Top 5 Exercise Myths Debunked
We know exercise is good for us. The Romans and Greeks knew it back in the day - and science continues to prove it time and time again.
If there is any kind of miracle pill in the world, it’s exercise. It improves most health conditions, as well as one’s quality of life and longevity.
Yet, the internet has a habit of spreading misinformation and sometimes not entirely true fitness facts. We get confused. People are trying to sell us products and services - and we can’t tell fact from fiction.
So, let’s set the record straight this time. Here are the top 5 exercise myths debunked.
Myth #1: Strength training will cause me to bulk up.
Strength training uses resistance to tone your body and replace fat with muscle. It also amps up your calorie burn during rest time. More muscle = Higher energy output.
However, there are many different types of strength training. And everyone’s body responds differently. Strength training won’t necessarily mean you’ll bulk up.
Bulking up further depends on your diet. In order to bulk up, you need a caloric surplus. This means you need to be eating more calories than you are expending. Why? Because building muscle takes energy. It takes the right combination of weights, repetitions, sets, rest time, and nutrients to build muscle rather than fat.
Think of it as a complicated equation. The equation has to be balanced out in a specific way to achieve your desired outcome.
In most cases, strength training will actually help you create lean muscle mass, making you appear thinner, not bigger. Other factors, such as your body type, also come into play. Some put on muscle easier than others.
Basically, it comes down to a variety of individual factors. This fitness myth is so broad that it can easily be knocked off the table. Strength training is good for you! Don’t be scared of it. It creates strong bones, better functionality and mobility, and helps to keep your body in tip-top shape.
We strongly suggest researching studies and reliable sources to reach your fitness goals. Then, find out what works best for you! There’s no one size fits all, especially when it comes to exercise.
Myth #2: No pain, no gain.
Pain is your body’s way of telling you something is wrong. Pushing through the pain won’t help you reach your fitness goals faster, nor will it make you a better person. If anything, it could seriously setback your fitness goals.
If pain happens during exercise, stop. Reset and adjust your form. If pain continues, take a break. If it persists, book an appointment with your healthcare provider. There’s no point in risking it or possibly making it worse.
Exercise shouldn’t cause pain. Yes, it may cause fatigue or delayed onset muscle soreness. But any sharp or non-muscular contraction related sensations should be approached with caution.
Myth #3: Certain exercises will help me lose fat in one spot.
There are a lot of hyped-up programs that claim to get you that “waist you’ve always wanted” or finally get that “flat 6-pack.” While certain strengthening exercises can help you build muscle and tone up in certain spots, there isn’t exactly an exercise that will eliminate fat in one area.
Plus, individuals lose fat in different places. Different body types is a real thing. Appreciate what you have! A lot of individuals are aware of where they pack on the pounds or where they are more likely to lose it. For example, some may burn fat off their waistline quickly, while others might not.
It may not be physically possible for you to get that super small waistline. We are all built differently. Embrace what you have and practice self-love!
Here’s another fitness fact for you: Some of us will never have a 6-pack. And it’s not because they may not be trying. Genetic predispositions and individual body types play a huge role in this.
Instead of aiming for aesthetic goals, strive for feeling better. Focus on a holistic exercise program. Go for full body and functional movements, like the squat and deadlift. These type of exercise will help strengthen and tone your whole body while making your life easier when performing daily tasks and activities.
Myth #4: Lots of cardio is the best weight to lose weight.
Cardio activities work the cardiovascular system and yes, burn calories. However, losing weight comes down to expending more calories than you consume. If you are doing a lot of cardio, but not paying attention to your diet, you might not drop the pounds. You may even put on weight as your body strives to maintain its current weight (the body is constantly aiming for balance).
If you want to lose weight, do cardio and strengthening exercises. And watch your diet! Strengthening exercises will help you gain muscle, which means you will burn more calories at rest. Watching your diet is essential to make sure you don’t overdo it.
To burn 1 pound of fat, you need to have a calorie deficit of 3500. This often means 500 calories less per day, which can be achieved through or a combination of both diet and exercise. Up to 500 calories can be burned in a 45-minute spin class. You don’t need to dedicate hours of your time to it. Just become more aware!
Myth #5: I have to work out every day to make progress.
False! Rest days are just as important as the days you workout. A lot of people suffer from guilt on the days they don’t do any physical activity. Yet, your body needs these days to recovery. Your muscles need time to heal.
When you workout, small tears are created in the muscles. It takes time for the body to heal these micro-tears. That’s why it’s often recommended to rest 24-48 hours between exercising the same muscle group. Give your body that time. Work out every second day, or alternate between different muscle groups or exercise type each day.
While exercise is good for you, you don’t want to work yourself to the ground. Balance is important as well! And too much of anything isn’t good.
Don’t believe everything you read! Make sure the exercise and fitness facts you read are true. Do your own research and get informed before you make up your mind. Sometimes the hype really is just hype.