Resistance Training – Debunking the Myths

Resistance training (strength training) has been largely misunderstood by so many people for decades, I suppose. There are several myths that I want to address in this article that have come to be part of some conversations concerning the merits and benefits of resistance training.


Conventional thinking used to suggest that seniors should not participate in any form of resistance or weight-bearing exercises at all for fear of breaking a bone or suffering a major injury of some kind. Obviously, this type of thinking is completely erroneous, given what we now know concerning the human body and physiology.

Fact #1

While a significant percentage of older Americans indeed suffer from Osteoporosis (Brittle Bone Syndrome), through the miracles of modern physical science we have realized that resistance training actually promotes/increases in bone density. Furthermore, you can continue building bone density at practically any age that permits physical activity. This is significant because the end result is less fractures from falls or accidents.


Working as a personal trainer for more than a decade now, I have spoken with women who’ve voiced concerns about becoming “muscle-bound” as a result of resistance training. Even today, when I suggest resistance training to women, I often hear, “no, I don’t want all those muscles. I just want to lose some weight.”

Fact #2

Although it is possible to pack on slabs of lean mass in the gym, this absolutely has to be the intent; otherwise, it’s not going to happen. In other words, in order to gain significant muscle mass, you have to utilize particular training methods and train with a great deal of intensity for a prolonged period of time. There are folks (competitive athletes and everyday people who are currently underweight) who would tell you that it can be incredibly hard to make significant muscle mass gains. I hear just as many young guys griping that they can’t seem to put on that weight as I hear people saying they can’t keep the weight off. To have the physique of a bodybuilder, you have to train like a bodybuilder trains.

Myth #3

There was a time when weight loss was thought to be attained only through some form of step aerobics, jogging, swimming, or other form of specifically aerobic activity. The prevailing thinking seemed to be that resistance training is used primarily for those seeking to gain weight. Why should I lift weights or perform resistance training if my goal is weight loss?

Fact #3

Circuit training is a form of resistance training performed at a pace that promotes the burning of stored body fat, intended to do two primary things:

· Decrease overall body fat / lose weight

· Strengthen and tone existing muscle tissue

This form of resistance training is so versatile, in that, it not only helps you lose weight and burn body fat, but it also allows for basic strength and definition gains. We now know through the wonders of modern science that muscle tissue requires more energy than fat. What’s the end result? The more lean mass you have on your frame, the more calories your body is capable of burning daily, even at rest. Circuit training is one of the most efficient forms of personal fitness training employed today because it allows for superlative results in a relatively minimal amount of time.