophy will not take place unless you place a considerable amount of resistance on your muscles to force them to grow. Some science further suggests that there are two types of hypertrophy; myofibrillar and sarcoplasmic. According to this theory, the application of strictly high reps leads to sarcoplasmic hypertrophy; in explanation a sort of “empty swelling” of the muscle cells that lead to a larger appearance without power and density. On the other hand, low reps lead to the opposite – myofibrillar hypertrophy – which supposedly build dense, strong muscles with smaller volume.

Myth: “Women should do lots of cardio to burn fat and get lean!” Truth: While a certain amount of cardio training can help you burn fat and lose weight, you will not achieve optimal results without also applying strength training. While doing only cardio and watching your diet you may cause you to lose weight, those decreasing numbers on the scale are likely to be partly caused by muscle loss. If you’re truly looking to get firm and lean fast, pair a moderate amount of cardio (especially HIIT, which preserves muscle mass) with substantial resistance training. The increased muscle mass will speed up your metabolism and burn calories even after your workout is over, and, you’ll eventually end up with a smaller, tighter frame than if you were only doing cardio.

Video of our EDGE athlete Amber Callahan

Have you heard any more myths lately that you want us to debunk? Bring them on! Comment below and tell us your favorite pet peeve!


Ingrid Romero

Ingrid Romero Team edge contest prep

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