Today, I’m here 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.
Stop wasting your time believing in the following fitness myths.
Myth 1: 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.
Myth 2: 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 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.
Myth 3: 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 necessarily result in bulkiness, especially in women. In fact, building muscle isn’t exclusive to weight training. It also requires an immense amount of testosterone, a rigorous calorie-dense diet, and genetics.
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.
Myth 4: Stretch before your workout
There are two methods of stretching: Static, and dynamic.
Static stretching requires a lengthy, isolated hold of particular muscle fibres. 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. The only thing that can come from this is injury.
Myth 5: Sit-ups equal six-packs
Sure – sit-ups, crunches, and planks are isolated exercises that can tone the core. However, without the right amount of body fat, the abdominal muscles will never show, no matter how many crunches you do!
A well-defined six-pack requires more than a few sit-ups. To truly 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.