In all of my years in the fitness industry I have to say the #1 myth of the gym has to be “If I lift heavy weights, I am going to get big and bulky,” or on the other end of that statement “I want to put on some muscle, I better start lifting heavier.” The reason why this is a false statement is because what determines whether or not we are going to gain or lose mass isn’t how we work out (I hate to tell you that), but it is in fact how we eat in comparison to how we burn calories.
This statement comes from the Law of Thermodynamics which in a nut shell says: if you want to lose weight you need to BURN MORE calories than you intake, or vice versa if you want to gain weight you need to EAT MORE calories than you burn. If you notice in that law there is nothing about if you lift lighter weights for more reps you lose weight, or if you lift heavy weight less times you gain… It is simply all about energy in versus energy out. Therefore, if you want to lose weight and you are burning more calories than you are eating, I don’t care if you go into the weight room and literally squat a house over your head, by the end of the day you will have LOST (not gained) mass.
If you don’t believe me, AND you don’t believe the Law of Thermodynamics, then I ask you to trust an equation that you were taught in school since you were a little kid… It was discovered by some crazy haired man, that is known to have been one of the world’s most intelligent minds; Einstein’s E=MC^2. If you have forgotten what the Theory of Relativity means Einstein figured out that matter can’t be created or destroyed, it either has to stay matter, or it can be transferred into energy… Same goes for energy, it can’t magically appear or disappear, it either stays energy or turns into matter. Soooo what he figured out is that our bodies can’t magically lose matter, it is either going to stay there or transfer into energy.
So don’t worry about lifting heavy and getting bigger, if you are eating less than you burn you will lose mass no matter what! But if for whatever reason you are one of the few people that “know” that this doesn’t apply to your body, and no matter what you will just get huge manly shoulders, or really muscular thighs, please submit yourself for study at your local university’s physics lab because you are an anomaly and are defying the laws of physics! Or what you might want to do is take an honest look at how you are eating. Chances are you have a miscalculation somewhere in your diet, and are in fact eating in a caloric surplus causing you to gain that mass.
by Madison Doubroff