Rebeccah Chase and Marisa Zamrock, Exercise Specialists, RehabFit
Posted on January 9th, 2018 by Speare Memorial Hospital

Strength Training with Weights: The Myths and the Facts

By Rebeccah Chase and Marisa Zamrock, Exercise Specialists, RehabFit

strength training with rehabfit fitness center in plymouth nh

If you haven’t started lifting weights, it may be because you have run into some of the myths about strength training. Read on to dismiss these myths and get the facts. For both women and men, taking time each week to build your strength can help you live a more healthy and independent life.

Myth: Strength training will make my muscles look too big and I don’t want to be bulky.

  • Fact: The common misconception about strength training is that it is primarily used by men looking to increase their muscles. Strength training is just like any other form of exercise – meaning that we can create a program to reach your individual goals.

2. Myth: You’ll see results instantly.

  • Fact: Gaining strength takes time and commitment. In order to see results, you should strength train for at least two days per week for eight weeks.

3. Myth: I’m too old to lift weights.

  • Fact: Strength training is beneficial at any age and can improve balance and coordination, increase strength, flexibility, confidence, and reduce risk of falling. Talk to your physician before taking part in a strength training program.

4. Myth: I don’t need to lift weights, I’m as strong as I need to be.

  • Fact: Without exercise, men and women start losing muscle mass and strength in their 30’s. Men and women can lose up to 7 pounds of muscle every 10 years! The good news is, this can be counteracted with exercise and a healthy lifestyle.

5. Myth: I don’t have time for strength training.

  • Fact: Strength training can take as little as 20 minutes, twice a week! Remember: it’s not about having time, it’s about making time!

6. Myth: Muscle turns to fat if you stop lifting weights.

  • Fact: Muscle and fat are two different types of tissue and one cannot be turned into the other. Frequent strength training will require an increase in calorie consumption (we need fuel to exercise). If you stop strength training but keep eating the same amount of calories, you may gain weight.

7. Myth: Strength training does not burn as many calories as cardiovascular exercise.

  • Fact: Muscle mass requires energy (calories) all day, even when you are resting! Strength training increases muscle mass and in turn your resting metabolism.

8. Myth: Strength training is bad for the joints.

  • Fact: Strength training will increase the strength of the muscles surrounding joints that can, in turn, decrease joint pain and reduce the risk of a joint injury. Also, increasing muscle strength can increase bone mass density, increase lubrication of the joints and reduce joint swelling and pain due to arthritis. If you have joint pain or an injury we recommend you talk to your doctor before starting strength training in the affected area.

For both men and women, the natural erosion of muscle and strength that comes with aging leads directly to weak bones, stiff joints, and a slumped posture and increases your risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, and a host of other issues. Women, on average, starting in their late 20s, lose 5 pounds of muscle every 10 years;  after menopause that loss doubles — creating a 3% drop in metabolism — per decade. The end result is almost always the same: weight gain and weakness. But the right weight workout can prevent and/or undo the damage.

For more information, call 603-238-2225 today.

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