Since it’s the beginning of the year, and a lot of people have taken their first steps to a healthy lifestyle, I thought it would be appropriate to discuss the exercise myths; I first faced when I began working out.
Myth 1: Women who lift weights become masculine
Fact: In regards to muscle size, testosterone is a key ingredient. Men have 20 to 30 times more testosterone than women, which is why they bulk up so easily. However, for a woman to reach a masculine physique, she would need to do far more weight-lifting than the average woman, and also have some sort of hormone imbalance (either genetic or induced with steroids). To be honest, weight training helps burn fat and tones the muscles, so it should be incorporated in your routine.
Myth 2: Only doing ab workouts will give you abs
Fact: The truth is you can do as many crunches as you like, but unless you get rid of the fat on top of your abs, your abs will never show through. The more reps you do, just increases muscle memory, rather than burning fat. For your abs to be visible, you would need to reduce your overall body fat because unfortunately you cannot spot- train and pick and choose areas where you’d like to burn fat. By doing cardio eating clean, and accompanying this with core workouts, your body fat should decrease, allowing your abs to eventually show.
Myth 3: You're not working hard enough if you are not sweating
Fact: Sweating does not necessarily mean you are working hard. Some people, like me, have high sweat glands so they sweat easily. I mean I get sweaty just by walking from my house to the station. Sweating does not mean you are actually burning fat. Sweating is a way of your body cooling itself whilst you’re working out. You initially loose water weight after an intense workout, but as soon as you drink fluids, you will replenish the water weight lost.
Myth 4: More hours spent in the gym leads to better results
Fact: Overtraining stops muscle growth. Instead of your body rebuilding its muscle tissues, it'll continue to break it down, which means you'll actually start to lose muscle. The key is to train smarter and not harder.
Myth 5: If you're not sore or in pain, you're not working out hard enough
Soreness can come from many different factors that have nothing to do with the quality of your workout. For example, the type of workout you're doing, what you eat before and after your workouts or whether you stretched after your workouts. A good way to judge the quality of your workout is by wearing a heart rate monitor and working at 60 to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate.
Myth 6: Muscle turns into fat
Fact: You can’t turn muscle into fat, the same way you can’t turn fat into muscle. Building muscle and losing body fat are two completely different processes and while this can be done at the same time, it is very rare. Most of the time, you need to focus on one objective before you can focus on another. This is because, in order to gain muscle, you must consume more calories than you burn and, in order to lose body fat, you must burn more calories than you consume so your body will find it difficult to do both at the same time.
There are too many myths to mention, but these are the most common 'myths' I hear when I'm in the gym, so with that said I will leave it here for now.