Five Fitness Myths Debunked

I have a memory of me as a teenager diligently undertaking 100 crunches every single day. I was convinced that by doing this I was going to flatten my stomach (ha, girl that stomach was already flat) and I was going to have the hottest six pack in town.

It never happened. Maybe this was because I lasted about a month, however now with the benefit of many years of experience on my side, I know that it was never going to happen. Why? Because that’s not how the body works. It is a myth.

Sadly, there are many myths floating around the fitness industry – some that have been discredited through research and others that have evolved like a wild game of chinese whispers.

So let’s get real, here are 5 myths debunked for you:

1. Crunches are the way to flat abs:

There are two myths here. Firstly, by doing crunches you are only working your Rectus Abdominus muscles which make up just one part of your core muscles group. Crunches only isolate the very top part, so effectively don’t do a lot if that is the only core work you are doing,

Secondly, you can’t spot reduce. For fat loss, your body will usually use up fat stores in the areas that it believes it least needs some extra cushioning. Fat cells do not gather in isolated areas, they are across the entire body. Sorry to disappoint you, however this means that regardless of how many crunches you do, your body isn’t going to magically decide that your fat stores in that area will be used up first.

2. It is best to work out every single day

No, rest time is important. A rest day allows your muscles time to recover and if you over train you are at risk of injury or burnout. Overtraining can also stop your muscles from rebounding and recovering quickly, which can have a reverse effect on your training goals. Active rest days (also known as active recovery days) are good for those people that want to keep moving every day. Light exercises, such as walking or a gentle swim are great activities to allow your muscles plenty of recuperation time. Just don’t go walking marathons!

3. Lifting weights will make me too bulky

No, this is a big myth here. Women have less muscle tissues and produce lower levels of testosterone than men, which mean that physiologically it is really hard to bulk up – regardless of your weight size.
Lifting weights (also known as strength training) is actually a fantastic form of exercise for weight loss. You don’t actually need to slug it out on the treadmill for hours and hours to get the ultimate calorie burn. Strength training increases your lean muscle mass (no this does not bulk you up) which helps your body burn calories at rest.

4. It wasn’t a good workout because I’m not sore

I’ve had clients in the past express their disappointment because they haven’t woken up sore the next day. Being sore (the technical terms is DOMS – Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) is not an indication of how well the workout went.
Generally, DOMS occurs because you put a lot of stress on the tissues and muscles in that area. This creates a lactic acid build up which results in the soreness.
The level of soreness you experience can also be impacted by your post-exercise recovery. Hydration, sleep and proper refueling all play important factors in your DOMS recovery.

5. You need to work out for no less than 60 minutes a day

I still struggle with this myth. Why? Because if you have ever been to a class at the gym, they tend to all be structured in 45 to 60 minute time slots. That must be the ultimate workout time right? Wrong!
While there are studies that say a 60 minute workout a day is optimal, if you are time poor – any workout in your day is optimal! It might be 6 x 10 minute workouts or it might be 1 x 10 minute workout.
If you are working towards weight loss, you do need to try to do some sort of vigorous exercise most days of the week. If you haven’t heard of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) it would be worth checking it out. The name says it all really!

So, now that you have read through those five myths, put your hand up if you have ever fallen victim to any? My hand is up – in fact I need at least 3 hands here….

By the way, doors are currently open to Reset & Thrive: Busy Women’s Health Hub. A gorgeous place to go for more information on exercise and a great exercise library filled with all types of workouts. It is also filled with tutorials on many other aspects of your health and is designed to help you to find the puzzle pieces towards reaching your health goals…have you ever considered it might not just be exercise vs nutrition?

You can find out more info here



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