Most common fitness myths – busted!
Aerobic exercise, such as running, is the best for fat loss
Of course you can lose weight through aerobic exercise, but research has shown that aerobic exercise alone doesn’t exactly get you a leaner body. Due to the body adapting quickly to steady state aerobic exercise, for example a 5km run, it becomes increasingly harder to reap the benefits without constantly increasing the duration, which would eventually become too long to keep up. The best way to train for fat loss is by strength training, interval training & some aerobic training, as well as being in control of the nutrition side of things obviously.
You can out train a bad diet
“I work out so I can eat what I want”, is a phrase I am sure many of you have heard from time to time. Unfortunately, exercising for an hour a day won’t burn enough calories for us to ‘eat what we want’, unless of course what we want is a meal of meat & veg, in which case go for it! Most people will burn around 500-600 calories per hour depending on the type of exercise they are doing. Now, a ‘Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese’ from McDonalds has 740 calories alone, or a ‘Strawberry Daiquiri” cocktail has 220 calories per drink, so maybe just think twice next time you go for your ‘cheat meal’. Of course, you can treat yourself every now and then, but if you have hit a wall with your weight loss journey, you may want to have a look at the exercise you are doing & the food you are eating.
You can spot reduce fat
Probably the most popular answer I get from clients when I ask what their goals are, is ‘to lose weight in my stomach’, ‘lose my bingo wings’ or ‘lose weight in my thighs’. I wish it were as simple as that! Unfortunately, we cannot choose which parts of the body we will lose fat from when we exercise, therefore it’s best to strengthen all areas of the body by doing exercises that incorporate different muscle groups which in turn burn more calories. For example, squats, deadlifts and lunges are ideal exercises for the legs that will build muscle & give definition. Don’t waste your time on the fancy machines in the gym such as the thigh adductor machine (targets inner thighs), if you think that machine alone will burn the fat on your thighs, that isn’t how it works unfortunately. Your diet is the main thing to focus on to lose fat overall.
Lifting weights will make women look bulky
This myth has been around a long time, but at long last women are beginning to ignore it and see the benefit lifting weights has on their body. Yes you still have a few women who will say they don’t want to lift heavy weights because they just want to ‘tone up’ & not ‘get big’. These are the women lifting tiny weights in the gym in the hope they will ‘tone up’. Not only do your shopping bags weigh more than those weights, but all those weights will do is cause muscular endurance. You need to be eating well & lifting a reasonable-heavy weight to get stronger, which will in turn give you that definition or ‘toned’ look you are going for while burning the layer of fat on top of the muscle. The female bodybuilders who look bulky purposely eat, train & take specific supplements in order to look that way! So fear not, you will not turn into The Hulk by lifting heavy weights ladies.
Stay tuned for my post on ‘Common Nutrition Myths’.