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Exercise Myths

November 7, 2012

fitnessHere are some of the top exercise myths debunked:

  1. More exercise means you are healthier – Actually experts are now recommending you limit your exercise to a moderate level in order to increase longevity. Mark Sisson recommends you limit your exercise to burning 4,000 calories per week.
  2. Stretch before you play sports or run – In reality stretching before you exercise can increase your chance of injury by straining your muscles. It is better to just warm up at half speed.
  3. It is best to keep you heart rate as high as possible while exercising – Exercising too hard will increase your cortisol and can damage your heart. It is better to do interval training. Alternate between sprinting and jogging.
  4. You will lose strength if you take a week off from lifting – Your body does not start losing muscle until you have stopped lifting for more than 14 days. You can actually break through plateaus in lifting by taking a week off and letting you body rest and heal.
  5. If you do crunches or sit ups you will lose belly fat first – You can not target fat loss in a specific area based on what work outs you do. Unfortunately in most cases belly fat is the last place you lose fat.
  6. The more time you spend lifting per day the more muscle you will put on – Lifting more than 45 minutes leads to the release of cortisol which will cause your body to start metabolizing muscle for energy. It is better to keep your weight training sessions short.
  7. Lifting weights will make women look bulky – Women have very low testosterone levels compared to men. It takes a huge amount of time and effort for a woman to put on significant muscle. Moderate lifting for women will help them build a beautiful figure without bulking up.
  8. More sweat means a better workout – It is very possible to burn a lot of calories without breaking a sweat. Some of my favorite workouts I sometimes don’t break a sweat including weight lifting, dancing, biking and hiking. Usually while doing these activities it is the temperature that determines whether I break a sweat.
  9. You can’t gain muscle if you do cardio in addition to weight training – Cardio is great for the body. It helps keep the heart healthy which can help your weight lifting. Sprinting and interval training can actually boost your testosterone and help you build muscle. Just be sure you are eating enough to offset the calorie burned during cardio.
  10. If you stop working out your muscle will turn to fat – I’m not even going to bother explaining this, it is just completely false.

What other fitness myths do you know that are false?

4 Comments
  1. I really wonder where some of these came from sometimes! I think people believe what they want to believe … which is why there is so much confusion out there.

  2. The “all calories are the same” and “calories in vs. calories out” and “eat less, move more” crap that Weight Watchers and other Big Name Diet Plans still push all irritate me to no end.

  3. Great post! I’m amazed with some of the things that I hear regarding exercise.
    My favorite myth is that you will get ripped, not big, by doing high (10+) reps (the truth is that you can put on a lot of muscle and break through plateaus with high reps).

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