exercise myths

Additional Information

PEOPLE HOLD MANY MISTAKEN BELIEFS ABOUT EXERCISE. IN SOME CASES, THESE BELIEFS MAY LEAD TO INCORRECT OR EVEN DANGEROUS WORKOUT BEHAVIORS. IN OTHER CASES, THEY MAY PREVENT A PERSON FROM EXERCISING AT ALL. THE INFORMATION BELOW LISTS SOME OF THE MOST COMMON MYTHS ABOUT EXERCISE AND EXPLAINS WHY THEY ARE NOT TRUE.

MYTH #1:

"I'M GOING TO GET BIG AND BULKY LIKE HULK HOGAN!"

LADIES, YOU WILL NOT BULK UP, PLAIN AND SIMPLE. WOMEN DON'T REALLY HAVE THE GENETIC POTENTIAL TO BUILD HUGE MUSCLES SINCE THEY LACK THE AMOUNT OF TESTOSTERONE WHICH IS NEEDED FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF LARGE MUSCLES. IN FACT, MANY OF THE FEMALE PROFESSIONAL  BODYBUILDERS, PHYSIQUE AND FIGURE COMPETITORS YOU SEE ON TELEVISION OR IN MAGAZINES TYPICALLY TRAIN FOR HOURS A DAY WHILE CONSUMING ANABOLIC STEROIDS OVER THE COURSE OF SEVERAL MONTHS AND YEARS. THE REALITY: BY LIFTING WEIGHTS YOU WILL GAIN A BETTER BODY COMPOSITION! THAT IS, YOUR RATIO OF FAT TO LEAN MUSCLE MASS WILL START FAVORING THAT OF THE MUSCLE MASS. FOR INSTANCE, ONE STUDY OF YOUNG WOMEN WHO WERE WEIGHT TRAINING AN AVERAGE OF 3 DAYS PER WEEK OVER THE COURSE OF 8 WEEKS LOST, ON AVERAGE, 3.5 LBS. OF FAT AND GAINED AROUND 1.75 LBS. OF LEAN, BEAUTIFUL MUSCLE!

MYTH #2:

"I'LL GAIN WEIGHT AND LOOK FAT"

ACTUALLY, MUSCLE IS DENSER THAN FAT, SO IT'S GOING TO TAKE UP LESS SPACE IN YOUR BODY. SINCE MUSCLE WEIGHS MORE THAN AN EQUIVALENT VOLUME OF FAT, YOUR WEIGHT COULD STAY THE SAME OR EVEN INCREASE, BUT, YOU WILL LOOK LEANER. YOUR PANTS/DRESS SIZE WILL DECREASE IN INCHES AS WELL AS OTHER AREAS OF YOUR BODY. YOU NEED TO UNDERSTAND THAT WEIGHT ON A SCALE IS ONLY A NUMBER, AND YOU CAN'T COUNT ON THAT NUMBER AS A TRUE REPRESENTATION OF WHAT YOU WILL LOOK LIKE. MORE ACCURATELY, YOU SHOULD BE LOOKING AT INCHES LOST TO REPRESENT BODY TRANSFORMATION. WEIGHT LIFTING WILL CERTAINLY HELP WITH THIS.

MYTH #3:

"MUSCLE WEIGHS MORE THAN FAT"

ONE POUND OF MUSCLE WEIGHS THE SAME AS ONE POUND OF FAT. REMEMBER THE OLD STORY; IF YOU TAKE ONE POUND OF FEATHERS AND ONE POUND OF BRICKS AND DROP THEM FROM A ROOF, WHICH WOULD HIT THE GROUND FIRST? THEY LAND AT THE SAME TIME. HOWEVER, THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN ONE POUND OF MUSCLE AND ONE POUND OF FAT IS THAT ONE POUND OF MUSCLE TAKES UP 13-18% LESS MASS THAN THE POUND OF FAT. THAT IS WHY WHEN YOU BUILD UP MUSCLE WHERE FAT ONCE WAS YOU LOOK LEANER.

MYTH #4:

"IF YOU STOP EXERCISING YOUR MUSCLES WILL TURN TO FAT"

MUSCLES AND FAT ARE SEPARATE TISSUES. ONE IS NOT CONVERTED TO THE OTHER. IF YOU STOP EXERCISING, YOU LOSE MUSCLE TONE AND DENSITY. YOU ALSO TEND TO GAIN BODY FAT, BUT ONLY BECAUSE YOU ARE BURNING FEWER CALORIES.

MYTH #5:

"PILATES AND YOGA ARE JUST AS GOOD AS STRENGTH TRAINING"

THIS ISN'T QUITE ACCURATE. WHILE THE BENEFITS OF YOGA, PILATES AND STRENGTH TRAINING ARE GREAT, STRENGTH TRAINING WINS THE PRIZE. IN TERMS OF DEGREE, WEIGHT TRAINING IS DEFINITELY THE SUPREME METHOD FOR BUILDING MUSCULAR STRENGTH. PILATES AND YOGA FOCUS ON VERY CONTROLLED MOVEMENTS THAT DEPEND ON BODY WEIGHT TO MAINTAIN MUSCLE. AS WELL, THEY ARE WONDERFUL EXERCISES TO AID IN RELAXATION. HOWEVER, INCORPORATING THEM INTO YOUR EXERCISE ROUTINE INSTEAD OF STRENGTH TRAINING ISN'T A GREAT IDEA. THEY SHOULD BE CONSIDERED AN ENHANCEMENT RATHER THAN A REPLACEMENT.

MYTH #6:

"I'VE BEEN DOING 100 SIT-UPS AND SIDE BENDS A DAY FOR WEEKS. WHY CAN'T I GET RID OF MY SPARE TIRE?"

WHEN YOU ARE TARGETING A SPECIFIC BODY PART YOU ARE WORKING THE SPECIFIC MUSCLES AND ARE HELPING TO SHAPE THOSE MUSCLES. BUT YOU ARE NOT REMOVING FAT ONLY FROM THAT AREA. WHEN YOU UTILIZE FAT IT COMES FROM A POOL OF LIPIDS - FATTY SUBSTANCES - THROUGHOUT THE BODY, NOT FROM ONE  SPECIFIC LOCATION. SIT-UPS ARE FINE FOR TONING THE ABDOMINAL MUSCLES, BUT THEY WON'T MELT FAT AWAY. SO HOW DO YOU LOSE FAT? IT SEEMS RELATIVELY SIMPLE: JUST BURN OFF MORE CALORIES THROUGH EXERCISE THAN YOU TAKE IN THROUGH FOOD. THERE'S A GENETIC PREDISPOSITION TO LAY DOWN FAT IN CERTAIN AREAS. WE LOSE WEIGHT LAST FROM THE PLACE WE PUT IT ON FIRST. FOR MOST MEN THAT WILL BE THE ABDOMINAL OR SIDE AREAS, AND FOR MOST WOMEN THE UPPER THIGHS, BUTTOCKS AND ARMS.

MYTH #7:

"WEIGHT LIFTING IS NOT FOR OLDER INDIVIDUALS"

IT'S NEVER TO LATE TO IMPROVE THE QUALITY OF YOUR LIFE BY ENJOYING A HIGHER LEVEL OF MUSCULAR FITNESS. IN FACT, MUSCULAR FITNESS CAN EXTEND YOUR FUNCTIONAL LIFE SPAN.

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