As a follow on from my unexpectedly popular nutrition myths blog post, here are the top fitness myths which I think need to be busted:
Lifting weights makes you bulky. No, it doesn’t. Lifting weights enables you to build lean muscle and sculpt your body. As much as I hate the word; resistance training leads to the “toned” look everyone desires. It also has a multitude of health benefits including increased bone density and a reduced risk of developing osteoporosis. Oh and while we’re touching on weights. High reps and low weights does not lead to optimal “toning”. Pick up some heavy weights to get the results you want and feel like a badass in the process.
You can spot reduce. No, you can’t. Doing 100 tricep dips won’t make your bingo wings go away, it will just build up muscle beneath them. Instead of trying to lose fat from one place through targeted exercises, put your focus into improving your diet and reducing your overall body fat.
Doing loads of crunches gives you abs. No, it doesn’t. Similar to the point above. Doing core exercises will build strength and muscle, but this won’t show unless you reduce your overall body fat.
Fasted cardio is the secret to fat loss. No, it isn’t. In fact, research in 2014 found a negligible difference in the effects of fasted vs un-fasted cardio on individuals weight and fat loss results.
If you’re not sore then you didn’t train hard enough. Not true. You can have an amazing workout and not be sore the next day. Plus, if you train regularly and support your recovery through good nutrition, sleep, reduced stress and self-myofascial release then soreness can be greatly reduced.
The more training the better. Nope. Spoiler alert: you don’t need to train 7 days a week for hours a day to get results. This can actually lead to issues such as overtraining, injury and fatigue if you’re not recovering adequately. Instead, focus on quality over quantity.
You have to be ripped to be healthy. No, you don’t. Having abs is not a sign of good health, and neither are defined arms or toned bum cheeks. Health is so much more than how you look. It’s about how you feel, function and perform.
Let me know any fitness myths you think need busting in the comments below and be sure to share this blog post if you agree with my points!
Photo: Nathan Gallagher for Adidas