5 Fitness Myths Debunked – The Truth About Urban Legends

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Hi everyone. I can’t take credit for this topic-my local news ran a feature with these 5 “myths” that a lot of people may actually believe. Here is my spin on each of them:

Fitness Myths Debunked #1
Crunches blast body fat. The movement of a crunch is not going to give you the washboard abs that everyone wants. The movement of the crunch activates the vertical muscles of the abdominals (rectus abdominus), but does nothing for the smaller stabilizers muscles that are so important in supporting the spine. Plus, crunches aren’t going burn fat-you could have the strongest abs in the world-but no one see them without proper diet and fat-burning aerobic and anaerobic training. To see those abdominals, the most be a combination of strength training, cardio/aerobic training, and proper nutrition.

Fitness Myths Debunked #2
Weight lifting make women “bulk” up. This very common myth that is a main reason why a lot of women still are hesitant to strength train (lift weights). In simple terms, the majority of women are not hormonally capable of getting “big”-they just don’t have enough testosterone in their bodies. Strength training will allow women to get leaner and increase their lean tissue, burn more calories, increase their bone density, help burn more fat, and a number of other health and fitness benefits.

Fitness Myths Debunked #3
You have to sweat to work hard. Not all exercise has to be intense. In other words, you don’t have to sweat like a hog for the exercise to be beneficial. An exercise can produce general health benefits, but not necessarily produce a fitness benefit. That being said, varying degrees of intensity can be very productive for health and fitness. So, next time you are working out, realize you don’t have train until you are ready to pass out for it to beneficial to you.

Fitness Myths Debunked #4
Machines produce better results than free weights. Machines can be very beneficial for beginners or people who are unwilling to workout, but they are not nearly as efficient as burning calories and recruiting more muscle fibers as body weight and free weight training. The machines do a lot of the work for you, specifically balance and the range of motion of the movement. Plus, a machine is calibrated and created for a standard individual, while dumb bells and free weights can be individualized to the specific ranges of motion of the individual. Also, machines generally move in only one direction (plane of motion) while body weight and dumb bell training especially can more an individual though all three planes of motion (forward/backward, sideways, and rotational). In short, dumb bells, bodyweight training, and free weights have more versatility to them. When you train with free weights, dumb bells, and body weight exercises, and individual can more efficiently train and see the results they are interested in.

Fitness Myths Debunked #5
No pain, no gain. Generally, pain is not a good thing. Pain can be an indication of tissue damage, which is not the goal of your workout. That being said, you need to understand the difference between discomfort and pain. Pain is an indication of injury, while discomfort will occur as a result of intense exercise-which is necessary at times for fitness benefits. Train hard for results, but realize that the goal of you getting in shape doesn’t mean it has to hurt.

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About Author

James Romans

James Romans is a certified sports nutritionist, performance enhancement specialist, and conditioning specialist. He has over ten years of experience in health and fitness, physical education, and coaching. James has a master’s degree in Exercise Science and a bachelor’s of science degree in Kinesiology. See my profile page for more information!

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