Myths About Exercise And Diet - Busted

Published: 20th November 2016
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Copyright (c) 2014 Simon Mager

Women who lift weights get bulky muscles..
Weight training will in fact tone your body and give you a fantastic shape.
Women have approximately 1/40th of the level of testosterone of men, therefore they do not have the ability to gain muscle bulk easily and will not look masculine from weight training.
There are exceptions to this rule of course - genetics could indicate a higher level of testosterone than the norm or the use of anabolic steroids or human growth hormone (the latter two being illegal)

Because I go to the gym, I can eat whatever I like..
Nutrition is the most important part of any health and fitness program.
It is recognized that nutrition makes up 80% of your results. so if your nutrition plan is lacking, how do you expect to get the results you want from your training?
If you are unsure where to start with a nutrition plan, your personal trainer, nutritionist or dietician can help point you in the right direction.

The only way to lose weight is cut calories..
You need to eat well and in sufficient quantities to support your training program.
You will lose some weight by drastically cutting your calories, however the majority of it water and some muscle.
To build lean muscle and train effectively, make sure you are consuming adequate quantities of protein, carbohydrates and good fats.

To be healthy, I need to spend hours at the gym each day..
It's the quality, not the quantity, of your time in the gym and your workouts that matters most.
Unless there is a specific need, you don't need to spend 2 hours a day in the gym to reach your goals.
Avoid distractions by leaving your mobile phone in your locker, put your iPod in and focus on the session at hand.
Think you need to spend hours in the treadmill/cross trainer/bike? Try high intensity interval training and get your cardio done in only 20 minutes.

It's all about how much you can lift..
Wrong! If you are lifting heavy, but not using the correct form, then you might as well not be lifting.
By dropping the weight you are lifting, correcting your form and lifting properly, you will make better gains from your weight training.

You only need cardio to lose weight..
Weight training is a crucial part of any fitness regime.
Not only does it burn calories, but by increasing your muscle mass, you actually burn more calories at rest.
By combining weight training and cardio in your fitness regime, you will get the physique that you've always dreamed of!

Muscle weighs more than fat..
A kilogram of muscle weighs the same as a kilogram of fat.
The difference is that muscle is much more dense than body fat.
Therefore, a kilogram of muscle will take up much less room in your body than a kilogram of fat
Another benefit of muscle, it is significantly more vascular (better blood supply) than body fat and will cause you to burn more calories at rest than body fat.

" No pain, no gain..
Prevailing wisdom of the 70's & 80's was no pain no gain, however the reality is that there does not need to be pain to benefit from exercise.
Exercising to the point of pain can harm you, not help.
It's OK to push yourself a bit, to tax your heart, lungs, muscles and bones -- but be reasonable. Don't risk an injury.
Don't be afraid to see a physiotherapist if you do injure yourself exercising

You can't exercise too much..
It's called overtraining and it can be very detrimental to your health and fitness.
Overtraining occurs when the volume and intensity of your training exceeds your body's ability to recover and drains the body's energy reserves.
If you literally have to 'drag' yourself to the gym, you are probably overtrained and need to take extra time off. Sufficient sleep (which is when most recovery occurs) and a week off every six to eight weeks is essential for avoiding overtraining.

I'm too old to start exercising..
That's like saying you're too old to be healthy; it's nonsense.
Exercise increases strength, strengthens bones, and stimulates the nervous system and immune system. Moderate cardiovascular exercise and strength training has shown to have numerous health benefits for senior citizens.
You may be too old to compete in some sports, but you can definitely benefit from exercise. In fact, no matter what age you are, you're probably too old to NOT exercise

I don't have the time or money to exercise..
Incidental Exercises - most of you would have heard of this, and when it comes to ensuring you maintain 30 minutes of physical activity per day, incidental exercise can really get you there. Park at the bottom of a hill or a couple of streets away from work. Walk up and down stairs at home in the morning and the afternoon. Walk up stairs and ramps in shopping centres instead of using lifts. Has anyone else got any suggestions? Children / pets - get active with your kids / pets. There are so many great parks in Brisbane and it costs nothing to go and play a game of soccer, push the kids on the swing, or ride bikes. Not only are you motivated because you have to run around after the kids, but you also ensure active habits in your family so fitness becomes routine for them as they grow older. Jump onto for your local parks and activities. Personal Trainers - PTs are a great way to stay motivated, and a great way to reach your goals faster. You can use them in a number of ways. You may want to commit to seeing someone every week because you know they will be able to push you just that little bit harder. Who here has been in the gym and it feeling really tired and instead of pushing themselves, they take it easy? Well a PT will never let that happen, so you always know that if you commit to that time to train you will get the most out of it. Also, you can use them to do testing and write you a program. You can do that program on your own if you feel confident with the exercises, and the PT can review your progress periodically. Both services are offered here at the gym. Competitions & incentives are also great motivators. Who here watches The Biggest Loser? Well many gyms have this type of program or challenge where they reward people for large amounts of weight loss. If you are motivated by incentives such as cash, holidays, and gym equipment, maybe entering one of these competitions is just what you need to reach your fitness goal.


Simon Mager is a personal trainer with over 10 years of experience developing exercise training workouts to help people lose weight, tone up, build muscle or improve cardio fitness.

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