It's really easy, especially when you are just starting your health and fitness journey, to fall into traps of believing myths that people tell you. Here are a few myths that I have heard as a personal trainer over the years. It's best to put these to rest before you start believing them!
Clean Eat Education :: 4 Common Fitness Myths - Debunked!
MYTH: Women should lift light weights so that they do not get "bulky."
TRUTH: The genetic and hormonal makeup of the female body does NOT allow us to get bulky like our male counterparts. The more we lift, the more muscle we gain and the less fat our bodies hold on to - muscle takes more energy (or calories) to maintain on our body. That means, the more we lift, the faster our metabolism. What woman doesn't want that?
MYTH: Doing cardio will get me skinny.
TRUTH: While you do need to do cardiovascular exercises to lose weight and to strengthen our heart, it's not effective if you don't combine it with a strength training component. You may see a few pounds drop off the scale, but you won't achieve the toned look you are going for! You will begin to resemble what's called, "skinny fat."
MYTH: 2-hr cardio sessions will help me achieve my goals.
TRUTH: Um, no! 2-hr cardio sessions will not only leave you exhausted, "skinny fat," and ravenous, but they will also leave you breaking down precious muscle that you worked hard to gain. Your body needs recovery time and you owe it to yourself. Keep your cardio to no more than 45 minutes and ALWAYS do it after you lift (on days that you do both)!
MYTH: If I want toned abs, I should do ab exercises.
TRUTH: Nope! You CAN'T spot-burn fat from your body. Focusing on one muscle group vs another does not melt fat from that area - and that goes for abs to buns to biceps. You need a steady plan for your entire body to achieve your goals.
As a side note, if you start going back to the gym and start working abs, you may find that your midsection looks a little bigger! It's because you are gaining muscle size in your abdominals but still retaining the fat around them.
What myth did you believe?