The Myths Of Weightlifting: Part 3 w/ Ilan Cumberbirch

By Yard Athletics – March 15th, 2019

Myths… they’re everywhere. Can you catch a cold from not wearing a jacket? Does the subway bread actually have yoga mats in it? Why does the toast always fall butter side down?

We may not know all the answers, but when it comes to exercise and weightlifting, we are a treasure trove of knowledge. Well, at least Ilan is!

Today we step back into the classroom and find out more about the “scary unknown” or weightlifting, which as it turns out, isn’t so scary after all.

What are the biggest misconceptions you hear from clients about weightlifting?

Ilan: As we have addressed in the previous 2 segments on the myths of weightlifting there are a number of misconceptions regarding weight training. The three most common would be:

  • Getting “bulky”
  • Expecting immediate aesthetic adaptations (unrealistic expectations)
  • Injury
Getting “Bulky”

For this one, feel free to read part 1 and part 2 of our segment for a more in-depth review. No, weight training does not have to result in extreme hypertrophic adaptations. A great deal of volume, frequency, years of training and a nutrition program are all necessary to result in any type of “bulk”. Weight training 2-3 times per week will not have this effect on the body.

Unrealistic Aesthetic Expectations

On the other end of the spectrum are those seeking to slap on unrealistic amounts of fat free muscle mass in a short period of time. For beginner weight lifters, noticing their physiological adaptations is a more realistic expectation. As experience levels progress, it becomes more and more difficult to add lean muscle mass to one’s frame as there becomes a point where one’s physiological and genetic makeup hit a maximum capacity, what your body and frame are able to maintain naturally.

With proper nutrition and an adequate training regime, noticing increased muscular definition with 3-4 training sessions per week is realistic. 4-6 sessions per week, even more so. However, do not throw in the towel too early. Commit to at least 1 month of training on a routine basis (4+ times per week) in order to see noticeable changes.


Injury is most commonly brought on by poor technique. Poor technique is brought on by poor coaching and lack of attentiveness. Poor coaching is generally due to a lack of knowledge or first hand experience, in addition to limited care for the client / athlete’s health.

Thankfully, the coaching staff at Yard Athletics come from vast athletic backgrounds. Together there is over 30 years of combined training experience, 2 Kinesiology degrees, 2 Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialists, and a Certified Personal Trainer.

We always begin by instilling proper technique through full ranges of motion. Utilizing appropriate devices and equipment, regressions and cueing in order to facilitate said technique mastery. Until proper lifting technique is achieved, there is no point in compounding improper movement patterns with increasing loads as that is what results in injury.

Long story short, if you wish to improve your health, mobility, posture, strength, mental well being and longevity; train with a certified professional who has experienced what it feels like to weight train first hand, has the educational acumen required in order to provide variations of different movement patterns and has worked with a diverse range of populations.

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