Roll up, Roll up for the fitness Myth-tery tour!!! Gyms and Fitness studios nationwide all have particular know all gym goers, who cannot help but poke their nose into your training, and off load their poor advice. Here are 5 of my top fitness myths that still widely circulate today, and the truth behind them.
1. “Do sit ups every day if you want a six pack”.
Fact. Ab-solute nonsense! Sit ups or crunches are a small part of the equation. You will never see your abdominal muscles unless you get rid of the layer of fat over them first. A routine of resistance training of all the major muscle groups and cardio exercise will go a long way to reducing body fat %, along with a balanced diet of lean protein, complex and fibrous carbohydrates, and healthy fats. The saying “Abs are made in the kitchen” is never truer! The abdominals are also a muscle group, so need rest to recover and grow.
2. “The more you sweat, the more fat you’re losing”
Fact. Sweat is your body’s way of getting rid of heat, which increases with exercise, and is your internal cooling system. An individual is born with millions of sweat glands, which is why you may see someone drenched in sweat just looking at the treadmill! Sweat is not a reliable indicator to workout intensity. Weight and fat loss will boil down to a sensible calorie reduction below your Basic Metabolic Rate (BMR), consistent exercise, and a healthy diet.
3. “Women should avoid lifting weights, as it will give them big, bulky muscles”
Fact. Women are still fearful of picking up a pair of dumbells with the notion they will look like a bodybuilder. Lean muscle utilises calories just to maintain it, and is vital to change body composition, and reduce fat percentage, as muscle takes up a lot less space than fat. The only way to do this is to perform some form of resistance exercise, with your own bodyweight, bands, or weights, to achieve the toned look! Cardio alone will not achieve this, so ditch the endless hours on the treadmill, and get lifting!
4. “Eating after 6pm will make you fat”
Fact. Eating excess calories throughout the whole day will be responsible for weight and fat percentage gain. The evening is a time when people generally relax more; watch TV, with greater temptation to eat snacks such as crisps and biscuits following a meal. Planning healthy meals and snacks for the day, along with regular exercise will always be vital in weight management.
5. “You can target areas for fat loss, just train that body part more than the others”
Sorry!!! The eternal wish of many, but you cannot spot reduce fat from certain areas! Any fat burned through exercise will be utilised from stores all over the body. The most effective way to lose fat percentage is to adopt a regular exercise regime of resistance training with a whole body approach, along with cardiovascular training which progress in workload and intensity.
So there’s my top 5! What myths and old wives tales of the gym have you come across?
Please send them in!