Mar 22nd, 2019
Author: Cocoon Web Design
Fitness myths typically start with a grain of misunderstanding and tend to spiral into questionable rationales and guidance with unfounded claims. Here are a few of the most popular myths those of us in the health and fitness industry battle to bust:
The Fitness Myth: Abdominal crunches will give you a six-pack.
The Truth is: While core work, including abdominal crunches, is a highly effective method for increasing muscular endurance, strength, spine stabilization and posture, countless abdominal crunches will not necessarily reveal the “six-pack” look. To obtain that chiseled midsection, one must reduce fat and build muscle simultaneously. This is accomplished through dedicated cardiovascular activity, resistance and core training (to increase resting metabolic rate and strength), as well as healthy and balanced eating habits.
The Truth is: Women can and should lift weights (heavy ones) without the fear of becoming anything more than healthy, toned and strong. These characteristics are not synonymous with “bulky.” One of the fundamental ingredients for muscle growth is testosterone, which is a hormone found in high concentrations in men, but not so much in women (women do have testosterone, but not in the levels present in men). While some females are predisposed to developing significant muscle tone and size, this is not the case for all. Women lack the chemical make-up required to “bulk up” without extreme training volumes, strict dieting habits and possible supplementation.
The Truth is: Lean tissue (muscle) and non-lean tissue (adipose/fat) are entirely separate materials with different biochemical structures, metabolic rates and functions. If any individual (man or woman) stops lifting weights and adopts a sedentary lifestyle, lean tissue will weaken atrophy (reduce in size.) Muscle will not and cannot turn to fat. However, the resting metabolic rate will slow as a result of decreased muscle mass, because muscle tissue is more metabolically active than fat tissue.
The Truth is: Health and fitness professionals advocate for warm-up and cool-down periods for good reasons. A warm-up prepares the body to meet the demands of a workout by increasing muscle temperature and heart rate, releasing specific hormones, and improving range of motion. However, static stretching should be performed at the end of the workout during the cool-down portion. The most effective type of stretching before a workout is a dynamic series of exercises. This type of stretching involves the whole body, large muscles and multiple joints. The goal is to activate the muscles you will use during the workout. Static stretching, on the other hand, is generally focused on elongation and relaxation which can possibly reduce force output, which means that your workout will not have the same quality or effectiveness as if you were to save the static hold for the end.
The Fit Myth: You have to be flexible to do yoga.
The Truth is: Yoga is an effective cross-training tool for all levels. It helps lengthen the overall body, strengthen the core, increase flexibility, and bring awareness to connecting breath and movement. In addition, yoga is helpful in physiologically decompressing the body, lowering blood pressure, increasing oxygen intake, and carrying an overall sense of calm.
The Truth is: When a person goes into a major calorie deficit, the body will stop functioning at its highest level. A person will stop losing fat and instead begin storing it, and will also be unable to build muscle. The more muscle a person has, the easier time a body has burning fat. Our bodies are smart and will do everything necessary to keep ourselves functioning as best as possible. Rather than focusing on a reducing calorie, focus more on eating whole foods that your body can use as fuel. Listen to your body and perform daily physical activity to build muscle, including cardio to benefit your heart and lungs.
Fitness myths will likely continue to “pop up” to plague the industry and confuse even the most committed fitness fans. As you search for answers to your fitness questions, visit reputable websites and authorities, and especially talk with your trainers at MoreFIT!
The bottom line: If it sounds too good to be true, it most likely is. Be sure the author’s credentials and scientific evidence back up the information you find before taking it as truth.
(References: American Council on Exercise; Aaptiv)