Health and Exercise Tips

So pull up a chair, put aside your “lose 50 pounds by eating only grapefruit” article and open your mind for just a little while. You may disagree with these facts, but that’s what keeps the myths alive.

And away we go…

1. The healthiest method to gauge your progress is weighing yourself: MYTH

You think I’m about to say that the answer is to get frequent body fat tests, don’t you? Nope! The healthiest way to gauge your progress is to make sure your strength levels increase when performing resistance exercise, make sure your endurance improves through cardiovascular exercise and make sure that your clothes fit exactly the way you want them to. When did we stop trusting ourselves to the extent that everything has to be successful by a measurement? Don’t we have enough pressure in our lives?

2. Women will get big if they weight train: MYTH

A woman has approximately one-third the testosterone compared to a man, so putting on a ton of muscle is not going to happen. The women you see in the magazines that look big and manly are on steroids, growth hormones, etc. You may look bulky if you’re carrying excessive body fat and building muscle. However, if you’re reducing body fat, you’ll eventually be able to see those lean, defined muscles.

3. You must work out five to six days per week to make progress: MYTH

I see a lot of people in the gym five to six days a week and they’d be better off playing ping pong. Consistency and level of effort is the key. I’d rather see someone work out three days per week with enthusiasm and intensity, than five inconsistent days of lackadaisical effort. In fact, for those clients that have trouble with motivation, I recommend only two days of workouts per week, but they must do it every week.

4. Spot Reducing Is Possible: MYTH

The human body loses fat over the entire body at various rates of speed. It’s impossible to spot reduce. If you’re focusing on only losing fat that sits on your hips, it won’t work. Generally, the first place you gain fat is the last place you lose it.

5. If You Exercise You Can Eat Whatever You Want: MYTH

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. Exercising will burn calories, but if you’re eating anything you want and you’re over maintenance calories, you’ll most likely gain fat.

6. Stretching prevents injuries: MYTH

After analyzing the results of six studies, researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention could not find any correlation between stretching and injury prevention. According to Dr. Julie Gilchrist, one of the researchers involved with the study, “Stretching increases flexibility, but most injuries occur within the normal range of motion.” Dr. Gilchrist goes on to say, “Stretching and warming up have just gone together for decades. It’s simply what’s done, and it hasn’t been approached through rigorous science.”

Make no mistake; a stretching program is not without benefits. Seven of nine studies suggest that a regular stretching program does help to strengthen muscles. However, it does not appear to actually prevent injuries. Warming up prior to exercise and increasing blood flow to the muscles is actually more conducive to injury prevention. I’m not suggesting that you eliminate stretching. It is valuable and flexibility is certainly important as we age. However, we may be off base assuming it’s an injury-prevention technique.

7. There is a ‘Best Workout Routine’: MYTH

There is no best and only way to workout. I get a multitude of questions concerning the efficiency of super slow-rep workouts, “the best video tape” workout, “best number of days to workout,” etc. In reality, it’s good for you if it works for you, but don’t stay with any of it for too long. Don’t let the body or the mind adapt. The body will adapt to any exercise routine in approximately four to six weeks. Vary volume of sets, time between sets, reps, exercises, cardiovascular exercises, exercise tapes etc. Manipulate your routine every three to four weeks and view change as your key to efficiency and results.

8. One should lose weight before they begin an exercise program: MYTH

There is no physiological reason to lose weight prior to beginning an exercise program. Exercise is the best thing for your health and there is no time like the present to start. There are too many benefits of exercise to list here, but you’re doing every system and cell in your body a world of good by exercising. Any amount starting with 5 minutes a day is beneficial.

Fat loss and muscle gain are only two of the many benefits that your body will experience from exercising. Each day will get a little easier as you become more fit. There is no justification for waiting to begin – unless you have orders from your doctor.

Whether you exercise with 20-percent body fat or 30-percent body fat, you’ll still be providing your body with the same benefits. Of course with less fat, you can move a little easier and it may be less strenuous on your heart, but you can be more fit and efficient at 30-percent body fat if you are exercising than if you wait to get to 20-percent body fat without exercising. The goal is to gain or preserve muscle and lose fat – not just lose weight (which implies both muscle and fat).

9. When working out with weights, very high reps (over 15) will help me to get defined muscles and very low reps (8-12) will make them bulky: MYTH

You’re not going to improve your strength or effect muscle definition if you’re choosing a weight that is too light. Muscles respond to overload. It’s the only way to get the cosmetic and strength benefit from weight training.

Muscular definition is the result of a calorie reduced diet, overall body fat loss and weight training with challenging poundage’s. Add cardiovascular exercise and you have the body you’ve been dreaming about – over time, of course. The guidelines used for selecting a weight are to choose a resistance that allows you to do between 8 and 12 repetitions. If you can’t do 8, it’s too heavy. If you can do 12 repetitions, then increase your resistance by 5 percent. Keep in mind that all of your muscle groups are not equally as strong. For example, you may be able to use 7 pounds on a lateral raise, but need 15 pounds to be challenged during a squat. Online coaching

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