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15 Fitness Myths Exposed!
By Raphael Calzadilla, B.A., CPT, ACE, eDiets Chief Fitness Pro
So pull up a chair, put aside your "lose 50 pounds by eating only grapefruit" article and open your mind for just a little while. You may disagree with these facts, but that's what keeps the myths alive.
And away we go...
1. The healthiest method to gauge your progress is weighing yourself: MYTH
You think I'm about to say that the answer is to get frequent body fat tests, don’t you? Nope! The healthiest way to gauge your progress is to make sure your strength levels increase when performing resistance exercise, make sure your endurance improves through cardiovascular exercise and make sure that your clothes fit exactly the way you want them to. When did we stop trusting ourselves to the extent that everything has to be successful by a measurement? Don’t we have enough pressure in our lives?
2. Women will get big if they weight train: MYTH
A woman has approximately one-third the testosterone compared to a man, so putting on a ton of muscle is not going to happen. The women you see in the magazines that look big and manly are on steroids, growth hormones, etc. You may look bulky if you’re carrying excessive body fat and building muscle. However, if you’re reducing body fat, you’ll eventually be able to see those lean, defined muscles.
3. You must work out five to six days per week to make progress: MYTH
I see a lot of people in the gym five to six days a week and they’d be better off playing ping pong. Consistency and level of effort is the key. I'd rather see someone work out three days per week with enthusiasm and intensity, than five inconsistent days of lackadaisical effort. In fact, for those clients that have trouble with motivation, I recommend only two days of workouts per week, but they must do it every week.
4. Spot Reducing Is Possible: MYTH
The human body loses fat over the entire body at various rates of speed. It’s impossible to spot reduce. If you’re focusing on only losing fat that sits on your hips, it won’t work. Generally, the first place you gain fat is the last place you lose it.
5. If You Exercise You Can Eat Whatever You Want: MYTH
The big message in the nutrition and personal training world today is that most people need to eat more to stimulate the metabolism. The truth is, you need the correct amount of total calories to lose body fat. Exercising will burn calories, but if you’re eating anything you want and you’re over maintenance calories, you’ll most likely gain fat.
6. Stretching prevents injuries: MYTH
After analyzing the results of six studies, researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention could not find any correlation between stretching and injury prevention. According to Dr. Julie Gilchrist, one of the researchers involved with the study, "Stretching increases flexibility, but most injuries occur within the normal range of motion.” Dr. Gilc...