Top 4 Fitness Myths

Throughout my journey in fitness, I've been blessed to gain a lot of knowledge, whether by taking advice from people I trust, learning from my own personal experiences, or simply doing enough research. On the other hand, I've also come across a lot of information that is simply inaccurate too. Of all the fitness myths that I've heard throughout the years, I want to share these with you as my top 4 myths about fitness.

Myth #1 - Spot Reducing Fat

No matter what anyone tells you, you cannot spot reduce fat. There is no regimen that will allow you to flatten your stomach while keeping all the fat in your booty. There are no foods that will go straight to your thighs and hips while avoiding your arms and waist. The human body just doesn't work like that. On the other hand, building muscle is what you do have control of. If you want bigger biceps, increase your protein intake and start doing arms exercises. But when it comes to trimming fat, this is more of a package deal situation. As you exercise to reduce fat, it will be lost proportionally across your entire body. If you try to target specific areas of your body to lose fat and tone up at the same time, you can expect minimal to zero results. After putting in time and hard work only to see that nothing happens, this will be extremely discouraging on you.

In the process of transforming the body, I always refer to 2 different phases, which are "cut" and "bulk." During the cut phase, your are actively working out doing exercises that will help you burn calories, reduce fat, and help increase metabolism. These are more endurance type programs that involve low weight and high reps. In addition, eating right is essential and cannot be disregarded. Therefore, you should consult your personal nutritionist about what diet is right for you considering your age and weight because everyone is different. During the bulk phase, workouts are more strength focused involving lower reps and higher weight. Likewise, eating here is absolutely essential as you will need more intake of nutrients to bulk, especially protein. Again, consult with your nutritionist to determine what is safe for you. The cut and bulk phases should be done at different times as they require distinct types of workouts and appropriate diets.

Myth #2 - If the scale weight stays the same, I haven't lost any weight

Ladies, throw the scale away! The way you look and feel about yourself is much more important than how much you weigh. Standing on the scale can be very deceiving during your fitness journey. There are days when your body is going through changes which the scale will not account for. For example, muscle has more density than fat. A pound of muscle and a pound of fat weigh exactly the same, but they are not the same in size. Let's say you are working through a workout program. Throughout the program, you've shaved down a pound of fat. After a while, you've also managed to get stronger, so you've added a pound of muscle. The scale will tell you that you weigh the exact same as when you started. Although, the eye test will indicate that you have slimmed down because the pound of added muscle takes up less space in your body than the pound of fat that was lost. This is why it is better to take progress pictures and not rely on the scale. When going through a workout program, take before pictures, midpoint, and after pictures and use those to track your progress. In addition to progress pictures, also be observant of how your clothing starts to fit. If you don't fit in some things the way you used to, then you know that you are making progress.

Close up of woman's feet standing on a scale
Throw away the scale!

Myth #3 - Exercise machines are more effective than free weights

In the gym, there's always the dilemma of choosing between exercise machines and free weights. For many, making that decision comes down to preference more than anything. One of the reasons that sways preference for exercise machines is the belief that they are more effective than free weights. While exercise machines are still very effective, this statement is not always true. Exercise machines are great for isolating a specific muscle to receive all or most of the workload from an exercise. This will be the most effective approach if your goal is to work on and strengthen a particular muscle. Nevertheless, using free weights actually activates more muscle groups together. For example, performing a dumbbell curl with free weights not only activates the biceps, but also activates core muscles as well for stabilizing the body to perform the exercise. Machines can also be more advantageous when dealing with injury in another area of the body that you don't want to aggravate. So machines do have their advantages and can prove to be very effective. But when it comes to activating multiple muscle groups across you entire body, free weight exercises can generally be more effective.

Myth #4 - Doing a surplus of core exercises will give you abs

Everyone loves abs and it's probably the most desired physical feature for both men and women. The great thing about it is that core exercises are generally easy for mostly anyone to do as. Don't be fooled though, because cranking out hundreds of crunches may not necessarily help show off those washboard. You see, you might actually already have that 6 pack you are working hard on. It may just be hiding behind a wall of unwanted fat and core exercises won't resolve that alone. You can do all the core workouts you want, but if your body fat percentage isn't where it should be considering your height and age, those abs will never be revealed. This is where your diet comes in. If you aren't focused on eating right and creating a balanced diet for yourself, you are exercising in vain and could be keeping the results of your hard work hidden behind bad eating habits. The two work hand in hand so don't do one without the other. Trim down the fat so that you can really reveal the fruits of your labor.

My Top 4 Fitness Myths Youtube Video

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