Updated: Aug 9, 2021
Today, we're going to debunk five of the most prominent fitness myths.
This isn’t intended to belittle your knowledge and efforts in the gym, but to inform you so that you can begin on a path to greater success.
1) Myth: Fat-loss can be targeted
While exercising and eating right will certainly result in a reduction of overall body fat, you cannot choose and control where you lose it. You often hear people ask “How do I lose fat around my waist region?” or “What can I do to get rid of these love handles?”.
The answer? You can’t.
Targeting fat loss or “spot reduction” is simply a theory that has been thrown around for decades. However, there is zero scientific evidence to back the claim.
There’s no fast track to fat loss. Your best bet? Simply strive for a healthier overall lifestyle.
2) Myth: Cardio is the only way to burn fat
While cardio can be utilized as a tool for fat loss, it’s likely not the most effective.
Strength training has been shown in a variety of ways to be far more effective than cardiovascular training for burning fat.
That’s not all!
It also provides a means to build lean muscle tissue and strengthen bones, while also boosting your metabolism which, in turn, will boost fat loss.
3) Myth: Weight training makes you bulky
While this myth largely pertains to a perception held by women, it does pertain to men as well...
Lifting heavier weights does not result in bulkiness, especially in women. Heck I've trained lots and lots of men over the years who would LOVE to get "bulky" and can't. And they have many times the testosterone that women do... yet this myth persists....
The truth is that building muscle isn’t exclusive to weight training. It also requires an immense amount of testosterone, a rigorous calorie-dense diet, and genetics.
So ladies unless you're sticking needles full of steroids/testosterone into you butt on a weekly basis the odds of you getting "bulky" are less than getting hit by lightening on a bright sunny day or winning the lottery when you didn't even get a ticket.
And remember...In many cases, those who lift heavier weights with fewer reps experience an increased rate of caloric expenditure. In turn, this typically results in lean muscle mass coupled with a reduction in fat, not the other way around.
4) Myth: Stretch before your workout
There are two methods of stretching: Static, and dynamic.
Static stretching requires a lengthy, isolated hold of particular muscle fibers. This loosens the entire bodily structure which doesn’t bode well for exercise.
Dynamic stretching on the other hand simply requires short bursts of movement. This form of stretching warms up the body temperature and preps the body for activity.
Static stretching SHOULD NOT be performed before any type of exercise. I know, I know it was preached for years and to this day I still see some athletes at high levels of competition doing it but the science is pretty clear cut...The only thing that can come from this is injury.
5) Myth: Sit-ups/Crunches & Other Core work equal six-packs
Sure - sit-ups, crunches, planks & so on are isolated exercises that can help strengthen the core, which is why they should be part of your exercise program.
But shrink your stomach and give you a six pack.. Nope. Not gonna do it!
The fact is, unless you get to certain level, (under 20% in women and about 12%) in men which by the way requires ultra clean eating (as in Chicken, Rice and Broccoli for ALL your meals) they won't even begin to show no matter how many crunches you do.
In fact doing tons of crunches without lowing your bodyfat will actually make your stomach look BIGGER not smaller as the muscle grows under the fat. Oops....
So if you want, truly want to have a six-pack, you must follow a strict diet, a structured exercise regimen, and include compound exercises that truly strengthen and build the core musculature. Isolated accessory exercises simply won’t cut it.
So if you've been wasting your time following these myths... stop just stop..