Five Scary Workout Myths

by Deborah McConnell

October 31, 2012 // Category: Fitness Advisor

These days it can be difficult to determine what to believe when it comes to the best way to workout. Life Fitness Academy wants to help you debunk some of those scary exercise myths that can hold you back from getting efficient and safe results.

Myth #1: If I do 100 crunches every day I will get a flat tummy.

This is one of the most common misconceptions that we hear on TV and infomercials. You cannot spot reduce a specific part of your body. When exercising for fat loss, fat cells shrink from various parts of the body and it differs with each individual. The best option is to combine cardiovascular exercise, resistance training and a healthy diet.

Myth #2: To lose weight, I should avoid strength training.

Many still believe that strength training causes one to bulk up. Ask any body builder or fitness fanatic; it is very difficult to build mass and “bulk” through weight training alone. Most individuals do not have sufficient testosterone in their bodies to build mass. Most experts agree that cardiovascular exercise and strength training are both valuable for maintaining a healthy weight. In fact, strength training helps maintain muscle mass and decrease body fat percentage, which in turn increases metabolism. 

Myth #3: If I work hard enough, I can turn my fat into muscle.

Fat cells and muscle cells are completely different on a cellular level. One type of cell does not turn into the other.  The old saying “a moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips” is somewhat true. Once a new fat cell is built it does not go away; the fat cell can increase in size and decrease in size, but not change into muscle.

Myth #4: If I do a high number of reps with low weight, I’ll burn more fat.

The idea that you should use heavy weights to build muscle and light weights to lose fat is simply not true. Choose whole-body exercises versus isolated moves. Whole-body exercises burn more calories because you use more muscle groups.

Myth #5: I have to stretch before every workout to avoid injury.

Contrary to popular belief, stretching is not a necessary part of a warm up. Research has proven that pre-workout stretching has no effect on reducing injuries. Moreover, there is some pretty convincing evidence that performing static (stretch and hold) stretching prior to intense exercise can actually impair performance by decreasing the ability of the muscle to produce force.

What are some more scary workout myths you've heard? 

 
Deborah McConnell
 

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