3 Common Exercise Myths

#1: More Cardio = Weight Loss 

Cardio is great — it improves cardiovascular health, increases lung capacity, lowers blood pressure and so much more. But let’s get one thing straight; more cardio is NOT the magic formula for weight loss. For years I would spend hours on the treadmill believing that I would step off 5lbs lighter and looking like a new person. Needless to say, these were not the results I found. 

Eventually I started incorporating strength training into my workouts and for the first time I actually saw changes in my body. I couldn’t believe I spent so long being afraid of weights! The beauty of strength training is that it builds lean muscle mass, which both increases metabolism and decreases fat. Lean muscle is metabolically active while fat is not. This means the more lean muscle you have, the more calories you will burn. The problem with cardio alone is that it does not build lean muscle and therefore does not improve your resting metabolic rate. 

The bottom line is that while cardio provides many health benefits, strength training is an essential component of losing weight and improving physique. Not to mention spending an hour on a treadmill can be straight up boring!  

#2: Weights Make You Bulky 

This exercise myth may be my absolute favorite! The belief that lifting weights makes women bulky and masculine has become overwhelmingly popular in the fitness industry and has created so much fear towards strength training. There are various reasons this is simply not true; starting with the fact that most women simply do not possess enough testosterone to grow huge hulk-like muscles. Building muscle is actually a long, slow process and most women don’t lift heavy (or often) enough to get bulky. Including strength training in your exercise regime helps shape your body, not make it bigger. Lifting weights provides far more benefits than simply improving body composition. It improves bone density, prevents osteoporosis, stabilizes joints, activates EPOC (the after-burn effect) and so much more. If you aren’t quite convinced after reading this — pick up a dumbbell and put it to the test! You will be blown away by the results. 

#3: Fasted Workouts are More Effective 

Exercising on an empty stomach: good or bad? First let’s talk about the difference between a fed state and a fasted state. After eating food, your body is in a fed state where it digests the food eaten and uses it as energy to fuel activity. When you haven’t eaten anything in a certain amount of time, you will enter into a fasted state. This means your body will start using its own stores for energy. So, it makes sense that if you workout in a fasted state then your body will burn more fat, right? Not necessarily. 

While fasted training does increase fat oxidation, this doesn’t directly translate to increased (body) fat loss.  Exercising on an empty stomach may increase short-term fat oxidation but that doesn’t mean anything for fat loss because it is the long-term fat balance that determines whether you are losing or gaining fat mass. 

I believe the popularity of fasted workouts is just another marketing tool to make people believe that weight loss is achieved through a specific workout or diet plan. The bottom line is that weight loss is a science, calories in versus calories burned. So, while it is true that fasted training may burn more fat than training while fed, if at the end of the day you are still in a calorie surplus — no amount of fasted training will matter. 

Soooooo, have you fed in to any of these myths before? If so, you are definitely not alone! There is so much false info floating around these days that it can be hard to actually know fact from fiction. That is one reason I started this blog, to help you know the truth, so you can get the results you are want without wasting time, money, or energy!

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