Hello Muscle Babes! We get a lot of smart questions from you on the reg, so we know you’re here for the #gainz! We’re all about precision, no fluff, and getting into the science *hello, Body Type Programs*. So we’re diving into 5 fitness myths and giving you the facts so you can close out of Google and get back to getting ripped.

“Lifting heavy weights means you’ll bulk up.”

The only thing that will create bulk is a surplus of calories. Lifting weights will just get you sexier and tighter. Muscle makes being lean all that much easier, so grab some dumbbells, optimize your nutrition, and get even more cut than your wildest dreams. 

Basically, if you have a pear-shaped body and do a bunch of cardio, you’ll just become a smaller pear. If you lift weights to tighten up and change the proportions of your body instead, you’ll start seeing that elliptical machine as nothing more than an excuse to watch a rerun of Friends. 

“I don’t need to stretch before I workout.”

Static stretching before lifting weights can actually lower your performance during a workout and studies have shown no connection between static stretching before a workout and reducing your risk of injury or even soreness (see our last post: How Sore is Too Sore?).  If you static stretch, you’re making your muscles and ligaments looser. So that barbell you’re about to pull, you’re just not going to be able to create maximal tension or power. 

On the other hand, we’re all about dynamic stretches like inchworms and knee-to-chest marching as a part of your workout warmup. 

Static stretching can be saved for a dedicated flexibility/recovery session along with foam rolling, breathwork, and active recovery. Or just add it in after your session to let those muscles breathe. 

“I can spot target fat loss to the areas I want to lose from.”

Your bod can’t spot reduce - it can only lose overall body fat *cue sad violin*.

BUT WAIT - you can strategically build your muscle mass to change the shape and proportions of your physique. For example, lat exercises will make your hips look smaller. Core work and rotational core exercises help with the ever-elusive love handles/hip dips. Keep in mind, we cannot change your bone structure, but nutrition will be crucial to getting snatched.

And whatever you want to work on, know we already think you’re some seriously hot stuff. 😉

“I should eat before lifting.”

Some people hate training with food in their stomach, but having calories to fuel your workout is shown to help performance more than the benefits of a fasted workout. Get your 30g protein, 40-60g carbs in about 60-90 minutes pre-workout. 

If you need to keep it light, reach for the Babe Berry Smoothie (recipe in the Body Type Programs).

“Free weights are better than machines.”

Compound exercises are the MVPs. Squats, deadlifts, rows, etc. are staples of a full body workout and give you the most bang for your buck. 

Machines can be a great pump, but they also limit the rotation of your joints. This means machines can be good or bad - good if you're still getting used to training and need to safely learn how your body moves with added weight, but not the best if you're trying to externally rotate and fix muscle imbalances. Machines are also good for accessory work - like going HAM on your biceps.

Ultimately, if you're a gym newbie, machines can feel more straightforward, especially if you're just building up your strength foundation or aren't sure about your form yet. Good form and learning how to use your shoulder blades will make all the difference.

Hop on the app for all my hot takes and cues. 

Until next time, babes! Go sip your Babe Berry Smoothie and show those gym bros how it’s done. 😎

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