While most of us know that weight training is a key component of a balanced fitness regimen, there are still some common misconceptions that prevent us from achieving the results we desire.
Misconception #1: Cardio, Not Weights, Burns Calories
Quite the opposite is true. Consistent strength training builds lean muscle, which in turn increases the rate at which the body burns calories. So don’t hesitate to select heavier weights in class to challenge the big muscle groups (think chest, legs, and back) and keep your body’s furnace firing for hours.
Misconception #2: Heavy Weights Make Huge Muscles
Not necessarily. Strength training on a regular basis with heavy weights builds lean and toned (not bulky) muscles. Lean muscles not only look amazing, but also support healthy posture and increase cardiovascular endurance.
Misconception #3: Strength Training is Not a Critical Part of Aging Gracefully
Actually, a strong, muscular foundation helps create a resilient frame that is more resistant to falls and injury. Building muscle helps increase bone density and prevent diseases such as osteoporosis, and keeps you moving through the decades. Don’t let getting older be an excuse for putting down that barbell. Even if you’ve never done much strength training before, it’s never too late to start.
Ready to Lift Heavy? Let’s Go!
Get excited to grab those bigger weights, but remember that you don’t need to lift the heaviest weights in the room on Day One! Start modestly with 5-7 lbs. heavier than you usually would for large muscle groups (legs, back, and chest) and 2-5 lbs. heavier than usual for smaller muscle groups (upper body).
If the going gets tough, don’t hesitate to finish your workout with lighter weights. Strength training takes time and consistency. With some patience and hard work (plus help from your group fitness instructor or personal trainer), lifting that heavier barbell will be a piece of cake!
Recommended PRO Group Fitness Classes
- Barbell STRONG
- Fit Lab
- Ultimate Legs
- Ultimate Arms
- IGNITE (PRO Seattle only)
- Total Body SHRED!
- Ultimate 6-Pack
By Caroline Fleming, Group Fitness Instructor at PRO Club in Bellevue
Caroline began teaching group fitness classes in 2003. She especially enjoys the fun and challenging workout that step provides and welcomes all fitness levels into her classes. In addition to teaching group fitness, Caroline enjoys running, traveling, and spending time with her family.