FELICIA ROMERO REVIEWS COMMON FITNESS MYTHS
We have all heard it before: exercise can replace a bad diet; crunches give you six-pack abs; lifting weights makes you bulky. Such “gym-talk” or “myths” have led to many common beliefs about the dos and don’ts of exercise.
Don’t get me wrong. I remember there was a time I would do hundreds of crunches each night with the belief that I was going to have six pack abs. Well, those abs never came. It was when I focused on my nutrition that my tummy leaned up and the ever-so-tough six-pack started to show.
One fact still holds true: regular exercise can help you maintain a healthy weight, reduce stress, and increase your strength. It also helps prevent your risk of diabetes and heart disease. So, work out everybody. It’s good for you!
- Lifting weights makes women bulky: That depends on your own personal definition of bulky. Some women prefer a sculpted look while others may not feel the same. Weight training does, of course, create some muscle definition and toning. However, the type of weight training that makes women weight lifters bulky requires an entirely different type of workout along with a high calorie diet. Also, women do not build muscle as easily as men because they do not have high levels of testosterone.
Lifting weights can prevent loss of muscle mass, help build bone density and increase the rate at which your body burns calories. This, in turn, can help keep you at a healthy weight.
- If you stop weight training your muscles will turn into fat: When you stop training, your metabolism will slow down and over time you will lose that sculpted look as muscle mass declines. Technically, however, it is not physiologically possible for one type of body tissue to actually turn into another type.
- You can target your fat burn: Working out can reduce overall fat, but you can’t control what part of your body burns the most fat. Your body breaks down fat and uses it as fuel when you exercise. Your body’s not picky. It will burn fat from anywhere in your body and not just the part you’re working the most.
- Crunches will get you a 6 pack: Crunches are not the only way to strengthen your core. Crunches and resistance exercises will build strength. Losing fat will allow the definition of your muscles to show. Cardio and resistance exercise will burn calories. It is then up to you to focus on how you are fueling your body to really make the most impact.
- You need to spend hours in the gym: The key to a healthy you is exercising smarter, not longer. Instead of spending an hour or two jogging or on the bike, try interval training. You can do sprints on the treadmill, breakaways on the bike or high resistance on the Arc Trainer for short bursts followed by rest. Usual HIIT sessions may vary from 4–30 minutes. These short, intense workouts are great ways to improve power, speed and keep your metabolism revved up even after you’ve left the gym.
- Exercise can erase a bad diet: Exercise by no means makes up for a bad diet. Diet and nutrition play a larger role than exercise in weight management and fat loss. Remember: Abs are made in the kitchen. So, don’t treat exercise like an activity that justifies eating unhealthy foods.
So eat healthy, train, lift some weights and have a positive mindset! You will get there!
Thank you so much for reading!
This article was written by Felicia Romero.
IFBB Figure Pro
Fitness Model and Motivational Speaker