Are you spending hours in the gym and not seeing results? Do you feel confused with all the myths and what you “should” be doing in the gym to see results? Do you feel over whelmed with all the latest fitness and health trends and want to throw the towel in? Chances are, you have fallen victim to the fitness myths and bad advice. It is so easy to do as we have access to much more information then ever before, however it is not always accurate. Let me help you get back on track be decoding a few common fitness myths that keep you from achieving your goals and getting the body you want!
Myth #1: Strength Training Makes Women Bulky
There’s probably not a myth in the industry that drives fitness professionals crazier than this one! This belief all depends on your personal definition of bulky.
Most people think of a female bodybuilder when you think of the word “bulky”. I can absolutely guarantee that this will not happen to your body because women simply do not produce enough testosterone to add significant amounts of muscle mass quickly or easily. Muscle mass takes MANY years of hard work to build, and many female bodybuilders choose to enhance themselves chemically because they have such a hard time gaining muscle mass.
If you start strength training and feel like you are “bulky,” it’s imperative that you take a deeper look into your nutrition, as it’s almost always excess body fat that makes a woman feel bulky, not excess muscle mass. Strength training is the BEST way for revving up your metabolism and for burning body fat. It can definitely make you feel hungrier because more muscle means you’re burning more calories through out the day. Often women will make the mistake of eating more of the wrong foods when they start strength training. You just have to make sure that you’re reaching for the correct foods like lean protein, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats because making the wrong food choices will lead your farther away from your goal.
Myth #2: Lift Heavy Weights to Gain Mass and Lift Light Weights with High Reps for Definition
It would be great if this was actually that simple, but unfortunately, it is not. The truth is that building muscle is a rather complex process and a function of many physiological mechanisms. In order to maximally stimulate all of these mechanisms we must challenge the muscles with a variety of stimuli, which means variations in rep ranges, sets, training techniques, lifting speeds, and more. Lifting “heavy weights” does assist the body in building bigger muscles, however so does using a variety of techniques and lifting lighter weights. The key to muscle growth is to challenge your body with the proper variation of each technique, and not relying on one approach.
As for achieving muscle definition, this results from achieving a low body fat percentage of approximately 12% or less, depending on your body and where you hold body fat. Lifting lighter weights for high reps will not be responsible for achieving more definition. A lean and defined physique is achieved primarily by incorporating a clean nutritional regimen, coupled with consistent cardio workouts and resistant training program.
Myth #3: Spot reducing and Toning Does Not Exist!
Spot reducing and toning simply does not exist!
Increasing the look of one’s muscle “tone” involves losing body fat, and typically gaining lean muscle mass. That is what will give you the appearance of a tighter and more toned physique.
In terms of spot-reducing, this is another persistent myth. Doing a million crunches simply will not spot-reduce the fat on your midsection.
When you reduce your body fat levels, your body will naturally eliminate from the areas where it wants to lose fat from first. This will vary from person to person. For most people, their “problem area” is simply the area where they carry the most fat, and is typically the last place where they see fat reduction.
Unfortunately, you can’t directly control this with weight training or ANY style of training. However, when you add lean muscle tissue to a specific area, it can give you the appearance of looking tighter and firmer, even if you haven’t completely lost the body fat there.
So no, you can’t technically “tone” or “spot-reduce”. However, you can use strength training combined with clean nutrition and cardio to get the lean, toned body you desire.
Myth #4: When You Work Out Your Fat Will Turn into Muscle
Transforming your fat cells into muscle cells is like saying you can transform wood into metal. Do not make sense. Fat and muscle are two completely different things, and they cannot interchange back and forth from one another.
What is possible is that you can lose body fat weight and gain muscle weight, and completely transform the look of your entire body. But muscle will not turn into fat! And, the opposite is true, when you stop working out your muscle will not turn into fat. You might lose strength and some of the lean muscle tissue you originally gained and at the same rate gain body fat when your workouts stop. However, fat and muscle are two completely different things in your body and are not transferable.