It’s hard to know which way to turn when everyone’s shouting different right and wrongs about how, what, and when you should be working out to get strong, lose fat and tone up! These 7 fitness myths are some of the most common, and changing these can in turn really change your body for the better!
1) Doing weights will make you manly
One of the biggest and most important myths to bust! Incorporating weights into your workout is in fact one of the best ways to burn fat and get a lean, toned beach body. The more muscle the body has, the more calories it burns day to day, and that’s a fact! Muscle needs energy in order to function correctly, so even when you’re sitting down on the sofa in the evenings, if you have more muscle than you did 2 months ago, you’re burning more calories (energy) doing nada!
Please, please don’t be afraid of adding weights to your lunges, squats and everything else, it will improve your metabolism, tone & firm up the body and help you lose fat! Win-win!
2) Workouts less than an hour are no good
I’m so thankful that this myth couldn’t be further from the truth! The best workouts are often the short, power ones that entail blasting the body for 20-30 minutes at a high intensity and reaping the rewards! Working in a state of up to 90% of your max means the calorie and fat-burning effect even when the session is over, is far better than that of a steady 60 minute jog. Find a HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workout that you enjoy and let me know if you start to see the difference!
3) Crunches are the best way to get defined abs
98…99…100. You could spend your whole life crunching in the gym and never see the results. The first place to start for a defined tummy is losing fat; when the body is carrying excess weight, abs just aren’t going to show and crunches are a really poor way of burning stubborn fat! Get going with some high intensity sprints, 60 seconds max effort, 60 seconds rest and incorporate functional core work during the session. Simple crunches also often lead to poor posture and don’t utilise as much of the core as other exercises like reverse crunches or vertical leg crunch do. Take it one step further and concentrate on functional ab work so that the abs work in the way they were designed to – in connection with your other muscles.
4) Running is the best form of fat-loss
Red buzzer alert! Running at a steady pace for 45 – 60 minutes is not going to make the body enter what I like to call its ‘optimal fat-burning zone’. On any given day, we typically have enough glycogen (Carbohydrate) stores to last us for 24-48 hours and that’s the energy the body will use for that type of exercise – not fat. Opt for high intensity type training instead to maximise the workout and fat burn!
5) Workout machines are better for your posture
Maybe it’s because I’m a personal trainer or have had some really bad experiences with my back, but whenever I walk into a gym and see guys and girls squatting with a squat rack stacked with kilos of weights with the most awful posture – I can’t help but wince.
So often the body is crying out for proper positioning and trying not to dislocate a disc! Maybe a tad extreme, and they’re not all bad but the problem with using machines such as squat racks is that they push you into a certain position that may not be the correct one for you if you’re not totally body aware.
There is nothing fundamentally wrong with squat racks, less extension machines, etc etc – IF you know exactly what you’re doing and it feels right for your body. But in my case, I almost always opt for free weights … not only do they allow me to get into the best positions for my body but they are also a great way of working the muscles, most significantly core as they require control and balance.
6) More sweat = more fat-burn
Sweat, unfortunately, is not ‘fat-crying’ as the saying goes! It’s a reaction to heat and what the body uses to try and cool itself down. On average, we have about 2.6 million sweat glands in the body and how much we sweat not only depends on the amount we have but also how active those glands are. Men tend to sweat more than females because their sweat glands are more active; factors like workout gear, outside temperature, caffeine and even face creams can affect the level of sweat. It gives a good idea of your body’s ability to cool itself down, but not how many calories you’ve burned, so don’t let sweat be your judge of a workout!
7) Fruit is the healthiest snack
I’m not about to reveal the latest controversy in diet history – Fruit is indeed a healthy option if you’re looking for something sweet. However far too much of it and, in my opinion, you might as well have had a cadburys chocolate bar to kick for craving. If you’re looking to burn fat, sugar should be the number one thing on the list to cut back on. Although fruit is natural sugar and therefore much better for you, too much of it can still lead to fat gain and prevent that beach bikini body! Of course it’s always better to go natural, and 80% of the time I do, but if you’re thinking 2 bananas and a packet of grapes in one seating is less sugar than a single unhealthy snack – it;s worth checking the labels.
I hope you find these enlightening! Comment below with your thoughts…are there any other fitness myths you think need to be put to bed!? Happy to help answer any questions :)
This feature I wrote was first shared on Savoir Flair.