The internet is full of information that can help you reach your fitness goals. While there is a wealth of helpful knowledge out there, there is just as much misinformation. Fitness myths can be found everywhere and not just online. Many gym buffs spread misinformation they read from “sources” that aren’t founded in reality.
A lot of these myths continue to exist because people latched on to and accepted them as fact. These misconceptions can truly hinder your progress and may have adverse effects. It’s always important to remember that everyone’s body is different, so it will react differently to some tips even if they are true. Let’s take a look at some popular fitness myths.
Myth: Spot Reduction Works
Unfortunately, it is not possible to target one area of your body and burn fat away. Your body doesn’t work like that. The fat stored in your body consists of triglycerides that are made of glycerol and fatty acids. Your body uses triglycerides as energy while you are exercising. However, when you exercise, your body pulls this energy from all over your body, making it impossible to target exactly where it comes from.
For proof, a study was done that consisted of 104 people over 12 weeks. They focused on strengthening their nondominant arms. After the 12 weeks were over, they found that weight loss occurred throughout their entire body, not just in that nondominant arm.
Myth: Always Stretch Before a Work Out
Stretching is something we are taught to do before any athletic event or workout. However, New York-based personal trainer Maik Wiedenbach states in his book 101 Fitness Myths that stretching before a workout can weaken your muscles by as much as 30%. The reduced tension in the muscles can increase the potential for injury. Your muscles will feel less steady and strong. It is still recommended to stretch once your workout is complete.
Myth: Exercise Makes Up for Eating Bad
While we wish this were the truth, unfortunately, it is not. There is no way you can out-exercise a bad diet. The majority of how you look is based on what you eat. People tend to overestimate the number of calories they burn while they are working out. It is important to eat as healthy as possible. A good practice is sitting down and doing the math to figure out how you need to eat and workout to effectively lose weight.
Myth: Weightlifting Makes You Bulky
This is an area of concern for many women as they don’t want to be perceived as too bulky. But weightlifting doesn’t mean you will end up bulky. The opposite is true. Lifting heavy helps you slim down. A study published by Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise found that women who lift a heavier weight for eight reps burned almost double the number of calories as women who lifted light for 15 reps.
Women can’t achieve the size or muscles growth of men due to the chemical and hormonal differences in their bodies. Resistance training helps build lean muscle, increases resting metabolism, and helps burn fat.
Myth: No Pain, No Gain
This phrase has become synonymous with working-out and weightlifting. It has been used time and time again except it’s a rather dangerous myth.
It is okay for you to feel a little discomfort while lifting, but the moment you begin to feel a sharp or unbearable pain is the moment you should stop. If you push your body to work through the pain, you are putting it through my harm than good. Feeling sore is normal and okay. But being in sharp, agonizing pain isn’t.
There is a lot of information to be found about working out and fitness. Unfortunately, not all of it is true. Some of these myths and misconceptions can put you in harm’s way or hinder your progress. The staff at Fitness Nation is here to answer all of your fitness questions and are ready to dispel any fitness myths you have when you contact us.