6 Common Female Fitness Myths Exposed

6 Common Female Fitness Myths Exposed

With all the advice flying around on the internet when it comes to fitness, it’s easy to get confused and feel like it’s useless to try to figure out the truth.

After all, if everyone’s saying something different, and sometimes the advice is conflicting with each other, someone’s got to be wrong.

That’s why there are so many myths and misconceptions about fitness out there. People read something and parrot back exactly what they read, without actually checking to see if it’s true or not.

So in that spirit, here are 6 of the most common myths about female fitness that exist today:

1. If You Lift Heavy Weights You’ll Start To Look Manly

This is one of the most common ones out there. The thinking goes that weight lifting builds muscles, and lots of muscles on a woman look manly, therefore weightlifting makes women look manly, right?


The thing that’s actually responsible for overdeveloped muscles is the natural hormone testosterone. And as we all know, men produce testosterone naturally in their bodies in much greater quantities than women do. In fact, women have a tiny fraction of the amount of testosterone that men have.

So what does that mean?

It means that even if you’re a serious female weightlifter, you’re still not going to look like a bulky male bodybuilder. Unless you’re actually injecting synthetic testosterone into your body, you’re not going to look manly.

Here’s why you might be working out and still not losing weight.

2. After You Stop Working Out, Your Muscles Turn Into Fat

To dispute this statement, all we have to do is look at the laws of physics. It’s not just wrong, it’s flat out impossible.

When you’re on a good workout plan (that is, you’re strength training, and getting the proper amount of nutrition and rest), your muscles will grow in size. This is called hypertrophy.

But when you stop working out, your muscles don’t “turn into fat”, they shrink in size – in other words, they atrophy. Your muscle cells don’t become fat cells, they simply shrink.

When you slack off on your fitness plan and start eating poorly, the parts of your body that were once firm muscle might feel flabby and fatty instead. That’s not because the muscle turned to fat, far from it. It’s because the muscle shrank, and your body stored the excess fat over it.

3. For A Butt That Pops, Train Your Legs Everyday

If we’re talking about ideal weight training habits, this is what works: training one area of your body hard, and then resting it for between 48 and 72 hours to give it time to recover.

To understand why this is most effective, we need to look at what training actually does to your muscle. See, in the gym, you’re not actually making your muscles bigger. What you’re doing is stimulating your muscles to grow.

Then, over the next 48 to 72 hours, your muscles will grow while you’re resting, as a result of that stimulus. So if you cut your resting period short, you’re going to inhibit your muscles’ growth, not boost it.

6 reasons your body isn’t burning fat (even though it should be).

4. Eating Too Much Protein Is Bad For You

Nope. This one is wrong again.

Protein is literally what your body uses to build muscle. It’s the building block, so to speak. When your body ingests protein, it breaks it down into amino acids, which are crucial to your body’s critical functions.

That’s why it’s so important to get enough protein, especially after a workout. If you don’t get enough protein, you artificially limit your muscle growth.

The easiest way to figure out if you’re getting enough protein is a simple formula – you should be eating one gram of protein for every pound you weigh. If you weigh 130 pounds, you should be eating 130g of protein per day.

5. You’ll Get Fat If You Eat More Than 3 Meals Per Day

You know what’s not relevant to whether you’re gaining or losing weight during the day? The number of meals you eat.

Heck, you could eat a grain of rice per meal and have 10,000 meals over the course of the day, and you still wouldn’t gain weight (well, you probably would).

The much more important measure of whether you’re going to gain weight or not is in what you’re eating, not when you’re eating it. More specifically, you should be looking at the number of calories you’re consuming, not the number of meals you’re having.

Here’s how to work out early in the morning.

6. Supplements Only Work For Men

Let’s get this out of the way first off – if you’re eating right and getting all the right nutrients, you probably don’t even need to take supplements.

But if you’re not (and most of us aren’t), then supplements can be a great way to make sure your body is getting everything it needs to be as healthy as possible.

Try taking a multivitamin to cover all your vitamin and mineral bases, and fish oil to make sure you’re getting the fatty acids you need.

Supplements don’t just work for men, they work for everyone, because they’re giving you the nutrients your body needs, which you might not be eating every day. That’s what’s going to keep your body strong.

In summary…

The Biggest Female Fitness Myths To Avoid

  1. If You Lift Heavy Weights You’ll Start To Look Manly
  2. After You Stop Working Out, Your Muscles Turn Into Fat
  3. For A Butt That Pops, Train Your Legs Everyday
  4. Eating Too Much Protein Is Bad For You
  5. You’ll Get Fat If You Eat More Than 3 Meals Per Day
  6. Supplements Only Work For Men

female fitness myths to avoid

If you loved this article, then check out these other must-see related posts:

17 Fitness Misconceptions Busted

Workout Myths and Misconceptions Infographic

10 Common Misconceptions About Fitness, Nutrition & Exercise You Need To Un-learn

27 comments… add one
  • Lisa Clarkson July 21, 2015, 9:59 am

    I agree with many of the others here. Myths can really mess with your brain if you are not up on what is actually true!

