Some runners don't do any strength training because of things they've heard. 'Strength training will bulk you up' & 'Muscle weighs more than fat' for example. Let's take a closer look at some of these myths!

Stephanieruns Fitness

December 2, 2018 Newsletter

Strength Training Myths and Half Truths Busted!

There are many strength training myths and half truths out there. I'm sure you've heard lots of them before. 'Muscle weighs more than fat' and 'strength training will bulk you up,'  to name a few. If you're not adding strength training into your training program because of some of this myths and half truths hopefully I can change your mind! Let's get right into some myths and half truths!

1) Strength training will bulk you up. I mostly hear this one from women. Unless your goal is to bulk up and you actively work on bulking this is not something you need to worry about.  Adding in strength training will not bulk you up. Specifically for women, we have estrogen and a lack of testosterone which would prevent us from bulking up the way men can.

2) If I'm looking to lose weight I need to do cardio not strength training. This is another one I hear from women all the time. They don't want to strength train because they want to lose weight. However strength training can actually help you lose weight. When you're building more muscle you're increasing your resting metabolism which means you're burning more calories at rest. It makes even more sense to strength train if you're looking to lose weight. 

3) Muscle weighs more than fat. This one really grinds my gears. A pound is a pound is a pound. A pound of muscle and a pound of fat weigh the same. Their make up is different but their weight is the same. 

4) I don't need to to strength train. Strength training has a lot of benefits. Strength training can help with bone strength which is incredibly important  as we age. Strength training can also help improve your stability, lower blood pressure, improve your mood and help make activities of daily living easier. I could go on. When you start adding in strength training you'll experience all the benefits.

5) I need expensive equipment  or a gym membership to strength train. This one just isn't true. As a beginner you can start with bodyweight or light weights before progressing to heavier weights. There are also some excellent affordable equipment you can get to help with your strength training such as resistance bands, medicine balls and TRX (if you haven't heard of TRX google it! It's a fantastic tool.)

6) You can spot reduce fat, eg) around the thighs or stomach. This is a popular one I hear all the time. It isn't true. You can't target fat loss around a specific body part or area. Losing weight is dependant on calories in vs calories out. You need an overall fitness plan if your goal is weight loss. 

7) I need to do light weights and more reps in order to tone my muscles. This is a popular one. However you can't make your muscles longer with strength training the muscle length is already determined by your body make up. You can reduce body fat and increase your muscle mass. If you're looking to tone don't worry about increasing the weight you're using when strength training.

8) Squatting is bad for your knees. Oh my! I've heard this one a lot. Squatting is not bad for your knees. Squatting incorrectly is bad for your needs. This would be true for any exercise you do in bad form. So when you're going to squat and you're not sure about your form squat in front of a mirror to check or ask a professional for help.

9) Strength training will make me less flexible. As a runner we know flexibility will help with our running. There is no indication that strength training will shorten your muscles or effect your flexibility. This one is false!

10) Strength training will take up too much time. Time is a common reason why people aren't exercising. With runners training for races limits our training time. If you're just starting out with strength training you can easily add in 10-20 minutes of strength training at the end of an easy run. I'm confident when you see the improvement you'll want to dedicate a full workout to strength training.

11) If I want to become a better runner I need to run more not strength train. I hear this one all the time! There's a couple of schools of thought on running more to improve your running. I'm of the belief that you can improve your running with adding in strength training and flexibility training to have a more balanced training plan. It's been done over and over again. More of one thing is not always better.

I could go on and on addressing myths and half truths of strength training. I encourage you to research and look into things. With science and research studies we are always learning more about strength training. Strength training remains as one of the best (in my biased opinion) to improve your running. I've given you a strength training workout below. Give it a try and let me know what you think. If there's any myths you'd like me to address in a future newsletter let me know.

Weekly Challenge: Strength Training

I haven't done a weekly challenge in a while. Since we are talking about strength training it seems fitting to give you a strength training challenge to try. If you're new to strength training you want to make sure you perform these exercises with good form. You can do these exercises in front of a mirror or ask a professional for advice. Good form helps prevent injury!

Warm up: you should always warm up before you workout. Start with walking, step ups, biking or sun salutations to bring up your heart rate. Once you've brought up your heart up add in leg kicks/ swings, hip hinges, arm circles/swings and any other dynamic stretches you need.

Main Set: 2-3 sets of 10-12 reps with 2-3 minutes between sets.

1) Squat

2) Deadlift

3) Upright Row

4) Chest Press

5) Plank hold 30 seconds or as long as you can while maintaining good form.

Cool down: Stretching and foam rolling your full body. You can add in yoga poses as well.

I'd love for you to try this workout and let me know how it goes. If you're new to strength training you can use body weights or lighter weights. If you have more experience with strength training try a weight that allows you to get 10-12 reps in with good form, but challenges you.

Send me a tweet @srunsfitness and let me know how this goes!


Running Strategy Session Giveaway!

One of the services Stephanieruns Fitness offers are running strategy sessions. I designed this for runners who have their own training plan or perhaps are using a 'cookie cutter' training plan. It's for athletes that are okay doing their training on their own and aren't looking for coaching or one on one support while they are training, but want to make sure they are on the right track with their training.

This strategy session will not create a plan from scratch for you but offers recommendations to tweak your current plan. I will help ensure your training plan is balanced and working for you and your goals. If you currently don't have a training plan this strategy session isn't for you. You can however contact me about building you a training plan for you.

First you'll send me your current training plan. Then we'll set up a coaching call (approximately 30-45 minutes) to go over your current training and look at changes you can implement to help optimize your training.

We'll set up a  follow up coaching call (approximately 20-30 minutes) about two weeks after our first call to see how the changes are going and problem solve any issues to help you continue to push forward.

This week I'm going to give away a running strategy session to one of you! The usual price for a running strategy session is $99 USD. If this is something you're interested in send me an e-mail at and let me know why you want to win this running strategy session. I will draw one lucky winner and let you know who won in next week's newsletter. Feel free to forward this to friends but they need to subscribe to my newsletter to be eligible to win!

If you're looking for a strength training plan geared for runners check out my Training Peak's store. I currently have a new plan on sale focusing on improving speed and strength while maintaining a 10k running base.

If you found this helpful please share this newsletter and encourage your friends to subscribe

If you're looking for help with your running and strength training I am available. Send me an e-mail at for more details and to see if I'd be a good fit for your training.


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Stephanieruns Fitness

461 North Service Rd West
Oakville Ontario,  L6M 2V5 - Canada

Website: Stephanieruns Fitness

Twitter: @srunsfitness

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Disclaimer: Always seek medical advice before starting an exercise program. This newsletter is not medical advice. Medical advice should be sought from a medical professional. Stephanieruns Fitness assumes no liability for any injuries or damages as a result of the above content.