Fitness myths are everywhere. In today’s health-obsessed world, it can seem like no matter where you go, everyone else has an opinion on what you should or should not do at the gym.
Many of these fitness myths and misconceptions exist because they were once a popular idea that most people accepted as fact. Additionally, conflicting “scientific” studies have also led people to various beliefs. What’s more, you must also remember that what may work for one body type may not necessarily work for you.
Now you must be thinking; how will I ever know what to do?
So today, we’ve compiled a list of six common fitness myths that we are going to debunk. Get ready to get into the best shape of your life!
Fitness Myth #1: Spot Reduction Works
One of the most common fitness myths is the belief that you can burn fat in one part of your body if you focus on it. Otherwise known as spot reduction.
This simply doesn’t work. Let’s delve into a bit of biology.
Fat in your body is made of triglycerides which consist of glycerol and fatty acids that the body can use as energy. When you exercise you can get this energy from any part of your body, and not necessarily the area that you’re targeting.
Need some tangible proof?
One study done by Tehran University of Medical Sciences proved that targeted resistance training of the abdominal muscles did nothing to reduce fat in that area. The trial followed 40 overweight women over a 12-week period.
And another study consisting of 104 people over a 12-week period, focused on only strengthening the participants’ non-dominant arms. Results showed that fat was lost throughout the entire body, not just the arm they trained.
Hence, targeting one area of the body is one of those fitness myths that needs to go away. It’s impossible for you to focus on a specific area and not expect your body to burn fat in other places.
Fitness Myth #2: No Pain, No Gain
This is a phrase that’s repeated time and time again to the point where it’s almost a mantra. But this is one of those fitness myths that can be dangerous.
Imagine you’ve started training at the gym and in the middle of an intense work out, you feel that your body has nothing left to give. If you push yourself to finish it while ignoring your body’s signal for you to stop, then you’re subjecting yourself to more harm than good. But maybe starting at such an intense level isn’t right for your body and you should build up to it gradually. Maybe that routine isn’t effective for you. Whatever the case may be, never ignore what your body is telling you, as that can often lead to damage and injury.
And contrary to popular belief, you don’t always have to feel sore after a workout. It’s a common misconception that feeling horrible one to three days after a workout indicates that you’ve done a good job. This shouldn’t be the case! According to certain studies, muscle soreness does not always equal an effective workout, as it is actually a combination of several factors.
Remember, working out should be an empowering experience that makes you feel good. While it’s good to challenge yourself, you should never feel intense pain or discomfort. Our physical pain threshold is there to warn us of danger. If a certain workout is literately hurting you, then that type of class or routine may not be the best for your body.
Fitness Myth #3: The More You Sweat, the Better
People believe that the more you sweat, the more weight you lose. Though we’d love this to be true, it’s another fitness myth we have to debunk.
People sweat for different reasons and in varying degrees. It all depends on your body type, your environment, and how accustomed you are to your exercise routine.
Remember, you sweat because it’s your body’s natural response when it’s over heating. Though you may decide to work out in a stifling room or take a jog on a hot day, this doesn’t mean that you’ll lose weight faster, it just means you’ll shed more water-weight.
Fitness Myth #4: More Exercise Equals More Weight Loss
One of the most popular fitness myths is the longer you exercise, the more weight you’ll lose. Wrong again! Just because you spend hours at the gym, doesn’t mean you’re using your time wisely.
Take high-intensity interval training (HIIT) as a prime example of quality vs quantity. HIIT involves periodic spurts of maximum energy. It’s tough and it’s effective. And because you are pushing your body to 90%-100% of your abilities, it’s actually dangerous to sustain a HIIT workout for more than 30 minutes.
People also think that they have to work out every day to lose weight. This is false too! Your body needs time to heal and recover, especially if you’re lifting heavy or participating in HIIT. If you push your body too hard, it’ll start to have an adverse effect.
Fitness Myth #5: Weight Lifting is Only for Men
People tend to think that weight lifting is an activity best reserved for men. Yet, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
This is one of those fitness myths that comes from the misinformation that women will bulk up if they train with weights. The truth? Because women’s bodies don’t produce the same amount of testosterone as men, they won’t bulk up the same way.
Additionally, there are many more benefits of weight training for women. Aside from building lean muscle, it also increases resting metabolism and decreases risks of osteoporosis.
Fitness Myth #6: Yoga is Only for Women
Just as many believe that only men should lift weights, others think that only women should do yoga. In almost all forms of media (movies, tv shows, advertisements, etc.) yoga classes are almost always shown with only female participants. Hardly any men are ever in sight, which isn’t the case! Yoga is a brilliant way of healing and realigning with your inner balance. It’s a human experience, not a gendered one.
Furthermore, yoga isn’t as easy as many people think. This workout is full of different poses which challenge the body in unimaginable ways. You’re not only working on balance and breathing, but you’re increasing your core strength and endurance. The stamina it takes to hold certain poses for long periods of time and do them correctly can be quite difficult. Yogis train for years to be able to master certain poses.
There you have it! Six common fitness myths debunked! Be wary of what you believe from now on and remember that everyone’s body is different. Just because something works for some people doesn’t mean it’ll work for everyone.
Let’s do a quick recap.
First, you can’t target fat burn to only one area of the body. When you exercise, all parts of your body are working and burning fat. Second, you don’t have to push yourself to extreme limits to feel like you’ve had a good workout. The “no pain, no gain” concept isn’t healthy for your body or your mind. Third, you don’t have to have copious amounts of sweat dripping down your face to prove that you’ve had a good workout. The amount that people sweat varies according to their bodies and fitness levels. Fourth, more exercise doesn’t mean you’ll lose more weight. Spending hours at the gym could be less effective than a 30-minute HIIT workout. Fifth, weightlifting is not an activity reserved solely or men. Women can definitely benefit from it too. And lastly, yoga isn’t only for women. Flow and balance should be a practice for everyone!
In short, Fitness myths are everywhere, so do your research before taking anything to heart!
Are you a gym owner or personal trainer ready to debunk some fitness myths in your community and increase your clientele? WellnessLiving would love to be a part of your journey! WellnessLiving is an all-in-one easy-to-use business management system built by business owners, for business owners. From staff and client management, to online booking, to automated marketing, to mobile apps, and much more, we got you covered!