the joy of strength training


April 3rd, 2009 at 3:44 pm

Mythbusters! The best of the web

“The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie – deliberate, contrived and dishonest – but the myth – persistent, persuasive and unrealistic”.
– John F Kennedy

jessica biel fightingHow true this is of fitness! One of the missions of this site is to bust those persistent training myths and break open the issues so that people can make their own informed decisions.

Today I want to highlight some of the best mythbusting articles around the web. Each article deals with different types of myths, from the obvious to the esoteric. For many of you these articles will be preaching to the choir, but if you have ever had trouble convincing your friends it helps to have a good argument to hand.

I’ll be willing to bet however that there will be some myths you haven’t considered recently. You may not even realised that they could be myths! Perhaps you won’t agree with everything these intrepid warriors say, but the interesting part is reading and considering their views. In training as in many things in life there is more than one way to get the results you want and keeping an open mind is a good way to proceed.

Ten training myths exposed! by Joe DeFranco
DeFranco attacks the most persistent of gym myths very well. He also tackles a couple of more controversial areas, myths such as “Athletes shouldn’t bench press because it’s not sport specific” and “Olympic lifts are the only way to get explosive.” He backs up his views well.

Mythbusters volume 1 from Nate Green at T-Nation
A clever idea for an article which turns out to be a thought provoking read. Does unstable surface training serve a purpose? Do you know how much stress your body can take? Read Eric Cressey, Dave Tate and others busting more unusual myths.

Lies in the gym from Stumptuous
Any self respecting strength training website these days has the obligatory mythbusting article about why weight training is fine for women. It is sometimes difficult to make this argument convincingly without sounding pompous or patronising, especially if you are a musclely bloke yourself. Fortunately there is Stumptuous, one of the first and still the funniest of this particular type of mythbuster. As a completely normal-sized woman herself, she is able to put forward a forceful and convincing argument without sounding smug.

The six biggest reasons you must train your legs from Gym Junkies
Okay it’s not exactly a myth but the reluctance of most men to train their legs is comparable to the reluctance of most women to pick up a weight that is heavier than their handbag. This article is short and to the point, and provides some great ammunition the next time your mate tells you he doesn’t need to squat or deadlift.

Weight training myths from British Weightlifting
This article busts many commonly heard myths by looking at the research and evidence behind the issues. Several of the myths deal with children and weight lifting and also the ‘weights make you slow’ issue which is not often tackled. The language is a tad clinical but it is nice to read something a little different.

Which myths have you heard in your gym lately? Do you have a favourite mythbuster?

More like this

Age-related inspiration from Ross Enamait’s blog: you’re never to old to train!

Why women should train with weights

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  • 1

    Good stuff, Sally, (right?)…I especially like the one from the gym junkies about training legs…must do! Also, if you want to get bigger up top (shoulders, arms, back) training your legs will help get you there.

    Love your site…keep ’em coming!

    PS: My mythbuster: “I’m too old to lift weights…”

    [If you’re old enough to use that as an excuse, you can’t afford NOT to lift, and the sooner you start the better. Doesn’t have to be heavy ironworks…light or medium loads will add to anyone’s fitness/health. My qualifications? I’m looking at 60 this year and lift three times a week…and I’ve never felt better, stronger or healthier.]

    Thaks again for the post!

    Fred on April 4th, 2009
  • 2

    Fred, you make an excellent point about age and lifting weights! In fact, I’ve not seen a ‘mythbusting’ post specifically about age so perhaps that is still to be written.

    Ross Enamait however regularly posts inspiring articles and videos on his blog of awesome strength and conditioning in the older generation. I have added the link to the article above and it is also here:
    Thanks for making the point.

    gubernatrix on April 4th, 2009
  • 3

    My favorite myth is fitness shoes 🙂 Nice padding under heel and run baby, run… That’s the way we are supposed to run right ? With shoes and drive through heels. Or not ?
    Check out this

    And also all of Brian Mackenzie’s videos/articles

    Petr on April 4th, 2009
  • 4

    My favourite myths have to be the ones which make claims that lifting affects the woman’s uterus (or surrounding ligaments) in some way. Gender specific and doesn’t affect any other organ system in the body – just the uterus!

    rooroo on April 4th, 2009
  • 5

    @ Petr: interesting point. Although a common topic among Crossfitters I’d say this thinking was still cutting-edge where fitness in general is concerned. Good article from Crossfit Delaware – I’ll be adding that to my Links page.

    @ rooroo: yup, if that one is true then I am completely screwed! Do you know how it came about in the first place? Is it something that people get taught or is it just a myth that is kicking around from no-one-knows-where?

    gubernatrix on April 7th, 2009
  • 6

    @rooroo: You’d think the uterus would be ideally suited to weight training. Think of all the pushing it’s designed to do!

    lelak on April 7th, 2009
  • 7

    I’ve been training in a group with a trainer lately. I LOVE it when I am curling the same weight as the guys. They finally noticed that last night….he he. They can do more pushups than me but I will catch up. Give me time.

    Mikey on April 9th, 2009
  • 8

    Way to go Mikey! You can definitely catch up on the pushups, it’s just practise. Also I find if you also practise harder versions too (e.g. with feet raised) then the normal pushups seem really easy!

    gubernatrix on April 11th, 2009
  • 9

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