Satu is a Personal Trainer specialising in resistance training. She is passionate about helping people and especially women find their way (and their confidence) in the world of fitness. We know there is a lot of pressure on having a particular kind of body. This, plus lots of misinformation about fitness and exercise, makes it a confusing space and it can be hard to know what’s real, what’s not and where to start. We are taking it back to what fitness is all about, looking after your body and mind. Satu is answering our most pressing fitness-based questions in this ‘Ask Satu’ Series.

Can you debunk any of the myths around resistance training?

Myth 1. There’s a best age to get into resistance training

In my opinion, no. It’s a bit like anything, there’s never a good time. Any day is the best day to start.*

I like the quote of ‘is this just one day or is this day one?’ because any day can be Day One. Everyone has to start from somewhere. No one should feel embarrassed if they have to ask questions about being the newbie. I appreciate that resistance training is often seen as a ‘man’s game’ and stepping into the gym can feel quite intimidating. Especially if you start talking about free weights, dumbbells, and bars and so forth, and you feel you don’t understand what is going on. I know that can feel scary and therefore people put it off. 

But I would like to say that it’s never too late. So, if you are thinking that ‘I’m already in my 50s, it’s too late to start’. That’s also not true. However, if you are in your 30s -NOW is a GREAT time to start. The earlier you start, the easier it is to combat the changes of growing old, whether you are a man or a woman. 

*Satu advises that, physiologically, it is recommended that you’d be over 15 for growth reasons.

Myth 2. Resistance training makes you bulky

I would say that you actually have to do a lot of work to get big.  It’s not possible to just turn up to the gym two days a week and then all of a sudden, bulk up! We would all be in some kind of fitness competition if that was the case! Lifting weights does not make people bulky. It can make people strong, but it won’t make them bulky. It is a massive commitment to actually look like a fitness model and it won’t happen to most of us. 

Myth 3. Girls can’t do pull ups

Absolutely not true. If you put your mind to it and if you find out the right training methods, then you can achieve a pull up or whatever the fitness goal is. 

Myth 4. There are ladies’ push ups

There are no different push ups for men or women. There are easier versions and harder versions depending on people’s strength. Pick the right modification for you, train consistently, and everyone can do a “full” push up. 

Myth 5. Crunches help you to get visible abs 

We all have abs. They just might not be visible yet! Crunches are not the best method for gaining a strong core, and you cannot spot reduce fat in one specific area. “Abs are made in the kitchen” is an old saying but it has a lot of truth in it. You can change your body composition at the gym AND in the kitchen to have visible abs. 

Myth 6. You have to do yoga to get flexible

There are several benefits to weight training, and mobility is actually one of them. You do not need to perform endless stretches to gain flexibility and mobility. Research shows that with the right training you can improve your mobility and flexibility through resistance training. For instance, there are several lifts that put functional demands on your mobility – ankle, hip and back for example, and with the right training programme you will not only see improvements in strength but also in mobility. 

Myth 7. You have to eat protein straight after to ensure muscle gains 

Whilst research shows an ideal window for consuming protein after resistance training, it is not that strict! Consuming protein within 2 hours after a session can be more beneficial but just as long as you are consuming enough throughout the day, you will still see benefits from the training. Protein from whole foods should always be the first choice, rather than thinking that you need to grab a bar or a shake. 

There we go, another big dollop of fitness knowledge for you to digest! If you have a question that hasn’t been answered yet, let us know and we can see if we can get answered for you. 

If you want to know more Abou Satu and her passion for fitness you can find her interview here. Stay tuned for more ‘Ask Satu’ answers!


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