Fitness: The Skinny on Weights

Have you pumped iron lately? Here, some top myths and rumours surrounding cardio and weight training.

Ronaldo Isla, a personal trainer at GoodLife (Toronto) says that the number one myth surrounding exercise is that “cardio is the only way to lose weight and that weight training won’t help.”

Cardio is very important, but it is not the be all and end all of exercise- weight training offers huge benefits, especially for women.

Let’s assess some of the myths and rumours surrounding cardio and weight training.

Myth: Cardio is everything!

Truth: Cardio makes you burn fat. The problem is that cardio does not only burn fat it also burns muscle. When you burn muscle you are actually slowing down your metabolism. Those who workout need more than just cardio!

Myth: Weight training makes you bulky.

Truth: It might be hard to not have Arnold Schwarzenegger pop in your head while thinking about pumping iron — but this is not the reality behind weight training.

Training with weights will speed up your metabolism. How? Muscle is made of protein and protein is what triggers metabolism.

Unlike running, weight training will keep your metabolism sped up for a full twenty-four hours after your workout. That means you don’t have to feel quite so guilty for having those catered treats at the work party.

Muscle also burns fat. The more muscle you build — the more fat you burn.

Myth: Weight training is stressful on the body.

Truth: “Lifting is stressful to the body in a bad way? No!” says, Isla. Weight training has a number of benefits, “Weightlifting can and will increase, strength, endurance, flexibility, balance, coordination, power and confidence. Which hopefully can prolong life,” adds Isla.

Weight training also helps with stress. The action of lifting weights helps take focus off of those nagging thoughts.

Myth: Zoomers will not benefit from weight training.

Truth: Isla also suggests that weight training can help with osteoporosis, which is great news for women, especially as we grow older.

“Osteoporosis is inevitable, but the process can be slowed down [with the help of weight training]”

How? Weight training will increase bone density by stimulating bone cells, slowing the process of osteo.

How do I get started?

The best advice at the outset is to have a registered trainer help you achieve the right form and technique so you get the maximum benefit – and reduce any risk of injury. As well, a trainer can help design a workout program that will ensure you attain the physique you want.

If you don’t want to spend a whole wad of cash on a personal trainer, many gyms offer free consultations. You can use this time with a trainer to help set some practical goals and then you are well on your way!