Many doctors are now recommending strength-training activities such as weight lifting for people of all shapes, sizes and ages.
But before you get started, you’ll first need to conquer all those weight-lifting myths and stereotypes racing around in your head.
Myth 1: You’ll get huge unless you lift light weights.
The only way your muscles will burst the seams of your shirts is if you regularly do repetitions with extremely heavy weights — and if you have a body type that allows for the development of mega muscles. (Hint: Ectomorphs don’t.)
Myth 2: You’re the only one in the gym baffled by the equipment.
Nobody is born knowing how to operate the assisted-dip machine or how to perform a decline chest fly.
Myth 3: Weight lifting is dangerous.
If you try to hoist a 100-kilogram barbell overhead during your very first session, that might be dangerous. But if you use good technique and common sense, you’re likely to stay injury-free.
Myth 4: Thigh exercises will slim your thighs, and ab exercises will whittle your middle.
You can’t melt the fat off of any particular body part by performing exercises that target that area. There’s simply no such thing as spot-reducing.
Myth 5: Lifting weights won’t help you lose weight.
Lifting weights is an essential part of a weight-loss program. Developing muscle is the only way to boost your metabolism, which can help you lose fat and keep it off.
Myth 6: Free weights are for muscleheads, and machines are for beginners.
The free-weight room of a gym isn’t a special club for bodybuilders; novices are welcome there and should make a point of learning how to use dumbbells and barbells.