  • Joanne Peters July 21, 2015, 9:07 am

    For a butt that pops? I can see how working out your legs DOES help, but not every day.

  • Vanessa Peters July 19, 2015, 1:14 pm

    This is a great list! Thank you for sharing it with us, it will help me with my mental state when I am at the gym thinking I am not doing enough.

  • Amanda Davidson July 19, 2015, 1:05 pm

    I would say these are very common myths that I hear in the gym. It is sad when people agree with them, or think they are doing the right thing when they are not.

  • Lauren Simpson July 18, 2015, 9:22 am

    These are all very bad myths. I really hope that there are people out there that are smarter than this and do not actually believe these.

  • Tracey McDonald July 17, 2015, 12:08 pm

    I think eating too much of ANYTHING is bad for you. As long as you moderate your protein intake, why would that be a bad thing?

    • Ella Parsons July 18, 2015, 9:48 am

      I don’t think it would be bad. If you are going overboard with any part of your diet, that might be the start of a problem.

  • Claire Metcalfe July 16, 2015, 4:39 pm

    Cool. I don’t mind myths as they usually just take a little common sense to figure out. The bad thing is that not everyone has that sense and it can be damaging for them.

  • Jessica Powell July 16, 2015, 4:26 pm

    Muscles turn into fat? That would bother my quite a bit!

    • Carolyn Fraser July 17, 2015, 12:37 pm

      I know, right? Where do things like this get started anyways?

  • Penelope Hill July 16, 2015, 4:15 pm

    I really like to hear the information about stuff like this first hand. It is difficult when you have to sort through the myths and other junk.

  • Ella Mathis July 16, 2015, 4:00 pm

    Myths for working out can be so decieving. They can also lead you down the wrong path with results that you are not expecting, or even injury!

  • Faith Piper July 10, 2015, 11:55 am

    So many people have troubles with myths and people that tell them how to workout. I just stick to my own routine and as long as I do not get hurt, I feel pretty good about it!

  • Chloe Brown July 10, 2015, 11:39 am

    Supplements are great for everyone. They are giving you what you are missing, but in order for them to work properly, you need to know what you are missing first.

  • Elizabeth Hudson July 10, 2015, 11:27 am

    Myths can give you a false sense of hope that you are doing something wrong. Always check more than one source when thinking about these types of things.

  • Elizabeth Edmunds July 10, 2015, 11:17 am

    I never really thought about these. The one about looking manly does make sense I guess, but when I work with weights it is more about toning and not building muscle.

  • Sarah McGrath July 10, 2015, 9:43 am

    I know my friends freak out when I tell them that I eat every few hours. I am not eating an entire meal, however, I am trying to keep my metabolism working at a good pace.

  • Sue Kelly July 10, 2015, 9:32 am

    Oh man, myths are so confusing. When you hear one thing and believe something else, it can really mess with your head!

  • Theresa Morgan July 10, 2015, 9:04 am

    When you are talking about working out with friends and you hear some of these, make sure they understand the myths and spreading them is not a good thing.

  • Fiona Mackenzie July 10, 2015, 8:52 am

    Great list. I love reading these, because it gives me a new sense of motivation to exercise without worrying!

  • Mary Harris July 10, 2015, 8:40 am

    When I first started working with weights, I thought the same thing about looking to manly. Honestly, that is not even close to the truth. I look and feel great!

  • Megan James July 9, 2015, 12:57 pm

    Workout myths can be very damaging to you. When getting into a workout routine, you need to keep an eye on how you are doing things and make sure that you are doing them all the right way.

  • Rose Campbell July 9, 2015, 12:43 pm

    The protein myth is a good one that is popular. I read the other post as to why woman should eat more and it all makes sense to me!

  • Audrey Paterson July 8, 2015, 2:32 pm

    Myths do nothing more than confuse people. These are very common and when you have more people spreading them around as real, it makes matters even worse.

    • Tracey Mitchell July 10, 2015, 9:14 am

      This is very true!

  • Olivia Arnold July 8, 2015, 2:20 pm

    I agree with many of these fitness myths. Thanks for posting these for us to learn from.

  • Lola July 1, 2015, 3:32 pm

    Explain a simple way of getin flat tommy and can a person dat heredit the big tomy av flat tommy when doin dese exercise

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