As a veteran Personal trainer I’ve heard every myth there is and I hope I can clear up any myths you might still have with the information here in this blog post.
Top 10 Fitness Myths to Debunk in 2021
- No pain no gain.
- Machines beat free weights.
- Resistance training will make me big and bulky.
- I do not want to look like a bodybuilder.
- Sit-ups burn belly fat.
- I should only do intense exercise 30 minutes once a week.
- Carbs make me fat.
- Sweating means you’re not in shape.
- You shouldn’t work out on an empty stomach.
- Lifting weights will bulk me up.
Myth #1: “No pain no gain.”
This myth is now busted! You do not have to be in pain to gain a great body. Yes, there may be sore muscles the next day, but ‘pain’ is extreme. If you feel that there is too much pain, you may have caused an injury so I would strongly suggest you go and get this checked by your GP as soon as possible. Never leave an injury untreated for too long.
Myth #2: “Machines beat free weights.”
Once again, it is about form and technique, not equipment. You can work out using your own body weight and still form beautifully sculpted muscles.
Myth #3: “Resistance training will make me big and bulky.”
Resistance training builds strength and muscles – not necessarily big and bulky.
Myth #4: “I do not want to look like a bodybuilder.”
You don’t have to look like a bodybuilder to be strong and increase strength, stability and fitness. It’s all about what goals you have and tailoring the workout to suit them.
Myth #5: “Sit-ups burn belly fat.”
Belly fat is one of the more difficult zones to target. Many people believe that sit-ups will reduce and burn the fat around their belly and abdomen alone. Unfortunately, you cannot focus solely on one aspect of the body and expect that to be reduced. There is no such thing as spot reduction without surgery.
Sit-ups are great at toning, sculpting and strengthening the core muscles of the abdomen, but will not reduce the fat sitting on top of them. Reduction of fat only occurs when you combine exercise and a healthy eating plan.
Myth #6: “I should only do intense exercise 30 minutes once a week.”
Say what! You really should be exercising at least 30 minutes a day as well as high intensity workouts up to three times a week or more depending on your personal fitness goals.
Myth #7: “Carbs make me fat.”
There is a great misconception about carbs. The truth of the matter is that consuming a large quantity of calories is what makes a person put on weight, not necessarily foods rich in carbs. Carbohydrates are the body’s preferred source of fuel for most activities and if you are not eating enough carbs, your body will not be performing at its optimal level therefore your fitness and weight loss goals will be affected as a result.
The trick I have learned over the years is not to completely take carbs out of the diet, but instead change the ‘bad’ carbs for ‘good’ carbs. There is such a thing as a healthy carb source such as fruit and vegetables, nuts and seeds, whole grains, beans and legumes to mention a few.
‘Good carbs’ will also assist in your weight loss journey as they help keep you fuller for longer. These foods also support muscle growth and are a great resource to rely on when embarking on the fitness journey.
I would suggest reducing or eliminating any refined and starchy carbs including white rice, white pasta, processed snacks and sweets. From personal experience, eating some form of healthy carbohydrate straight after a workout (no matter what time) will help restore the depletion of glycogen in the body and keep you sane! Failure to do this will result in your muscles putting the brakes on recovery. So a great way to reward yourself after a fantastic workout would be to consume a bowl of porridge with added protein.
Myth #8: “Sweating means you’re not in shape.”
This is a great myth to bust and quite the opposite is true. This book is called Sweat Swear Smile! Having these three things as part of your workout goals will help you maintain a healthy attitude and allow you to reach your goals faster.
I really love seeing my clients dripping in sweat after a great workout as it means they have worked really hard and pushed themselves to the limit. As mentioned in the ‘Sweating’ section of Chapter 1, sweating is the body’s natural cooling down mechanism and actually a great thing.
It’s really important you rehydrate after a big session in order to replenish what you have lost through sweat. If you are not working hard enough to increase your core temperature, your body will not need to cool down therefore you will not sweat. If you feel that you have worked out really hard and you still aren’t sweating, consult your GP and get a full health check to check it out.
Myth #9: “You shouldn’t work out on an empty stomach.”
While working out on an empty stomach has its supporters, it’s not generally a good idea. It can burn valuable energy that you need for other daily activities such as the concentration needed for working or driving and for moving comfortably through your day.
Exercising on an empty stomach can result in reduced stamina and a drop in blood sugar levels, which can make you feel lightheaded. You should see your GP if you experience frequent light-headedness. Eat a piece of fruit before your workout to fuel up and remember working up a sweat is a great way to kick off your day. As always, remain hydrated before, during and after your workout.
Myth #10: “Lifting weights will bulk me up.”
Weightlifting is often in the spotlight as people gape at the huge sculpted muscles of bodybuilders. Often people do not realise how bodybuilders must follow a very regimented exercise and nutrition plan to design their body. It does not just happen by lifting weights.
Individuals increasing muscle mass and decreasing body fat are following a specific exercise and nutrition program. And ladies, you won’t bulk up by accident because your body doesn’t produce testosterone at the levels men’s bodies produce testosterone (16 times the level of women).
Lifting weights increases strength in your tendons and ligaments, increases bone density (decreased risk of osteoporosis), increases your resting metabolic rate and increases muscle mass (more efficient fat burning). Weights give you a chance to get out of your comfort zone, however, it’s important to use weights that work for your fitness level to avoid any injuries.
I trust you have enjoyed this information as much as I have put it together. For more information on how to get back into shape click here.