In today’s world of information it’s very easy to be led astray with hearsay. With fitness myths running rampant around fitness circles, how do you separate the fact from fiction? Let’s deconstruct some of the most common misconceptions circulating gym goers everywhere.
Fitness Myth 1: Abdominal Exercises Create a Flat Stomach
Fitness Fact:Abdominal exercises work your midsection only at a muscular level. In order to unveil that elusive six pack you must shed the overlying fat covering those bumpy beauties. Abs are made in the gym and revealed in the kitchen.
Fitness Fact: Unless you are a wizard, your muscle can’t turn into fat and vice versa. Muscle and fat are two distinct tissues that cannot transform from one to another. However, if you cease physical activity the muscle underlying your fat will shrink, creating a bit more padding around your body.
A decrease of muscle mass also decreases metabolic rate. As you lose muscle your body’s need for calories to maintain muscle is demoted increasing the likelihood of storing fat.
Fitness Myth 3: The More You Sweat the More Fat You’re Burning
Fitness Fact: Sweat and fat loss have no correlation. Sweat also has no relation to heart rate. Simply put, sweat is just your body’s way of cooling itself down. Sweat production factors can include:
- Environmental temperature
- Lengthy stints of inactivity before returning to regular exercise
Fitness Myth 4: Weight Training Makes Women Too Bulky
Fitness Fact: The biggest fear among women who are new to weight training is the misconception that they will ‘bulk’ up like the hulk. Women physically cannot bulk up like their male counterparts as they lack the necessary hormonal levels in testosterone.
The ‘bulk’ that some females may experience is the increase of muscle underlying their current fat stores. This is merely a phase on the road to a more toned physique as the increase of muscle also increases metabolic rate, therefore improving fat metabolism and eventually reducing overall girth.
Myth 5: “I’m Getting Heavier, I Must Be Getting Fatter!”
Fitness Fact: Do yourself a favour and grab your scales. Now throw it on the ground and smash it into smithereens just as it has done to your fat loss hopes in the past.
Your body composition is made up of a variety of different entities which makes up your overall body weight. The scales measure the accumulative weight of all those entities and doesn’t specifically measure fat on its own.
The increase of weight may be due to the increase of muscle. As you lose weight in fat, the weight gained in muscle counterbalances the lost weight. The best way to gauge progression by monitoring dress size if you’re a female and pants size if you’re a male.
Muscle tissue is three times more dense than fat tissue, utilising three times less space in overall volume. If your clothes fit more comfortably but you’re weighing more, it’s safe to say that you’re losing fat whilst gaining muscle.
- Abdominal exercises only work at a muscular level. Body fat is lost from the entire body
- Muscle and fat are two distinct tissues. One cannot transform into the other
- Sweat is the body’s cooling mechanism and has no direct correlation to the amount of body fat burnt
- Weight training is imperative to fat loss and cannot ‘bulk’ the female frame
- Total bodyweight is a measurement of overall weight not just fat
- Only rely on scientifically based information from credible sources