Did you know that you can lift weights or work out in a way that targets a specific part of your body? If you did know this, I’m afraid I’ve got some bad news – you’ve bought into a fitness myth.
You’re far from alone in this. Countless fitness myths have circulated throughout the years. Some are laughable, while others are downright harmful.
In a time when a third of United States adults are obese, we can’t afford to keep perpetuating these falsehoods.
Below we’ll touch on some common myths that you need to unlearn ASAP.
Women That Workout Will Get Bulky
“But, I don’t want to look like a man.”
Many women stayed away from weights in the past several decades because of this fear. Weights are wonderful because they can help you build any kind of body that you want. Buying into this myth has caused a lot of ladies to leave some body goals on the table.
Women’s bodies produce as little as 5% of the testosterone that men’s do. This means that the only way you’ll build a physique like a man is with a serious regimen of performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs).
Lift weights to your heart’s content and fall in love with it. Not only does lifting weights help women build amazing bodies, but it also helps with pain relief, and can stimulate positive moods and curb depression.
Losing Weight Can’t Involve Weights
We’ve come a long way since the 90’s idea that drinking nothing but Slim Fast will help you lose weight. However, we’re still moving with a lot of bad information.
Many people think losing weight means going strictly cardio and aerobics while ignoring the weights. Going full cardio can be amazing, but most peoples’ reasoning for doing so is faulty.
They think that pumping iron will ruin their weight loss results and bulk them up instead. This idea takes the truth that “muscle weighs more than fat” too far.
To completely debunk this myth, know that adding muscle is the absolute best thing you can do when you want to lose weight. Lean muscle turns your body into a fat-burning machine so that you’re slimming down even when at rest.
You won’t bulk up unless you add to your caloric intake and lift weights hard with the intention of getting bigger.
Start by Sitting and Stretching
It’s time for a workout. Ready, set, stretch. Right? Wrong.
There’s nothing wrong with stretching and warming up, but most people go about it the wrong way. Doing old-school, static exercises might actually be the worst thing that you can do before a workout.
These stretches extend your muscles while they are cold, which can open you up to injury risk. It’s probably best to get in a light jog or some jumping jacks instead.
Stretching can be great but switch to dynamic stretching that involves natural movement, rather than just sitting still.
You Can Eat What You Want
“I workout so that I get to eat whatever I want.”
This is a horrible idea, and can immediately negate all of your hard work. What’s truer is the adage that you can’t outwork a poor diet.
Once you make the decision to get fit, resolve to also make better decisions for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Eat nutritious meals with fruits and vegetables, legumes, healthy proteins and carbohydrates, and other healthy foods.
Cut out processed junk, saturated fat, excess sugar, artificial sweeteners, foods with added hormones, and fried foods. Now, this doesn’t mean that you can never eat them again, but just make sure that you put them in their proper place – a treat or a break from your normal diet.
You can always point to examples of people that eat crazy amounts of calories and junk and still look amazing. They may have impeccable genetics that allows it or might have a world-class level fitness program that lets them burn it off quickly.
No matter the reason, this is always the exception, rather than the rule.
Muscle Can Turn Into Fat
Plenty of people worry that their muscle will turn into fat if they don’t keep working out at the same grueling pace. While it may look like this, what’s more accurate is that you simply lose muscle mass.
Your body is like a power plant that is constantly burning and using different fuel sources. It does this in a hierarchy of priority. If you’re no longer doing the things that build and maintain the muscle, your body will consume it and convert it into energy.
This means bye-bye muscles. Your body fat percentage will go up as a result, but it’s impossible for the muscle to actually turn into fat.
You Have to Workout for Hours
While fitness is serious business, it’s not that serious. Your body doesn’t require you to work out for long stretches of time to see results. In fact, that’s counterproductive.
The key is to put your body in a stay to work past resistance. Once you’re exhausted beyond belief, you’re only punishing your body to the point that it can’t put up any fight.
You want to push yourself just to the point of your edge, and to failure as long as you have a spotter. But the majority of your workout and reps should involve exercises that are difficult but doable.
That way, you have some improvements to make but aren’t taxing your body to the point of hurting it.
It’s also great to mix up the types of workouts you do. Rather than being all weights, all the time, consider joining a sports league to break the monotony and mix up the workout.
Sites like Urban Rec can teach you more about these leagues.
Unlearn These Outdated Fitness Myths
Fitness myths keep you from learning as much as you can about your body. Debunking these myths helps you take control of your physical destiny, which improves your quality of life – and may even buy you more life.
This is no small matter, and we have tons of other content that is equally as impactful. Check out our posts related to health and fitness, business, and so much more.