TRAINING MYTHS YOU NEED TO KNOW
When it comes to working out, you will hear many stories getting around. Find out the truth behind a few of them with these training myth busters.
MYTH: You can lose weight off specific body parts by doing exercises that target those areas.
FACT: This concept is known as "spot training" and unfortunately, to put it simply - it doesn’t work. When you lose weight, you are unable to choose the area in which the reduction will occur. Your body predetermines which fat stores it will use and everyones body is different. For example, doing ab crunches alone will strengthen your abdominal muscles but it will not give you a six pack. Similarly, a cardio activity such as running will burn fat all over your body, not just your legs. In order reduce the amount of fat on your body, it takes a balanced diet and a regular consistent training regime.
MYTH: Machines are a safer than free weights because you know you’re doing it right every time.
FACT: Although it is a concept that in theory could make sense, unless the machines are properly adjusted for your weight and height your body most likely wont be in the right position. If your body is not in the right position you wont be completing the movements correctly and you will become at risk of injuring yourself. Unless you know what the right setting is for you, it is possible you can make just as many mistakes in form and function, and have just as high a risk of injury on a machine as you could with free weights or any other type of non machine workout.
Myth: I just want to tone, I should only do cardio.
FACT: This is a common mistake people often make. To be 'toned' means the appearance of muscle with a limited amount of body fat. Therefore, by decreasing the amount of body fat on your body and increasing your muscle mass it makes sense that your muscles will show more and give you that ‘toned’ look. Yes, doing a heap of cardio will help you lose weight, but when your goal is to lose fat and ‘tone’, not necessarily lose weight, only doing cardio can actually slow down this process. Doing an extensive amount of cardio will help burn fat, but will also burn off all that hard earned muscle. Weight training will help build lean muscle mass and burn fat. The more lean muscle mass you have, the faster your metabolism, which means the more your body burns fat even when resting. A good combination of weight training and HIIT cardio will make for a lean toned body.
Myth: Women who lift weights will bulk up.
FACT: When lifting weights it takes the right hormones (testosterone) in order to bulk up. As a females testosterone levels are much lower than a males in most cases, they are not capable of building a significant amount of muscle easily.
The truth is, as muscle takes up less room than fat, women tend to lose size when they strength train. This is why, in addition to the other benefits such as increased metabolism, decreased risk of osteoporosis and increased strength, strength training will help you lean down.
Myth: If I stop training my muscles will turn to fat.
FACT: The statement muscles turn to fat is simply not true, nor is it possible. Muscles and fat are two completely separate things. Although this is a very common misconception that has probably come from society seeing muscular individuals who have stopped training and quickly slipped from being muscular to fat. Retired boxers are a good example. What actually happens is the weight gain is typically because whilst training we become so used to eating large amounts of food that we continue the habit even when our training drops off. A large intake of calories combined with a reduction of calorie expenditure leaves us with a huge calorie surplus every day. A surplus in calories will lead to weight gain and therefore fat will cover our muscles and without the constant use of our muscles muscle wastage will occur. If you do avoid eating too much when you stop training, your muscles will lose bulk as they are no longer needed to perform at high level but your body fat wont increase dramatically.