By Dr. Raymond J. DeLorenzi

When the DeLorenzi Orthopaedic Center (DOC) was founded, my fundamental focus was getting people back to the active lifestyles they love. As a surgeon with over 20 years of experience, my focus has, ever so slightly, changed from repairing what has been torn, stretched or broken, to focusing more on a preventative approach to orthopaedic care.

When the DeLorenzi Orthopaedic Center (DOC) receives a new patient, our team’s first step is to diagnose the issue from a medical standpoint, then take the time to discuss the patient’s overall health and lifestyle holistically. The wellness of our patients is our largest concern, and normally one of the core aspects that we focus on during our consultations is physical activity and exercise.

Over the past year, one of the largest fitness/health trends that we have seen (and fully support) is the breakdown of the stereotypical activities that have separated men and women for decades. In the past, men would focus solely on weight training and avoid cardio training. Conversely, the majority of women would focus on cardio and miss out on the benefits found in weight training. With this trend in mind, I wanted to help dispel some of the misinformation that might be keeping some women away from trying their hand at weight training.

Dispelling the myths

1. Weight training will make me “big and bulky.”

This couldn’t be farther from the truth. Medically speaking, this is almost impossible due to the female body having a completely different structure and design than the male body. While men normally will build muscle mass, the female body fundamentally builds muscle in a leaner fashion.

2. Low weight with lots of reps will keep me tone.

Using lower weight and higher reps will always have a place in a well-balanced workout routine, however, if you are looking to tone up, burn calories and tighten those “trouble spots,” then heavier weight training is exactly what you need. Lifting heavier weight helps build your fast-twitch muscle fibers and will build density within your muscle. This has two benefits: More muscle means you burn more calories (even when you are resting), and more muscle density means a firmer appearance.

3. Weight training will ruin flexibility.

Focusing on what is known as “multiple joint movements,” such as squats and dead lifts, will actually help increase your flexibility. This type of activity focuses on using the full range of motion for the muscle. If you don’t cheat, the exercise won’t impact your flexibility negatively.

If you are a novice to weight training, you should try to incorporate it into your routine roughly two or three

times a week at first. In order to avoid injury and gain the most from your efforts, it is also important to learn the proper form. I recommend having a few training sessions with a certified physical trainer or physical therapist before going out on your own.

Overall, a well-rounded fitness routine is the cornerstone to a healthy lifestyle — so get out there and get active!

Raymond J. DeLorenzi, M.D., FAAOS, is a board-certified orthopaedic surgeon who specializes in all aspects of comprehensive orthopedic and rehabilitative care. For more information, call (321) 622-8622.

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