There are a lot of misconceptions that people have about working out and fitness in general. Based on personal experience, I am going to list a few that I know for a fact are just myths.
The first thing I want to talk about is targeting fat. A lot of people think that you can target fat loss, and attempt to lose fat in a specific area of your body. For me personally, I know that I tend to hold more fat in my upper thighs than I do in my arms or stomach, and when I am trying to slim down a bit, the fat on my thighs is last to go. Some people hold fat in their belly area, and others in their arms. Everyone’s body is different though, and we all hold weight differently. Therefore, targeted fat loss is really not very possible. Overall weight loss and fat loss is possible, but where you lose fat first is not very controllable. I have heard people talk about doing a bunch of ab exercises in order to get abs. Just doing 1,000 crunches per day is not going to get you defined abs. A mix of proper nutrition, cardio, and weight lifting all together would be something that could get you to that goal.
The second myth that is one I hear a lot is that lifting weights as a girl will make you bulky. I wrote about this in one of my earlier posts, and basically, all I have to say is that this is 100% not true…unless you lift a ton and then eat a major surplus in calories all the time. If you are a woman and you want to lift weights, DO NOT be afraid that you are going to get bulky because it is just not true. Lifting weights as a woman will help tone and sculpt your body, especially when mixed with proper nutritional balance. Women simply do not have the same amount of testosterone in their bodies as men do to build muscle in the same way.
Another thing that people believe is that low carb diets are the only way to lose weight. This is totally false. I am a true believer in macro/calorie counting, that is, eat whatever you want within reason being that it fits into your calculated daily calorie/macro intake numbers. Depleting your carb sources can make you lose weight, but it can also make you feel like crap because who wants to eliminate carbs from their diet? There is no need to eliminate carbs from your diet in order to lose weight if you are eating a well-balanced diet, and keeping track of how much you eat per day. Low carb diets are just another one of those fad diets that people can only stick with for so long because depleting your carbs depletes your overall energy levels.
One last misconception I have heard is that people think that if you are not sore after and/or during the gym session that you did not work hard enough. If anything, the “no pain no gain” mindset is harmful. An exercise should most definitely not hurt while you are doing it because if it does, you are either doing it wrong or already have an injury. As far as post workout pain goes, sometimes I get it and sometimes I don’t. I never consider post workout soreness as in indicator that my workout was good or bad though. I trust the process, and my work ethic in the gym enough to know that with or without soreness, I am working hard in the gym.
There are probably like 1,000 other false beliefs that people have about fitness and health in general, but these are just a few of the ones that I find I hear a lot. I am sure I will write a whole blog just about food myths in the future. Thanks for reading, and hope you learned something from this.