10 Fitness Facts That in
Reality are Fitness Myths From
eDiets - The online diet, fitness, and healthy living resource
Biting my tongue has become second nature to
me. Why? Because I hear endless questions like this: If I purchase one of those
ab machines I see on late night infomercials will that make my stomach flatter?
Or, "if I lift light weights and perform a lot of repetitions per set will that
get me a defined body like Madonna?"
Then theres my personal favorite,
if I just eat a lot less wont I lose weight? Please
dont misconstrue my tongue-biting comment. I absolutely love what I do
for a living and am immensely passionate about it. However, one of the problems
in our society is that we hear of certain concepts, products and methods and we
simply assume that theyll work.
Its important to ask not only,
What is my goal, but also: Will this work? Does
it make sense? Is it safe?
You don't have to be a biochemist or an
exercise physiologist to answer the questions. All it takes is a small amount
of knowledge about the way the human body works. Sometimes its good to
experiment with unorthodox methods, however, there are some things that are
simply ineffective, yet people continue to believe they work.
Here is my top 10 fitness facts
that in reality are FALSE and are actually fitness myths:
1. Lifting lighter weights will make
your muscles more defined and toned. FALSE!
Muscle responds to overload. If you lift
heavier weight with sufficient intensity, you will create more microscopic
tears in the muscle. When the muscle recuperates, it will become tighter and
However, your supplemental nutrition must
support your workouts. Reduced body fat is what creates the lean and
tight look, not high reps (15 plus reps). Reduced body fat is a result of
efficient weight training, proper amounts of cardiovascular exercise and
nutrition that places one in somewhat of a calorie deficit (less than
maintenance). Thats how you get defined and toned!
2. A lot of cardio is the most efficient
way to lose body fat. FALSE!
Excessive cardio will strip muscle and body
fat. This is definitely not the most efficient method to lose body fat. Once
you begin stripping muscle tissue, your body becomes less efficient at burning
body fat. Muscle is metabolically active, which simply means it stimulates the
For each pound of muscle you put on your
body, you will burn up to 50 additional calories per day. If you strip muscle
tissue, all you accomplish is sabotaging your efforts to efficiently reduce
body fat. The PROPER amount of cardio to accomplish your goal is whats
3. A woman will get muscles as big as
guy if she lifts heavier weight. FALSE!
This myth never seems to die. A woman has
approximately one third of the testosterone of a man. Unless she is on anabolic
steroids, growth hormone or other enhancing drugs, a woman will never achieve
the muscular size of a man. However, she can get a degree of muscularity that
makes her lean, toned and tight.
4. Calories are the only thing that
counts when trying to lose body fat or gain lean muscle. FALSE!
Ratios of protein, carbohydrates and fats
are also important. The key in losing body fat and getting lean is controlling
and manipulating insulin levels. In simple terms, when we consume excessive
calories or excessive amounts of high glycemic carbohydrates at one meal, the
bodys blood sugar rises. When this happens, the pancreas secretes the
hormone insulin to lower the blood sugar levels.
One of the many drawbacks of this happening
excessively is, along with putting you at risk for diabetes, the body also
holds onto stored body fat! A balance of protein, carbohydrates and fats works
most efficiently in losing fat and gaining lean tissue. However, this too
becomes tricky, because each of us tends to respond best to certain dietary
programs. You may experience great success with our Atkins plan, or The Zone,
possibly our own eDiets nutrition program. Some of our members have experienced
good success with one program only to change programs and experience even
greater success due to the ratio change!
5. Muscle weighs more than fat.
If I place one pound of muscle on a scale
and one pound of fat on a scale, they will both weigh one pound. The difference
is in total volume! One pound of muscle may appear to be the size of a
baseball; one pound of fat will be three times the size and look like a
squiggly bowl JELL-O.
6. There is one perfect workout routine.
There is no best and only way
to workout. I receive a multitude of questions concerning what is the best
cardio machine, the best exercise tape, the best routine to work the butt and
so on. In reality, its all good if it works for you, but you dont
want to stay with any of it for too long. The body will adapt to any exercise
routine in 4-6 weeks and the mind will experience boredom if you stay with the
same routine for too long of a time. Vary volume of sets, time between sets,
reps, exercises, cardio, dance tapes, videos, etc. Manipulate your routine
every 3-4 weeks and view CHANGE as the key constant that will lead you to
7. The best way to lose fat is to eat
very few calories. FALSE!
Always consider your body from the inside
out. Your bodys main objective is to survive. It doesnt care if you
want to lose body fat. In fact, it would prefer to increase fat in case of
famine. Internally, the body has no idea that its the year 2003. It could
still be 10,000 years ago for all it cares. Survival is its number one
If you eat very little (less than 1,200
calories), the body perceives an emergency and will accommodate you by holding
onto stored body fat. As well it should, because it has no idea when it will be
fed again. If youre an eDiets member, you know exactly what Im talking
about and are enjoying your fat loss without starving yourself.
8. The best way to reduce the hips,
glutes or abs is to perform exercise to isolate the area. FALSE!
It is physiologically impossible to spot
reduce. You cant lose only in one area of the body because body fat comes
off all over the body. Typically, the first place you tend to gain is the last
place you lose. Doesnt Mother Nature have a wonderful sense of humor?
Again, the route to success for those stubborn hips is resistance exercise,
cardio and supplemental nutrition.
9. The best way to lose fat is to eat a
lot of calories. FALSE!
Just as you dont want to eat too
little, you dont want to eat too much. Duhh! I know this is a no-brainer,
but the big message in the nutrition and personal training world today is that
most people need to eat more to stimulate the metabolism. The truth is you need
the CORRECT AMOUNT of total calories to lose body fat, not simply more food!
10. The infomercial that has that cool
looking, easy-to-use abdominal machine will help me to get a flat stomach.
If you only knew how much those late-night
infomercials frustrate me! The infomercials barely mention nutrition when
attempting to sell their miracle ab machine of the month. Nutrition is a huge
component of attaining a flatter stomach! Why do you think eDiets has a
plethora of nutrition programs to get you to your goal? Because it works! The
key to a flatter stomach is proper nutrition, resistance exercise to increase
muscle tissue and cardiovascular exercise to burn additional calories. Sensing
a theme here? Its all about balance and consistency.
I hope you find these points helpful. Now
that you have some newly found knowledge just remember to bite your tongue when
someone spouts out a fitness fallacy. With tact and patience, share your
knowledge and help spread the word.
A competitive bodybuilder and former
2001 Mr. Connecticut, Raphael Calzadilla is a veteran of the health and fitness
industry. He specializes in a holistic approach to body transformation,
nutrition programs and personal training. He earned his B.A. in Communications
from Southern Connecticut State University and is certified as a personal
trainer with ACE and APEX. In addition, he successfully completed the RTS1
program based on biomechanics.