Strength Training Myths Every Woman Should Know

Janna Vorontsova 10974571_872349516121142_3052609456397368799_o

I hate almost ALL fitness marketing that’s geared at women.

If these marketers were telling the truth, they’d be saying things like:

“Want to tone, tuck, and tighten those abs? Don’t waste your time with this!”
“Want to banish that belly fat? This ab coaster won’t help!”
“Want to get stronger? You’re gonna need to pick up something heavier than this!”

In every issue of practically every women’s fitness magazine, you’re presented with a new workout that promises crazy results in minutes a day by ‘toning muscles’ with light weights and crazy equipment.

You’re promised super-foods that specifically target belly fat, and ab workouts, butt workouts, and thigh workouts that are designed to “tighten those problem areas.”

All of this lingo makes me want to vomit. And I haven’t vomited in a long time (I’d like to keep that streak going).

Women shouldn’t lift heavy or they’ll get bulky

You all have seen those pink dumbbell.

Gwyneth Paltrow’s trainer makes sure that Gweneth doesn’t pick up anything more than 3 lbs.

…because she doesn’t want Gwyneth to get too bulky. (or dudes apparently!)

Which means, I guess, Gweneth isn’t allowed to pick up groceries, mov

e a chair, carry her child, or do pretty much anything.

This is the biggest myth in all of female training, and it makes me want to punch a hole in the wall.


You know those women bodybuilders who look really bulky? They eat, train, and take supplements specifically so they can look like that! They’ve probably been working towards that goal for years and years.

Here’s the truth: when you pick up heavy things, your muscles get STRONGER (but not necessarily bigger). If you pump yourself full of testosterone and eat way more calories than you are burning every day, you will get bigger.

If you pick up heavy things, and eat a caloric deficit (and eat the right kinds of food – actual healthy foods), your muscles will get stronger and denser; you will burn the fat on top of your muscle, and you will get that “toned” look that you’re after.

I have been weight lifting for the past 17 years and pick up very heavy things. How heavy? I deadlift 200lbs. I bench press with 50lbs dumbbells, you got the picture. I weigh 140lbs and wear a size US2.

Would you call me bulky? Or would you say “I would love to look like that!”

Here’s how it works: Picking up light weights for 20+ repetitions builds muscular endurance; it does not build tight, dense, strong muscle.

So, want to look damn good AND be strong? Pick up heavy things. And continually force yourself to pick up heavier and heavier things as you get stronger.