5 Fitness Myths Debunked


By Sam Russell Special to The Pineapple Whether you are starting a new workout routine, or trying to improve on what you already do here are five of the most common fitness myths debunked. Myth #1: Women shouldn’t lift weights because it will make them bulky. Fact: Lifting weights can actually help you to slim down and tone up. Women are not hormonally designed to build “bulky” muscles. Unlike men, women do not naturally produce enough testosterone to develop excessive muscle, therefore limiting the amount of muscle growth possible. Also, muscle is far more compact than fat; so the more muscle you build, and fat you lose, the smaller you’ll become. When lean muscle tissue increases your body will burn more calories. Muscle unlike fat is metabolically active, which means that even when you are at rest your body continues to burn calories. The more lean muscle that you have the more calories your body will burn. For both men and women lifting heavy weight is a great way to challenge yourself, see results, and to become stronger. Myth #2: Crunches will blast away belly fat. Fact: They may be the most popular abs exercise around, however, crunches are not the best way flatten your tummy. Spot reduction of fat from a particular area in the body is not possible, which means doing an endless number of crunches and sit-ups won’t make you lose the belly fat. Your abdominal muscles may be developed, but until you decrease your overall body fat, crunches aren’t going to help you see them. To minimize belly fat, focus on intense cardio workouts, weight lifting including core exercises, and most importantly proper nutrition. Myth 3: The Scale is the Only Measure for Success. Fact: When newbies start a workout regimen they tend to hit them gym then weigh themselves daily to track their progress. While the scale is a good barometer of progress, it should not be your end all be all. There are important changes happening in your body that the scale can’t measure or detect including a changing body composition. Body composition reveals the relative proportions of fat and lean mass in the body. Muscle takes up less space than fat, making you look thinner. Exercising causes you to gain muscle, and lose fat, but that fat loss won’t always show up on the scale. Weighing a certain amount may be nice, but the scale does not necessarily reflect your health or how much muscle you have. Myth 4: Low- Intensity Cardio Burns the Most Calories Fact: The people who subscribe to this myth do hours of low-intensity cardio on the treadmill or elliptical with the idea that it is the best way to burn calories. If you are looking to lose fat by doing cardio consider high intensity interval training or HIIT cardio workouts. HIIT stands for High intensity interval training, which consists of short sprint intervals coupled with low-moderate intensity work. An example would be a repeating a series of 30-second sprint followed by a 1-minute walk to cool down and bring your heart rate back to normal. With HIIT, after you stop working out, your body is still burning through calories. Your resting metabolism also increases, and your body becomes more efficient at using fat for fuel. You can still burn fat by working out at a steady pace, but it takes longer to burn both calories and fat. Myth #5: You should always do three sets of ten reps. Fact: This myth started in 1948 when an U.S. Army physician, Dr. Thomas DeLorme reported in the Archives of Physical Medicine that performing three sets of 10 repetitions was as effective at improving leg strength as 10 sets of 10 repetitions. Three sets of 10 reps has become the default setting for many, regardless of individual goals and conditions. While there is nothing wrong with this especially for a beginner, the truth is there is no “best program” because each person is built different and has specific objectives to their fitness program. To improve strength and power ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine) recommends doing eight to 12 repetitions of each exercise for 1-3 sets. To improve muscular endurance ACSM recommends 10-15 repetitions for multiple sets depending on experience. You should select a weight that you reach fatigue within the given repetition range. Sam Russell is Co-owner and Lead Trainer of Raw Fitness, a boutique Personal Training Facility located off Federal Highway in Boca Raton, FL. Have a Fitness Question? Email: samrussell@rawboca.com Call 561-465-3745 or Visit www.rawboca.com