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Jess 1 and other instructors tell us all the time that we need to take both cardio and weight training classes to lose weight and become healthier.

Many of us have or have had reservations about weight training. Years ago, I used worry that weight training would give me bulky, manly muscles. I also worried that I would hurt myself if I did an exercise wrong. After years of lifting weights and taking toning classes, I can tell you (and show you) that lifting weights does not bulk you up and once you do learn proper form, you don’t have to be afraid of weights.

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There are a few myths about weight and resistance training that nearly everyone has believed at some point. Although Jess 1 does debunk some of them during classes, take a look at the ones listed below and maybe you will feel more comfortable taking a weight training class or two.

Myth: Weight training is not useful for anyone overweight
Truth: Weight training helps to increase muscle mass, which helps increase your metabolism. Energizing muscle mass requires more calories than energizing fat tissue. Therefore, the more muscle mass you have the more calories your body will burn.

Myth: Weight training is bad for your bones
Truth: Though you may feel soreness when beginning weight training, weight training is not bad for your bones. Weight training, especially high intensity training, can actually stimulate osteogenesis and increase bone mineral density. Many people will tell you that they had knee or back problems before beginning weight training and after sticking with it, the pain subsided. Weight training can build muscles up and help take the strain off your bones.

Myth: Weight training, especially with heavy resistance, is a bad idea for women since it will make them “bulky”
Truth: Just like men, women do not bulk up just because they lift a few weights. It would take years and years of intense training and eating the right diet to become bulky. Your instructors can attest to this. Taking a resistance class two times a week will not bulk you up, but it will help you tighten and tone your muscles.

Myth: Training with light weights and higher repetitions is better for “toning” muscles
Truth: The fact is weight training is weight training. You should always challenge yourself. Lifting less weight won’t help you move up to that next level and you will stop seeing results.

Also, trying to “spot-treat” an area on your body won’t really work. For example, doing 100 sit ups won’t get you a six-pack abs any faster than progressively working on your core and cutting down fat.

Myth: Weight training is damaging to the joints
Truth: Like the myth about weight training being bad for your bones, weight training tends to alleviate joint pain as opposed to not exercising. Alternately, doing lots of cardio and skipping the weights, won’t save your joints. Running and dancing constantly can actually be harder on your joints than balancing your workout.

In summary: train with weights, take TNT class on Tuesdays, challenge yourself and take R.I.P.P.E.D. on Saturdays and Mondays. Your body will thank you later.

Information for this article came from muscleandstrength.com.