The Truth About Seven Common Fitness Myths. Hello everyone, I hope you are well. In today’s post, I will be sharing a guest post from personal trainer James Staring, founder and lead fitness coach at Fit to Last Personal Trainers, busting seven of the most common fitness myths. Getting and staying fit and losing weight can be challenging, and it is even more complicated if the advice we follow is incorrect. The dozens of damaging fitness myths often prevent us from reaching our goals.
The Truth About Seven Common Fitness Myths
Let’s face it, healthy living has its challenges. Whether you’re looking to lose weight, improve your fitness levels or future-proof your health, sometimes it feels like our bodies are against us rather than with us. Why do we want a big slice of cake instead of a fruit salad? Why do we sometimes fight to stay on the sofa when we know exercise will be better for us?
And, as if that was not enough, even when we are determined to be healthier, the information available is often contradictory or even downright misleading.
At Fit to Last, we meet people who have been trying to lose weight and get fitter for years but have failed with everything they’ve tried. Often this is because they have had misconceptions (myths) that have scuppered them. Believing these myths can damage your efforts, so it’s important to be accurately informed whether you are heading to the gym, tweaking your diet, or making other health and fitness lifestyle changes.
We have found that dispelling those misconceptions is a good start to a successful outcome, and we wanted to share with you some common myths that might hamper your healthy lifestyle.
Myth 1. The More You Exercise, The Fitter You’ll Get.
Common thinking is if you want to improve your fitness and you’re exercising already, all you need do is more of the same. However, for your fitness to improve, your body needs new challenges to adapt to. doing the same workout repeatedly means your body wwon’tchange.
For example, even if you are increasing your weights every week when resistance training, yyou’llneed to change the movements you’re doing every 4-6 weeks.
Myth 2. Calorie Cutting Equals Fat Loss.
Calorie cutting is often the approach to losing body fat. but when you decrease your calorie intake too much or for too long, your body will hold onto body fat instead of losing it. This is because your body will view the decreased calorie intake as a resource limit and decrease your metabolism to conserve energy.
Your body will also start using other resources for energy (i.e. muscles). This can lead to looking “skinny fat”, where you lose weight and muscle tone.
Avoiding processed foods and managing portion sizes is the key to losing body fat. His way is you get the right quantities of protein, mixed fruit and vegetables, and healthy fats to lose body fat while retaining muscle mass.
For help managing portion sizes, there is a free guide available that will help you determine the right quantities of protein, fats, fruits, and vegetables you need to consume to lose body fat (no weighing involved!): https://fittolast.co.uk/the-portion-control-guide/
Myth 3. Lifting Heavy Weights Makes You Bulky
The idea that lifting heavy weights leads to bulging muscles has been a long-held myth. It isn’t true that big muscles can only be built when weight training is partnered with vastly increased calorie intake. Getting ‘bulky’ means gaining muscle and weight at the same time.
Gaining lean muscle means your weight may not increase, but your body composition changes, i.e. your muscle increases while your body fat reduces. Gaining lean muscle means you won’t look more extensive.
So, unless you add an extra 2800 plus calories a week alongside your weight training regime, all you’ll get from lifting weights is a lean, robust, healthy body.
Myth 4. To Run Faster, You Need To Run More Often
If you go past any local park on a Saturday morning, you’ll see people hoping to run faster by repeating the same routine, hoping for a different result.
To run faster, you need to do two things:
- Increase capacity to push your cardiovascular system.
- Increase your strength to produce greater force with each running stride.
You need to add interval training to your run programme to increase capacity. The point here is to run for short bursts of uncomfortably fast pace with sufficient recovery to maximise each interval effort.
To increase strength, add resistance training to your running programme. Resistance training means specific exercises with some form of resistance to increase muscular strength, power, size or endurance—for example, squats, lunges, press ups and planks. Adding full-body resistance training improves your strength to generate more force when you run. You’ll also improve collective resilience and stability to help prevent injury.
The added benefit of improved stability is you’ll run more efficiently. You’ll get more out of your runs because your body will be more robust to hold you up when you become tired during your run.
If you add the two steps above to your current run programme, along with consistent practice, you’ll become a faster runner.
Myth 5. Carbs Are The Enemy
With the growing number of diets, the common element among most is that you must eliminate something to accomplish the intended goal. and usually, the culprit is eliminated or drastically reduced in carbs.
And, yes, some carbs are unhealthy—things like cakes and biscuits. Ultra-processed carbs are unhealthy and should be avoided if possible. In small quantities, things like brown pasta, brown rice, and other wholemeal items are essential in a healthy eating regime.
In addition to providing the daily energy you need to function, carbs help you maintain lean muscle. When you work out, your body breaks down muscle tissue. Hen you recover from a workout, your body will build muscle tissue to repair and adapt muscle broken down during the workout. You get stronger when you build more muscle tissue than you break down.
According to a 2004 study in the Journal of Applied Physiology (Børsheim, E., Cree, M. G., Tipton, K. D., Elliott, T. A., Aarsland, A., & Wolfe, R. R. (2004). Effect of carbohydrate intake on net muscle protein synthesis during recovery from resistance exercise: Journal of applied physiology); by consuming carbohydrates immediately following resistance training, you were more likely to retain more muscle after a workout than if you ddidn’tconsume carbohydrates.
So, ensure you consume a small amount of unprocessed carbs after workouts as part of your healthy eating plan.
Myth 6. Exercise Is The Key To Changing Your Body.
A common approach to changing your body is to start a fitness programme only.
But even if you work out daily, your results will be limited and short-term if you ignore your nutrition and recovery. Healthy and consistent eating habits and adequate sleep, not exercise alone, will yield the most significant changes to your body.
You have 168 hours each week. Here’s a quick chart to illustrate the different time commitments of working out three times a week, eating and sleeping contribute toward the goals you want to achieve.
WWe’renot saying that exercise wwon’thelp the process along. To change your body in a lasting way, preparing and eating healthy meals, quality recovery through sleep, and a progressive training programme will always yield a better result than exercise alone.
Myth 7. Ating Fats Makes You Fat
Dietary fats have long been the nutritional whipping boy regarding the causes of excess body fat.
Some fats are harmful, namely trans-fats. Trans fats can be found in deep-fried foods and processed cakes and biscuits. These are the ones you want to avoid, which can contribute to increased body fat, not to mention a host of other health conditions.
But good fats; like butter, nuts, olive oil and avocado; in balanced quantities will help you maintain a lean and healthy physique.
These good fats are responsible for helping your body produce hormones, prevent heart disease, and manage blood cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
Hormone production is essential because, when you work out, yyou’reputting pressure on your body to help elicit a small change. Hat small change is executed through hormones, so hormone production is essential.
Additionally, these fats taste good! A small word of caution is to have these yummy items in small quantities, as they are very high in calories. These small quantities are very satisfying, so that a little bit will do nicely!
Don’t leave good fats out of your diet – yyou’vegot far too much to gain from keeping them in!
So, whether you are starting your health, fitness and weight loss journey or if you have tried without success for a while – or maybe for years, it happens – do keep in mind to avoid falling for these unhelpful myths.
The best of luck in achieving your goals!
I hope you enjoyed that.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
James Staring is the founder and lead fitness coach at Fit to Last Personal Trainers, which offers a high-end, all-inclusive fitness solution for those wwho’vetried everything in the past; crash diets, exercise fads, regular gyms etc., all with little to no success or results. It to Last works in partnership with you to create a personalised programme of exercise, nutrition (no calorie counting or weighing) and small, simple lifestyle changes to keep you on track to your goals, injury free and bursting with energy. ee: www.fittolast.co.uk