1. There is no point in doing short or seldom workouts
So wrong! Of course it is better to train 3-4 times a week for 40-60 mins and blah blah blah, but at the end of the day if you only have 20 minutes once a week or even 5 minutes every other day or whatever, it is still better that nothing at all. Every single step counts. Making movement a priority will do wonders for your life!
2. To burn fat you need to train in the “fat burning” heart rate zone
Nope. When training (or resting, or whatever) your body uses different energy systems to create energy. The “fat burning” zone is a heart rate range that a higher percentage of energy comes from fatty acids. However, this happens at a relatively low intensity, while at a higher intensity other sources of energy are dominant. So why am I telling you that higher intensity is better to lose fat? Because, the higher intensity exercise burns more calories, which eventually results in more significant fat loss. If we’re to simplify this, the more caloric deficit you create – the more fat you lose at the end of the day. We won’t get into the actual scientific evidence to prove that in this article, however, let me know if you want me to provide a more in depth evidence based explanation.
3. You need to do mainly cardio when you’re trying to lose fat
It is a bit more complicated than that. You lose more weight by creating a higher caloric deficit. You burn more calories during standard aerobic (cardio) exercise than standard resistance training (not talking here about CrossFit and other cool stuff). But, you’re not preserving nor building muscle when doing only cardio, so this calories will come from muscle tissue as well as fat tissue. When you’re not neglecting resistance training, you’re making sure you preserve or even build muscle tissue, which requires more calories for maintenance, which means your energy expenditure at rest and during workouts will be higher! Plus the appearance of your body will be more firm and toned. If you ask me, that’s a win-win!
4. You will bulk from lifting weights
Again, no. “Bulking” requires a few conditions: mainly high testosterone level and caloric surplus to complement the resistance training. If you’re not a male then you don’t have the levels of testosterone for that and if you’re not eating more calories than your body requires you simply won’t “bulk”. I will tell you a secret... even males that eat quite a lot and work really hard at the gym don’t put on muscle that easily. So if you don’t want this, you certainly won’t get this. What you WILL get is the other benefits of resistance training like stronger bones, stronger muscles, better posture, better body confidence and more toned appearance.
5. Deadlifts are bad for your back
They’re actually very good for your back, when performed correctly. Deadlifts = stronger back = less back pain and less chance of herniated disks and other not-so-fun-stuff. Just ask a good professional (like myself! ;-) ) to teach you proper deadlift form and go for it!
6. You need to do arm exercises to lose your “arm wings” and work on your abs to get a flat belly
There are no exercises that make you lose fat and there is no way to target fat loss for specific areas. Fat is lost by using it for energy and we can’t choose where to lose it from. Some people will lose it first from their arms, some from their bums and some from all over the body. Exercises help toning the muscles that are involved, nutrition does all the rest. Body composition is mainly made in the kitchen, the gym plays an important, but smaller role here.
7. Pregnant women shouldn’t train
Every time I hear that someone stopped training or doesn’t want to start, because she is carrying a baby, it makes me sad. While I understand that some women are having a very challenging time during that period and the last thing I would do is judge them for not having the energy to train (or judge for anything really… it is just not my style), I also know that this myth is preventing women from taking care of themselves. If there are no complications that prevent you from training, you are allowed to train! Yes, even weights, yes even running. Of course it should be gradual and smartly planned, of course it is best to do this with a PT who is qualified in pre-natal training, who can adjust your workouts according to the week of your pregnancy to make the most out of it, but in general there are very few contradictions and the benefits are endless! You can also try online programs which are more affordable than a PT if you prefer. Just get an ok from your doctor and go for it!
So, what do you say? Did I convince you that those myths are nonsense? Would you like some evidence based articles on some of those? Drop me a line to let me know!
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