Busted: 4 Common Fitness Myths Explained

coach explaining myths

Fitness myths are rampant, from misinformation to misunderstandings, and it can be difficult to weed out facts from fiction. We’re breaking down four common myths that can derail your fitness efforts with the help of Coach Nate Bahr.

I gained weight after starting an exercise routine, it must not be working.

When you start a new exercise routine, especially if it has been a while since being consistent with your workouts, your body goes through a lot of changes and adjustments. Many of the changes and adjustments don’t happen in our preferred order. The first thing we expect to change is the number on the scale, but that is usually not the case. Do not lose patience, those extra pounds are most likely water weight. After your first handful of workouts, you will probably be sore and your body is working hard to heal after each workout. The body’s healing process triggers water retention which can likely cause the scale to jump a little. You will learn that when adapting to a new lifestyle change, you will also need to practice patience. Positive changes in the body take time and the most important thing is being consistent.

Lifting weights will make me bulky.

Lifting weights will help you build muscle but building muscle won’t necessarily increase your size. For women who want to be strong but don’t want to bulk up, you’re in luck! It is very difficult for most women to increase the size of their muscles because their bodies produce minimal amounts of testosterone. Testosterone is the hormone in men that causes voice deepening, facial and body hair, as well as maintenance of muscle strength and mass.

Lifting weights for women will actually have the opposite effect of this myth. Lifting weights will help you burn more calories by increasing your lean muscle mass. The more lean muscle mass you have, the more calories you burn during the day. Lifting weights can also help tone your arms and legs as well as improve overall body composition. Incorporating weights into your workout regimen is a great way to improve your fitness and for women, if you want to gain muscle mass, you will unfortunately have to work much harder than most men to achieve that.

I need to do more sit-ups to get abs.

If you have ever worked out with a personal trainer before, odds are you’ve heard the phrase, “Abs are made in the kitchen”. For most workout programs and exercise tips, the best routine and workout choices depend on many different factors. However, unless you are genetically gifted, if you want visible abdominal muscles, you are going to have to pay attention to what you are putting in your body. 

Core strength is very important for many reasons. It helps with posture, injury prevention, and movement. Almost every movement you do from taking a step, to sitting up straight, to pushing and pulling involve your core muscles. That is why you are always hearing in the fitness industry how important a strong core is. 

The truth is, muscle and fat are not interchangeable. If you do crunches or ab exercises, you are helping strengthen your abdominal muscles, but your fat will still be sitting on top of your strong abs. Muscle does not turn into fat and fat does not turn into muscle. If you want to decrease your body fat percentage, the only way to do that is to eat healthy. How much and what you should eat depends on your goals, but decreasing your sugar intake, decreasing processed foods, and eating plenty of lean protein and vegetables is a good start.

More cardio equals more weight loss.

If calorie burn is what you’re after and you’re spending most of your time on the treadmill at the gym, you probably aren’t doing the most efficient thing you could be to reach your goals. You can actually burn calories while simultaneously increasing muscle strength and endurance by adding in weights to your routine.

Building muscle boosts your metabolism and increases lean muscle which both can help you be more efficient with your calorie burn. The best way to build muscle is by adding in weights or resistance training to your program. You will be able to reach your weight loss goals more easily, reduce your risk of injury, and feel stronger and more capable if you mix up your routine to both cardioand weights.

Even the most elite endurance runners incorporate weights into their training. The benefits are endless and even if you are training for a race, being stronger will help you run longer, faster, and your joints will be better supported.

Don’t believe everything you read in magazines or fitness blogs.

If you see something that claims to be a quick fix or will help you reach your fitness goals in weeks, be skeptical and do your research before following the trend. Now, more than ever, information is at our fingertips. If you are going about your journey without professional assistance, do your research to find out what is the best way for you to achieve your goals. Do not rely on a celebrity or fitness influencer to decide for you.

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