It's amazing how incredibly wrong some beliefs about fitness really are. People think the craziest things about their exercise, diet and fitness habits, and they'd be surprised to learn that all they are are myths--which have long since been discredited.
Let's take a look at a few of the top fitness myths, as well as the real truth...
Myth 1: Stretching Before Workout Prevents Pulling Muscles
Truth: Stretching before a workout just gets the blood flowing to the muscles, enabling them to work hard. It's not going to prevent injuries--using the proper form for your exercise will do that--but it will ensure that the muscles are ready to work.
Myth 2: Sports Drinks are Good for You After Exercise
Truth: Unless you do more than 60 to 90 minutes of exercise, sports drinks are basically just sugary sodium water. They contain more calories than are good for you, and they'll end up adding a lot of sugar into your body.
Myth 3: Protein Bars and Shakes are Top-Notch Nutrition
Truth: Protein bars and shakes do have good protein, but they're often higher in calories and sugar than you think. Many protein bars are more like candy bars, so they're not really all that they're cracked up to be. It's better to get protein from a natural source, and only supplement your protein requirements with these foods.
Myth 4: Women Shouldn't Lift Weights
Truth: Women should lift weights, as it helps to burn fat, tone the muscles, and keep their body from wearing out. As long as it's not power lifting, any woman can lift weights safely.
Myth 5: The Scale is Your Sign of Progress
Truth: Your scale just tells you how much your total weight is, not how much your lean body weight is. Your goal should be to increase your lean body weight and decrease your body fat percentage--something the scale won't be able to tell you.
Myth 6: LISS Cardio is the Way to Get in Shape
Truth: Low Intensity Steady State (LISS) cardio alone isn't going to burn much fat, but it will actually end up cannibalizing your muscle tissue. You need to add resistance training into the mix to stop your body from using muscle tissue for energy.
Myth 7: Target Your Belly to Burn the Flab
Truth: You can't "spot reduce" your body fat, despite what you may have heard. You have to work on the body as a whole, and your body will eventually burn away the fat around your entire body--including an inner tube around the waist.
Myth 8: Exercise Allows Me to Skip Out on Dieting
Truth: A healthy body is made 40 percent in the gym and 60 percent in the kitchen. If you train hard but don't eat properly, you'll not only stay hefty, but you can actually injure your body because you're not giving it the proper nourishment.
Myth 9: Pain is a Part of Training
Truth: The pain of burning muscles is caused by lactic acid being released as your muscles work, and that is the pain they're talking about when they say "No pain, no gain." If there's any other type of pain (sore muscles, achy joints, tired body, hurting bones, etc.), you're doing something wrong.
Myth 10: "I Can Work Out for Three Hours Once a Week and Still Get in Shape."
Truth: Fitness takes time every day--even just 15 to 30 minutes. If you don't do something daily (even a walk around the block), that once-a-week workout isn't going to do much. You need to burn those calories every day to make a difference.
Some people get lucky and are born with fit, toned bodies. Andy Peloquin is not one of those people... Fitness has come hard for him, and he's had to work for it. His trials have led him to becoming a martial artist, an NFPT-certified fitness trainer, and a man passionate about exercise, diet and healthy living. He loves to exercise--he does so six days a week--and loves to share his passion for fitness and health with others.