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5 Unhealthy Weightlifting Myths You Need To Stop Believing

An expert debunks the myths and states the facts.

Did you know that lifting weights is literally good for the heart and soul? In fact, research published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that a weight-lifting regimen combined with aerobic exercise can lower your risk of early mortality by up to 41%! Whether you're a newbie or a pro, some things you may have heard about weightlifting are absolutely false, and we're here to debunk five weightlifting myths and state the facts.

Weightlifting provides a wealth of progressive benefits to your overall wellness. According to a study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 30.2% of adults across the country perform muscle-strengthening workouts, including weightlifting, at least two times per week. Not only can weights help build or improve your physique, but there are a ton more paybacks for your precious time and hard work.

Lifting weights can help build lean muscle mass and make you much stronger, the Mayo Clinic reports. This form of physical activity will give your metabolism a real kick, too, which is advantageous for weight loss. It also builds bone density, a key to avoiding osteoporosis as you age.

Your heart and soul as mentioned earlier? According to a study published in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports Exercise, weightlifting for less than 60 minutes each week can decrease your chance of suffering from a stroke or heart attack by 40% to 70%. Associate professor of kinesiology, DC (Duck-chul) Lee, explained in a statement, "People may think they need to spend a lot of time lifting weights, but just two sets of bench presses that take less than five minutes could be effective."

We spoke with Matt Morris, Master Trainer & Programming Manager, NASM-CPT, at Burn Boot Camp who provides us with five weightlifting myths. When you head to the weight room, you'll know all the facts!

Myth #1: All reps are created equal.

woman lifting weights, red backdrop

On the contrary, all reps are not created equal. Morris tells us, "All strength exercises need to move through the full range of motion to illicit maximum muscle results. Half reps or bad reps with bad form will never equal a quality full range of motion rep."

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Myth #2: You'll bulk up overnight.

fitness man lifting a barbell on the beach

Overnight is meant for sleepovers and oats. When it comes to weights, it's all about patience and consistency!

If your goal is to build lean muscle that's good quality and lasts, it will happen with hard work and dedication. But it will not happen in a few short weeks or months. It's a process that occurs over years. Advice from Morris?  "Chase the process, not outcomes."

Myth #3: You need to perform weight lifting every day in order to see results.

workout planner

It's essential to build in recovery days each week in order to notice results. After all, recovery is a crucial part of the overall process and your success.

"Recovering properly through sleep, hydration, and an adequate amount of proper macronutrient calories are the drivers of building the muscle you are breaking down during each [weight lifting] session. No recovery will mean you are not maximizing your results over time," Morris advises.

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Myth #4: You need to lift weights for 1 ½ to 2 hours per day for results.

man lifting heavy dumbbells, concept weight lifting myths

Everyone seems to have a crazy schedule these days, which makes making your time spent at the gym as efficient as possible. Morris explains, "Intensity in your strength training should be the main driver of all strength training workouts. Forty-five minutes to 60 minutes is all you need to see those strength gains, but those 45 to 60 minutes need to be intense!"

Myth #5: Doing more exercises in each weight-lifting workout yields more results.

woman barbell lunge

The aspiration of weight lifting is to achieve strength and build muscle. In order to get stronger, it's essential to continue making headway with your exercises, but you can't accomplish them in each workout.

Morris suggests, "Choose four to six exercises per body part, stick to those to see progression in the amount weight used/reps completed, and then choose four to six different ones a couple of months later. Not 10 to 12 at a time."

Alexa Mellardo
Alexa is the Mind + Body Deputy Editor of Eat This, Not That!, overseeing the M+B channel and delivering compelling fitness, wellness, and self-care topics to readers. Read more about Alexa
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