By: Martin Ebner
Fitness myths are so easily started. A friend of a friend told a friend who told you. Just because the Daily mail printed it, doesn't make it true! With so much gibberish and contradictory information at our fingertips, it can be so hard to know what's true and what's false. In this article we're going to debunk some of the most common fitness myths, saving you from frustration and a lot of wasted time and effort!
Doing sit-ups and crunches will build you a six-pack
One of the most popular goals my clients share is the desire to have "abs". Most of which seem utterly bemused and somewhat disappointed when i tell them the secret to a six-pack is not crunches and sit-ups. While these sorts of ab exercises can play a part in your workout, they should by no means be the focus. Instead, target compound exercises like: squats, deadlifts, pull-ups, push-ups, lunges etc. You may not feel the burn in your abs, but believe me, your core is working overdrive to stabilise you body during these exercises.
Related article: How to get a six-pack
Squats are bad for your knees
After struggling with tendinitis in both knees for most of my 20s, i decided to get more proactive with my training regime. Despite the critics, I started to include squats into my leg workouts and within just a few months, my legs were stronger, more stable and less susceptible to knee related injuries.
Like any exercise, if done incorrectly, you run the risk of injury. When performing squats, it's important to go deep. When i say deep, i mean your thighs should be at least parallel to the ground with your weight on your heels. Do them right, and you'll have healthy knees long into your golden years.
If you take some time off exercise, muscle will turn to fat
Muscle and fat are two completely different things. One can not magically transform into the other and vice versa.
Muscles thrive and grow when they're being challenged. Stop exercising and the need to have muscle on tap dissipates, along with your muscle mass.
Unfortunately When muscle mass decreases, your metabolic rate slows and you burn fewer calories. The culprit is when you continue to eat as much as you did when you were exercising, leaving you body little choice but to convert the surplus of calories into fat.
Lifting weights make women bulky
Building muscle requires a lot of testosterone! Women only produce 1/10th the amount of testosterone than the average man. This mean that in order to get female bodybuilder bulky, you would have to take steroids, and i know you aren't that stupid!
The more you sweat, the more fat you lose
We've seen boxers wearing sweat suits and training in saunas in a desperate attempt to artificially lose weight for their pre-fight weigh-in. Sweat is not necessarily relative to intensity. It is simply your body's means of cooling down and releasing excess heat. Unfortunately, just like going to the bathroom, any weight-loss you experience from sweating is artificial. It's 99% water and salt, not fat!
Related: The no nonsense way to lose weight
Long distance cardio is the most effective way to lose weight
Yes, cardio is great for your health and yes, you'll burn a lot of calories doing it. Unfortunately in the long run, it's not your best option for weight-loss.
Ask yourself this question: would you prefer the physique of a long distance runner or a sprinter?
If you chose the long distance runner, by all means, strap on your running and shoes and get going.
If however, you chose the sprinter. Here's why endless cardio is not for you. By slogging it out day after day on the treadmill you run the risk of losing both muscle and fat. As mentioned above, muscle is the key to a high metabolic rate and by maintaining it, you make it much easier on yourself to keep the weight off in the long term.
Related article: HIIT vs cardio
Stay tuned for next week's article, 6 dietary myths - busted!