Being a woman in the world of fitness is relatively recent. Perhaps that's why some of the biggest myths in sport are related to women's athletic performance.
It was especially from the 1980s onwards, when actress, activist, writer, model and businesswoman Jane Fonda released her famous exercise videos, that most women began to exercise . Fonda's videos encouraged women to train at home , engaging in a more aerobic workout. In other words, they included activities that worked large muscle groups over an extended and rhythmic period of time, such as dancing, running or walking over long distances. Great emphasis was also placed on localized gymnastics , influencing and directing more and more women to group classes in gyms and similar spaces.
Even though 3 decades have passed and giant steps have been taken towards greater emancipation of women, some myths about women's sport prevail. The idea still remains that group classes and exercises without weights are more aimed at women and bodybuilding training is reserved for men.
The 5 main myths of women's sport
It is very interesting to analyze the social stigmas still associated with this topic. Despite more and more women practicing physical exercise , there are still many prejudices and myths in women's sport that need to be clarified. Shall we analyze them together?
1. The gym is a space reserved for perfect women and muscular men
“I'm embarrassed to train in a gym, surrounded by perfect bodies.” This is one of the first thoughts many of us have when considering training in a gym . There is no doubt that we are greatly influenced by what we see on the Internet, especially on social media. In fact, just search for “women in fitness” to see, in the results, muscular women with perfect bodies . But the truth is that, in most gyms, 90% of women have absolutely common and “normal” bodies.
The stigma that women should not mix with men in the gym and that they should stay away from “their territory”: the “weight zone” is also still very present. The idea of going to this area to train alone is still a huge taboo for many women. The presence of a personal Trainer plays a fundamental role in overcoming all these fears and stigmas.
2. To lose weight, the most effective way is aerobic training
This is, in my opinion as a professional in the field, one of the biggest myths in sport . All those hours spent on the treadmill, hoping tolose weight , are wasted time in your life. Cardiovascular training is important, but in moderate doses and always combined with strength/functional training . This is excellent for losing fat mass , making us lose calories up to 24 hours after running, thanks to the so-called EPOC ( Excess Post Exercise Oxygen Consumption ).
3. Weight training leaves the female body too muscular
Girls, this is a giant myth ! Bodybuilding/functional training is good for all of us, from 0 to 100 years old! For us women, it is extremely difficult to grow muscle . We can, and should, do bodybuilding/functional training, as it has many benefits for our muscular and osteoarticular health . It prepares our body for everything and, as we have seen, it is an excellent ally for weight loss . Paulo Gentil states that, when associated with a change in eating habits, the effect of weight training is twice as high as that of aerobic activities for weight loss.
4. Intensive training doesn’t require you to pay attention to your diet
Training is not enough to achieve results! In addition to training, it is really important to check whether you are taking care of your diet . One of the biggest myths in sports is that, because you train more, you don't need to follow a strict eating plan.
And the training? Are you really doing the right exercises for you? Ask a sports professional for help and you will certainly see results faster. Photographically recording the entire process is an excellent tool for measuring your progress and also for motivating yourself.
5. To lose belly fat you have to do a lot of sit-ups
Here's another great sports myth ! The belly is not miraculously lost when doing sit-ups. Our body works as a whole, therefore, we have to do exercises that involve the entire body. One of the best training methods to lose belly fat is HIIT – High Intensity Interval Training.
Demystifying these and other prejudices and myths regarding women's sport is very important to help you improve your training performance . Visit the Oito.Um blog and follow some of the best tips about sport.