Top 5 Fitness Fables
Top 5 Fitness Fables
You have heard the stories: weight training makes women look like Charles Atlas,
exercising on an empty stomach burns more calories, and more. While
some fitness myths make sense on the surface, deeper examination proves these stories
have little or no basis in reality. Let’s tackle five of the most common myths and
check out the real story behind them.
1. No Pain, No Gain
Perhaps the most common myth out there is this one that says if you don’t feel pain
when you exercise, you’re not going to benefit. The truth is absolutely the opposite:
exercise done right should never be painful and professional trainers recommend that
you stop your workout at the first sign of pain. The logic behind the “no pain, no gain”
mantra says that you can’t expect good results without punishing yourself.
Call it twisted logic at best, downright sadistic at worst. Exercise should be
something you enjoy or else you very quickly become disillusioned and drop it entirely.
While an intense workout may create slight discomfort, it should never get to the
point where you are in actual serious pain.
2. Training With Weights Bulks Women Up
Few women want to look like professional bodybuilders, so this myth scares untold numbers of female
exercisers away from weights. This is despite scientific evidence to the contrary. The physiological
differences between male and female bodies decree that men have a higher percentage of muscle
throughout the body; thus men tend to increase bulk with weight lifting. On the other hand,
female bodies have a higher percentage of fat to assist with childbearing and have less muscle
to build and bulk up. Weight training for women is aimed at producing stronger muscles that
can take more stress and bounce back feeling better than ever!
3. Exercising On An Empty Stomach Burns More Calories
This myth seems like it should make sense since exercise burns calories and an empty stomach
has no calories to burn. It seems like you would be ahead of the game! Unfortunately, it does not work
that way. Your body needs fuel (energy) to run, so when you exercise on an empty stomach the body
has to find fuel somewhere else. The body tries to provide energy while looking for it at the same time
and can get overwhelmed, resulting in the risk of dizziness or even fainting in extreme situations.
The smartest choice is to have a small snack about ten to fifteen minutes before working out.
Carbohydrates are the best source of energy, so have a small serving of carbs (bagel, cereal etc) or a banana.
4. Crunches Are The Best Way Of Firming Up The Stomach
Too many videos and articles send the message that hundreds of crunches are the best way to correct a belly
fat issues but fail to take into account that most saggy abs are the result of excess fat, not
weak muscles. Simply doing crunches alone strengthens the abdominal muscles but does not address
the layer of fat over the muscles. You may see your stomach appear to grow larger since the muscles are
gaining strength underneath the fat layer. The best strategy for getting firm abs is simple: burn fat
and strengthen abdominal muscles at the same time. By using a two-pronged approach, fat that
covers muscles is burned and the muscles are firmed at the same time, accomplishing your goal and giving you
strong, sleek abdominal muscles.
5. Protein Will Help Build Muscles
Protein can do great things for your health but it won’t help you increase your muscle strength.
Too much protein in your diet can lead to unintended health risks such as kidney strain or dehydration.
Extra protein also packs extra calories into your diet that can result in extra pounds – definitely not what you
want. The best source of fuel for weight lifting is carbohydrates – easily digestible by the body. Carbohydrates
provide fast, consistent energy for the body and allow you to continue working out longer.
That alone is what builds strength, not the specific kind of food you eat. Provide your body with
the right kind of energy to use and you’ll be able to build muscle more effectively.
There are many more myths centered around health and fitness. The best defense against false
information is education. When you are confident that you know the right plan for your body,
spotting myths becomes simple.