I have to laugh sometimes when I hear phrases flippantly thrown around regarding fitness. Let me indulge you..... "Lifting weights will make me bulky" or "I 'm doing all this exercise and I'm not seeing results on the scales." Then one of my favourites, "my muscle will turn to fat if I stop lifting weights." As humans, we love to conform and consequently can easily get caught up in hearsay and propaganda. With social media having a huge impact on our lives, we become enrapt with 'influencers' and strive to find that elixir for our health and fitness. We hear many terms being tossed around regarding what we should and should not do regarding our health, so I thought I would address some fitness myths or faux pas if you like......
I will get too bulky if I lift weights......
FACT: men have 10 times the amount of testosterone than women do. Consequently, when women lift weights, they wont become extremely bulky the same way men can achieve such results. By building muscle size and strength, you will burn more calories and thus have a higher metabolism. This is a good thing!
I'm doing a lot of exercise but not losing any weight?
FACT: When using scales, we can't tell if we're losing fat, muscle or water because all of these will give you the figure you see on the scale. Did you know that as a general rule, your body is made up of the following:
Muscle: 30-55% of body weight
Fat: 10-30% of body weight
Bone: 15% of body weight
Organs and other tissues: 10-15%
If we gain muscle mass and reduce fat stores, we may in fact not see any change at all on the scales because it is still giving you an 'overall' number. The best way to measure progress is through taking progress photos or regular measurements to ascertain changes in body shape. Don't get caught up on the number because it can lead to frustration and disappointment!
FACT: Cardio is great for burning calories! HOWEVER, strength training builds muscles which increases calorie burn and metabolism. Adding resistance training as well as cardio is a far more efficient way to burn calories than cardio training alone. When we increase lean muscle mass, we have a higher caloric burn even at rest, making fat loss more sustained.
Doing crunches will give you abs....
FACT: Your core encompasses more than just your rectus abdominus muscles (6 pack muscles). It includes hips, lower back and glutes - all of which aren't targeted in crunches alone. By training your entire midsection through multiple different core exercises, it will give you the foundation for all your movements and a carved set of abs! This is why pilates is so important as it targets many core muscle groups through different prone, supine and side lying positions.
Muscle can turn into fat when you stop exercising....
FACT: It is physically impossible to turn muscle into fat because they are made of completely different substances! When we stop training our muscles can atrophy (get smaller) and if we have an excess calorie intake, we will store the excess calories as fat. It is not uncommon to reduce exercise however maintain the same diet. When we exercise less we consequently burn fewer calories however if we have the same calorie intake as when we were training, we have far less of a calorie deficit (meaning we store more as fat).
Well there you have it - 5 of my favourite fitness myths debunked!!! I hope you enjoyed the read, I tried to keep it simple as there are lots of topics I could discuss but these are up there with the most common anomalies! :)