There is an abundance of information available online about the best nutrition and exercise approaches to adopt. The many conflicting statements leave people confused and wondering what is true and what is a myth. Here are some of the most common misconceptions when it comes to fitness:
You can spot reduce body fat
Possibly the most annoying thing I overhear in the gym is trainers telling their clients that crunches will reduce abdominal fat. This is untrue and I would hope that any qualified trainer would know this. Every persons’ genetic make up is different and we are all have a predisposition to carry body fat in certain areas. This is something you cannot change by working out with a specific ‘magic’ exercise. As you lose weight it will go from some areas before others and unfortunately this is just a fact.
Women should lift light weights for high reps
Untrue. Do we have different material that makes up our muscle fibres? No. There is absolutely no scientific reason females should not try to challenge their nervous system and lift heavy weights. We reap the same benefits as men from strength training, and low testosterone levels (men have 10x more testosterone than females) means we will not ‘bulk up’ unless we are eating in an enormous calorie surplus.
You need cardio to lose weight
You need to be in a calorie deficit to lose weight. This is the most important factor to be considered. As a rule of thumb, being in a calorie deficit of 3500 per week will equate to 1 lb of weight loss. This calorie deficit can be created through eating less, increasing your daily expenditure (cardio/increased step count/increased NEAT), or a combination of both.
Carbs make you fat
Much like the point above, if eating less causes you to lose weight, eating more will cause you to gain weight. If you consume more calories than you burn you will gain weight. These calories can come from carbs, protein or fat.
If you are not in pain you are not training hard enough
You don’t need to be in pain after every workout. Chasing the burn is not an indication of working harder 😉. Aim to overload your exercises week on week by lifting heavier, completing more reps, or shortening your rest time!