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The Fitness Zone

10 Fitness Myths
February 11, 2015

In the world of fitness, it can be hard to identify fact from fiction. Thuyen Hai Quach, Coach at the Australian Institute of Fitness Melbourne busts some fitness myths to help you get the results you’re after.

1.Eating a high protein diet is good for you

It is recommended that women should have 0.75g/kg of protein per day and males should consume 0.85g/kg of per day. This distinction is made between an excessively high intake consuming 200 plus grams/day and a nutritionally high intake based on requirements. Most protein sources are found in meat, which is often high in saturated fats. This may increase the risk of stroke, coronary heart disease and diabetes. As protein is not stored by the body, excess protein is filtered by the body which could also increase the risk for kidney and liver disorders.

2.Weight training makes you inflexible

It is often said that the more you lift the more ‘muscle bound’ you are hence making you inflexible. This is not true. Strength training will not dictate flexibility, and it does not lead to shortening of tendons ligaments or any loss is their pliability. To train a muscle is to stretch it. Your muscles are like rubber bands; by performing weight training you are strengthening those rubber bands preventing them from snapping when stretched.

3.Muscle turns into fat when you stop lifting weights

Turning muscle into fat is like turning dirt into gold. It is physically impossible, they are different types of tissues. If you get into a habit of eating more to support the extra calorie burn whilst performing weight lifting, but then cut back on training whilst still maintaining the same food habit, the extra calories will be stored as fat.

4.Looking big does not mean strong

Having muscles just means you have big muscles, there is no direct correlation with muscle size and strength. Although it may contribute it, there are numerous factors influencing strength such as skill, timing, strategy, speed, endurance, etc. So, even if your muscles aren’t protruding for all to see, it doesn’t mean you have great strength levels.

5.Lifting weight makes women bulky

Men produce 10 times the amount of testosterone women do. Women should not be afraid to lift weights as testosterone is the main factor to building ‘bulky’ muscle. For women, lifting weights isn’t ever going to make you extremely bulky the same way men can achieve such results. Women shouldn’t be scared of lifting weights as this will only increase strength and muscle size, ultimately leading to higher calorie burn and a better metabolism.

6.Scales will determine your progress

Numbers on the scales doesn’t mean everything. Fat loss from resistance training is accompanied by muscle gain. What this means is that although you may be losing fat, you are also putting on lean muscle mass hence may not see number change on the scales although your body composition is certainly changing. Some people may see the numbers rise on the scales but at the same time will go down a dress/pant size. A kilo of muscle compared to a kilo of fat look completely different when looked at side by side. Don’t be discouraged if after working with weights and trying to lose weight that you see the number on the scales go up.

7.Cardio is best for fat loss

Cardio is great for calorie burn, however strength training builds muscle. If you have better build muscles, this means you’re going to burn fat and calories more effectively and easily. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn. Although cardio does help with burning calories and heart health, if you’re looking to shed some kilos, you may want to consider opting for resistance training.

8.Cutting carbs will make you lean

This distinction needs to be made between processed carbs and complex carbs. Carbs are used to process fat and supply the brain with energy. By removing carbs completely from the diet, the body begins to starve and release adrenaline and cortisol resulting in fat retention.There are plenty of diets on the market that reduce carbohydrates to extreme levels to push the body into ketosis mode. Although this way of eating may help some people with reaching their weight loss goals, if you’re looking for overall health and fitness, you may want to consider looking at the types of carbs you’re consuming rather than removing them altogether.

9.Don’t train with an injury

This depends on the severity of the injury. However, you don’t want to be working out if it is going to make your injury worse, but there are some exercises you may be able to continue with depending on your situation. Spinal cord and head injuries should be determined by a doctor, however minor injuries such as bumps, strains can be worked around. A sprained ankle could still mean you could work on upper body exercises. If in doubt, ask your doctor for some advice before worsening any current injuries.

10.Crunches will give you abs

It is a myth to spot reduce (losing fat from a target area). You cannot lose fat from a specific area by doing exercise for that area. Fat can only be lost as a whole predetermined by your genetics. If you’re looking to improve a particular area of the body, you are best to work on a complete system that works all areas of the body to give the problem areas an opportunity to become toned and lean. 

This content is not intended to be used as individual health or fitness advice divorced from that imparted by medical, health or fitness professionals. Medical clearance should always be sought before commencing an exercise regime. The Institute and the authors do no take any responsibility for accident or injury caused as a result of this information.

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