Everyone’s looking to maximize their results in the gym, and many people are in a hurry to reach their goals. Many people head to the gym with knowledge they believe to be true about working out. It’s time to separate the fact from the fiction and uncover the truths about some common fitness myths.
Myth #1: Women shouldn’t lift weights because it’ll make them bulky.
Don’t fear the barbells, ladies. You have to overload the muscles to create bulk. Strength training helps decrease body fat and increase lean muscle. It also burns calories efficiently.
Myth #2: Heart rate monitors will let you know how hard you’re working.
Monitors can falter depending on what kind of exercise you’re doing. You can get a better reading off of your own body to tell how hard you’re working. The “talk test” is a simple way to measure the intensity of your workout. If you can carry on a light conversation during your workout, you are at a good intensity level. When your speech begins to break, slow or become difficult, you’re working too hard.
Myth #3: Your cardio machine is counting the calories you’re burning.
Calories burned depend on a person’s age, fitness level, BMI and gender. Different genders at different fitness levels burn calories at different rates. Many machines won’t even ask for your weight or gender, therefore they can’t display an accurate count of calories burned.
Myth #4: Low-intensity exercise burns more fat.
The more intensely you exercise, the higher proportion of carbs you burn. You may burn less fat, but you burn more calories.
Myth #5: You can spot reduce for tight abs or toned arms.
It’s best to focus on your entire body versus a specific body part. Working the whole body will reduce muscle memory and increase caloric burn, thus burn fat.
Myth #6: You can eat whatever you want as long as you work out.
Regular exercise doesn’t negate poor dietary habits. Muscles need to feed, so your diet should consist of a balance of proteins, carbohydrates and healthy fats.
Myth #7: Protein shakes are a good post-workout snack.
Protein shakes are good for a quick snack now and again, but the fact of the matter is that they are a low quality, processed product. The best way to get protein is through foods like turkey, beef, yogurt and nuts.
Myth #8: Cardio is the only way to loose weight.
Cardio is good for the heart and it increases endurance, but it isn’t the only way to burn fat. Strength training can burn just as much, if not more, fat than cardio, and calories continue to burn even after your strength-training workout.
Myth #9: Cardio is most effective when done in the morning on an empty stomach.
Your body’s metabolism is lowest in the morning because you haven’t eaten for 8 hours or so. Eat a balanced breakfast and you will be able to exercise longer, and your body’s metabolism will already be working.
Myth #10: Your weight is the end all, be all.
Your weight has little to do with your fitness level. After a few months of increased exercise, you will be healthier because you will have reduced certain risk factors, such as blood sugar levels. Instead of measuring a number on the scale, consider the progress you’ve made on a level of fitness.