Fitness Tip

Myths and Misconceptions About Exercise
 

 

Let’s clear-up some commonly held misconceptions  Daily Fitness trainers hear quite often.

#1  Crunches will get rid of belly fat!  -  Research shows that you can’t pick and choose the areas where you’d like to burn fat.  Doing abdominal crunches will firm up abdominal muscles, but will not burn abdominal belly fat.  Building muscle anywhere burns fat everywhere.  In order to burn fat throughout your body, use a workout program that incorporates both cardiovascular and strength training elements.  Daily Fitness personal trainers are experts at putting this type of program together, while addressing individual needs.

#2  You have to lift a lot of weight to build muscle! – Building lean muscle tissue is a process.  More important than the amount of weight you lift is the technique and form you are use when lifting.  In order to build lean muscle tissue, muscle fibers must be taken to fatigue, then given a 48 hour rest.  Taking the fibers to fatigue is accomplished by understanding the significance of the concentric, isometric and eccentric motions of the lifting muscle.   As muscle gains strength and mass, additional weight can be added to challenge it further.  A personal trainer can assist and educate with this process, so that strength training can be both safe and effective.

#3 Stretching before exercise is important! – Some studies have suggested that stretching before exercise actually increases muscle susceptibility to injury. Stretching lengthens and destabilizes the fibers, making them less prepared for the strain of exercise.  A safer approach is to warm-up before exercise.  This could be as simple as doing leg lifts and arm circles, jogging in place, or a 5 minute casual walk on the treadmill.  The idea of the warm-up is to increase blood flow to the muscles and limber up the body.  Stretching is more effective and safer if done after exercise when the muscles are warm and pliable.

#4  Exercise turns fat into muscle! – Muscle and fat are two separate and distinct tissues, composed of entirely different cells.  Changing muscle mass and body fat are individual processes.  These processes, however, can occur simultaneously, especially if an individual is focusing on changing body composition.  A good strength training program will result in more “lean weight” and less “fat weight” over a period of time.  A personal trainer can create an effective fitness program that changes body composition.

#5 Restricting calories is the best way to lose weight! – Restricting calories is counter- productive to managing weight.  That’s why diets don’t work.  Diets that restrict calories throw the body into a natural “starvation response”.  That response causes metabolism to cut back by 10-15% and forces the body to hold on to fat.  The body is like a furnace.  A furnace works most efficiently when the right kind of fuel is put into it on a regular basis.  Skipping meals and restricting calories only results in the loss of muscle and fluid – the very things that dictate efficient metabolism.