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12 Myths About Exercise & Weight Training Debunked

12 Exercise & Weight Training Myths DebunkedWhen it comes to working out it seems that everyone is an expert these days.  Eat this. Drink that. Wear this. Try that.  No matter what new trends and fads pop up in the world of fitness, there are some myths that just don’t seem to go away.  Here are 12 myths about exercise and weight training debunked for your reading pleasure:

Weight Training Myths:

You can get rid of fat simply by doing strength work in that area. In truth, experts say that fat reduction only happens through a combination of healthy eating, cardio and strength work. You must have all three in order to see success. Those bicep curls will not give you more sculpted arms if you are not also eating healthy and doing cardiovascular activities.

Machines are safer than free weights.  Neither one is safe if you are not using them properly.  Make sure your form is correct in order to avoid injury.  If you are not sure of proper form, ask someone at the gym for help.  Working out at home? There are many videos online where you can watch experts demonstrate proper form and technique.

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-lifter bulky requires an entirely different type of workout than the workouts most people at the gym are doing.

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.

Cardio Myths:

If you are not sweating like a pig, you are not working hard enough. As you may have noticed at the gym (or elsewhere), some people perspire way more than others.  It does not necessarily mean that the sweaty people have gotten a better workout.  Sweat is simply how the body regulates its temperature and internal temperatures may range from person to person.

Running on a treadmill is easier on your body than running outside.  Not necessarily.  It all depends on your individual body and the type of treadmill you are using.  So use whichever you prefer or whichever feels better for you.

You will enter the fat-burning zone with heavy, sweat-inducing cardio.  There is no actual “zone” (twilight or otherwise) where you burn fat.  The idea of a zone simply relates to the time during your workout when your body is working the hardest, whether you are doing cardio or lifting weights.  With that said, experts suggest building up to that point in your workout to avoid a quick burnout.

Other Myths:

Stretching before exercise improves performance. Experts have mixed feelings on this, but most say that the need for stretching is very individualized to one’s body. Many recommend stretching post workout.  They suggest slow, deliberate stretches for 10-15 seconds while breathing deeply.

You can’t get a good workout from pilates or yoga.  They are just glorified stretching.  Yoga and pilates can be excellent workouts because your core is engaged during the entire activity.  Your entire body is being stabilized by the muscles in your core.  Seriously, have you ever seen a yoga instructor who is not in good shape??

You are not getting fit if you are still seeing high numbers on the scale. Not necessarily. If you are working out and eating healthy, those pounds are likely coming from muscle rather than fat.  You may actually be leaner and weigh more, so concentrate more on how you feel than the number you see on the scale.

As long as you exercise you can eat anything you want.  Wouldn’t that be fabulous?  Sadly, we do not get pig out credits if we’ve had a great workout.  Your metabolism will decide how much you can eat, but it should still be good-for-you foods if your goal is to be healthy and lean.

Low-intensity exercises burn more fat than intense workouts. Not quite. You may burn less fat with a low intensity workout, but what matters is the number of calories burned, not the amount of fat.  Some people rave about low intensity exercises because it is easier on the joints.  Keep in mind that the definition of a low intensity workout can vary from person to person.  Workouts, regardless of type, burn carbohydrates first.  It is only once your body has burned up all the carbohydrates when it starts to burn fat.

“If we could give every individual the right amount of nourishment and exercise, not too little and not too much, we would have found the safest way to health.”  -Hippocrates 

Please note that this post is intended to share information and ideas, as well as to create conversation. Please consult a medical professional before making changes to your lifestyle.

Read more from Jessica at FoundtheMarbles.com.  And be sure to follow her on Twitter too!

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