The Truth About Common Fitness Myths & Lies

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The Truth About Common Fitness Myths & Lies

Myth #1: Lifting Weights Makes Women Bulky.

Lifting weights can do a great many different things for you. You can get stronger, leaner, fitter, healthier, and yes, if you are committed enough it can make you bigger bulkier, but only with a lot of the right type of training. There’s no risk of getting too bulky without a lot of very strict adhesion to exactly the right type of program. There is, however, risk of looking lean, fit, toned, healthy and amazing. But maybe you don’t want that…

Myth #2: Heavy Weights Give You Bulky Muscles/Yoga Gives You Long, Lean Muscles.

No. Muscles have a fixed point of origin and insertion on the bone. They don’t get longer. As I said above, you can get bulky muscles if you train for it, but lifting heavy weights will first make you strong and lean. Yoga will help with flexibility and muscular endurance. Neither of them will change where your muscles attach to the bone.

Myth #3: The Only Way To Lose Weight Is Cardio.

Not only is this inaccurate, it’s actually often counter-intuitive. High-intensity cardio can help with fat burning, but most forms of cardio (the twenty-minutes-on-a-treadmill variety) are going to see you burn muscle tissue as well as fat. This means you’ll see an initial kilogram loss, but as you eat into your muscle tissue for energy your metabolism will gradually slow down and you will store more fat.

Myth #4: The Best Time To Work Out Is…

Don’t ever let anyone tell you when the best time for you to work out is. The best time for you to work out is whenever you can fit it into your schedule and you have the energy to train effectively. Even if there are half a dozen studies saying you burn more fat or build more muscle at a certain time, the differences are only ever marginal, and do you want to do a half assed workout on someone else’s schedule or a balls-to-the-wall one when it suits you best? Because I guarantee you that you’ll get more out of training when you have the energy to train.

Myth #5: You Need To Have All The Right Gear, The Shoes, The Compression Top, The Fitbit…

No you don’t. Some of these are nice toys, some of them might make a fractional difference to your training, but mostly what you need is a solid work ethic and the right training and nutrition plan. That’s going to get you ninety-nine percent of the way there. All the toys, gadgets and gear are just possible ways to make up the remaining one-percent, and when you consider the hundred-buck-plus investment they require just for you to see if they work, my advice is to stick with the right training and nutrition for your goals. Do it in an old pair of shorts and that Ramones t-shirt you haven’t worn in three years, do it naked, as long as you do it.

Myth #6: “The Weight Just Falls Off In Only Five Minutes Each Day.”

“It’s easy and it gets great results.” “This is the only piece of equipment I use to train for my athletic career.” You’re probably familiar with at least some of these claims, spouted at you from infomercials or marketing material. People trying to sell you a product are going to tell you whatever they think they can legally get away with in order to make you part with your money. There is no secret solution, there is no magic product or system. Hard work, good nutrition, consistency and dedication will get you results. Not a foldaway piece of Made-In-China that’s yours for only twelve easy payments.

Myth #7: As Long As You Work Out You Can Eat What You Want.

Just like you can throw anything you want into your car’s petrol tank as long as you drive it carefully. Sure, eat what you want, then hit the gym and see how you feel doing a conditioning session fuelled by nothing but take-away burger. And I’ll drive from here to Brisbane on a tank full of Coca-Cola. Food fuels your body. It allows it to be active, it provides the building blocks for muscle development, and it facilitates its internal processes. Quality food means quality activity and quality results.

Myth #8: You Have To Eat Foods Marked “Low-Fat,” “Healthy,” Or “Natural.”

I’m going to say it again – People trying to sell you a product are going to tell you whatever they think they can legally get away with in order to make you part with your money. Don’t let marketers decide what’s healthy or good for you. Eat plenty of vegetables, lean meat, nuts and seeds, a small amount of fruit, eggs, fish. Steer away from anything that even has packaging for the predominant part of your diet.

Myth #9: Sit Ups Burn Belly Fat.

They also help with posture for unicorn riding. Spot reduction of fat is the closest thing to a myth you will ever get that’s not actually a myth (like unicorns, you can always stick a single alicorn on a white horse’s head…). A study a few years ago discovered that whilst focusing your training in one area might make marginal difference in the fat on that area, it was so slight it wasn’t visible to the naked eye. Do you want results that aren’t visible to the naked eye? No? Okay, don’t make spot reduction a part of your program.

Myth #10: No Carbs After Midday.

A common belief, but one that’s probably not going to do you any favours at all if you want to pack on some lean muscle and strip away body fat. Carbohydrates at night can improve your mood and relaxation levels, as well as improving the quality of your sleep. Sleep is essential to recovery, so anything that helps you get high quality sleep is good. The right portion of carbohydrate will also ensure you wake up with more energy the following day. Exercise depletes glycogen, carbohydrate replenishes it, eat it at night and give your body ample time to replace the stores you used.

Myth #11: Fat Turns To Muscle Or Muscle Turns To Fat.

No, no it doesn’t. Fat cells increase or decrease in size. Muscle builds or breaks down. Turning one into the other is some lead-into-gold type witchcraft. Work to strip away fat and work to build lean muscle and ignore all the alchemists at your gym telling you how they’re turning their fat to muscle.

Myth #12: “The Fat-Burning Zone.”

“The fat-burning zone” is a point during long, slow cardio sessions where your body finally starts burning your body fat instead of using anything else for energy. And Narnia is a magical land I can get to via the back of my wardrobe. Other fat-burning zones I know are the weights section of your gym, where resistance training can send your metabolism through the roof.

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