Every new year, people obsess over their goal and near the top of everyone’s resolution is to get in shape. Rather than doing the proper research to get one step closer to their fitness goals, many choose to go with the knowledge they already have, and oftentimes, that includes myths, some of which are extremely wrong. Let’s take a look at the exercising myths that we’ve believed for years.
1. Targeted Fat Loss
Many people believe that doing 1000 crunches will tone their abs or that doing hundreds of squats will give them legs of steel. Unfortunately, this isn’t as simple as you think it is and it’s all because of advertising. The body doesn’t distribute fat equally across the body, so when we gain fat, the body puts it wherever it wants to and when we lose fat, the fat is burned from the excess storage. When people claim that workouts target fat in specific areas, what they’re actually saying is that the workout targets the muscle group in that area.
2. Turning Fat into Muscle
Trying to turn fat into muscle is as easy as turning water into wine, so unless you have Jesus-like abilities, then you’ve probably figured out that it’s impossible… and that’s because they are two different substances. Muscles (specifically skeletal) are contractile fibers typically attached to bone while fat is found around the organs and under the skin as the storage form of excess carbohydrates. People lose weight through a process called lipolysis which is extremely different from building muscle through muscle hypertrophy.
3. Fat Loss = Weight Loss
Many people tend to equate weight loss with fat loss but that’s not necessarily true. A person’s weight is influenced by many things, namely muscle mass, fat, water weight, as well as excrements. When a person works out regularly, you begin to build muscle and muscle weighs more than fat. According to Dr. Somnath Patil, measurement changes should be used to gauge a person’s progress instead of keeping track of weight loss because it does not equate to fat loss. Additionally, lifestyle changes are more important than weight loss.
4. No Pain, No Gain
Have you ever heard the saying, “no pain, no gain”? Well, that’s what many people equate a good workout to. Unfortunately, being sore does more bad than good. Not only does being overly sore leave you too tired to continue working out, but it makes the body more vulnerable to injury. The moral of the story is that you shouldn’t hit the gym too hard, especially if it’s your first day back after a long time away.
5. Bigger is Better
One of the most popular myths that we’ve heard is that bigger muscles means that you are stronger, and we have no idea where it came from. Building muscle has both long- and short-term benefits, but there’s no need to get as big as Mr. Schwarzenegger to prove your point. While some people prefer the “more is more” look, bigger doesn’t always suit everyone. Additionally, consistently lifting too much weight puts you at risk of tearing your aorta, according to the Mayo Clinic.
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