Despite the fact that fitness is one of the most widely researched and documented topics on the internet, there are still a lot of myths about exercising, weightlifting, and losing weight floating around.
As an ER in North Texas, we get a lot of training- and fitness-related injuries and wanted to offer some great information on working out and weightlifting.
To start here are the 10 biggest exercising myths many people still believe:
Unfortunately, this is not true. It is impossible to spot reduce fat in one specific area such as your stomach. While you can do specific exercises that tone the muscles beneath the body fat, when you lose fat, it comes off proportionately.
You will not become bulky simply by lifting weights. To grow large amounts of muscle through weightlifting, there are quite a few other things you have to do regularly along with going to the gym such as eat meals extremely high in protein. In other words, you will only look bulky if you want to look that way. Bodybuilders purposely lift heavy weights and follow a specific regiment to achieve that look.
Moderate weight training is a great way to strengthen and tone muscles, improve bone health, and improve your fitness level.
You can lose weight by just lifting weights. In reality, you can lose weight through any type of workout because it’s all about being in a caloric deficit. Exercising just helps you enter into a calorie deficit if losing weight is your goal.
A calorie deficit is when you consume fewer calories relative to the number of calories required to maintain your current body weight. It is not under-eating or allowing your body to become malnourished. Often, it is eating smaller portions or a healthier diet along with working out where you can burn extra calories and help create a calorie deficit.
This is only true if you’re 30 percent over your ideal weight. Anything less than that and you’ll actually burn more calories if you exercise after eating. In fact, you should always avoid strenuous aerobic exercise too soon after eating a big meal.
This is only true if you enjoy exercising in the morning more than at other times of the day. It makes no difference in terms of calories or fat burned what time of the day you exercise.
It should be noted though that exercising right before bedtime may make it more difficult to sleep because following a workout, you have higher levels of norepinephrine (adrenaline) and cortisol in your body which are hormones that have an excitatory effect on your brain and body. With this in mind, many people find working out in the morning great because it helps keep their energy levels high for the rest of the day.
Neither is more effective than the other. In truth, the effectiveness of the method you choose depends on how well you use the machine or weights.
It only seems that way from the outside. Fat and muscle are two different types of tissue your body has and one type of tissue can’t turn into another.
Exercising requires more energy than you do when your stationary and your body gets that energy from burning fat. As well, exercising improves muscle tone. So, after getting in shape, instead of weak, flabby muscles covered by a thicker layer of fat, you have stronger muscles covered by a thin layer of natural fat.
It’s rare to get injured while exercising if you follow proper form and don’t try to over-exert yourself. If you are careful and working out according to your body and proper instruction, exercising is not dangerous.
Stretching is definitely something you should engage in both before and after working out because it helps maintain muscle and joint flexibility and prevents stiffness. However, it has no effect on muscle pain.
This popular phrase has done more harm than good. You can make progress and meet your fitness goals without pain.
Pain is actually your body’s way of telling you that you need to stop whatever activity you are doing. As mentioned above, burn is good, pain is not.
No matter your age, weightlifting can seem a little intermediating and maybe even dangerous.
Just like anything else, weightlifting isn’t “one size fits all.” There are so many different types of movements and weight increments you can choose from and find that best that fits your comfortability level and body type.
That being said, you are basically fighting against gravity so it is important to be careful of your movements and how much weight you’re trying to lift.
To start here are some general weightlifting safety tips:
Weightlifting can be an incredible way to work out and get fit for anyone of any age and with any fitness goal.
While it can seem intimidating, once you test the waters and discover what machines or movements work the best for you, it can be a very rewarding activity.