Muscle Myths

  I was recently chatting with a colleague who told me she wanted to tone her arms for an upcoming wedding in which she’s a bridesmaid. I told her that she should start to lift weights regularly and that I could show her a few exercises if she wanted. “I don’t want to lift weights!” she bemoaned. “I don’t want my arms to get huge!”

For some reason that I have yet to determine, I’ve heard this worry from women multiple times. I don’t know if some women associate lifting weights with men and see those same men with big muscles and come to the conclusion that they too will have the same muscles as a man if they lift weights. But it just doesn’t work that way. Rarely, if ever, will a woman gain the same muscle mass as a man does and even then it would be because she’s specifically trying to bulk up by taking supplements and/or following a very specific diet/heavy weight lifting regime.

I happened to be wearing a sleeveless blouse that day and so I asked my colleague if she thought my arms were muscular (this was a humbling question as I like to think my arms are very toned and am quite proud of them, but I also know that they don’t look muscular in a bulky, “man muscle” way). She looked at my arms and said, “No…” I told her I could probably curl 30lbs with one arm. Her eyebrows shot up and she said, “Really?!?” “Really,” I said. “And strength training is a great way to keep healthy, especially as you get older.” (She’s 25 and constantly frets about being “old.”) I went on to say that if she wants to tone her arms, she should buy a resistance band instead of 2lb weights (that she was going to buy) because then you are working against your own strength so you won’t outgrow a resistance band the same way you would weights.

We ended the conversation with her saying she was going to run to Target and buy a resistance band and me telling her some exercises she could do to tone her arms.

(Resistance Band Arm Exercises.)

Tune in tomorrow for: Part 2 – My colleague does an exercise and mentions – Muscle Myths #2

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