Identifying Fact from Fiction in Fitness Myths


It’s important to first understand some of the biggest lies and myths in the fitness industry, regardless of whether your goal is to lose 10-15 pounds of body fat or gain 10-15 pounds of lean muscle mass. Otherwise, you risk wasting your time and even endangering your long-term health.

To begin with, it is entirely false to believe that muscle turns to fat.

Myth 1:

Fat cannot become muscle.

They are two entirely different kinds of tissues. Your muscle cannot turn into fat, just as your heart differs from your liver and you wouldn’t worry that it could become your liver. An apple turning into an orange before your eyes would be analogous. Not going to happen.

So what happens to someone who used to be very fit and muscular but stops exercising? If, as many people believe, muscle does not convert to fat, then why does their once slim and fit body now look flabby, unhealthy, and fat?

Instead of getting fat, the reality is much worse. The loss of muscle outweighs the conversion of muscle to fat. It is deteriorating literally.

Because it takes a lot of energy to maintain lean muscle mass, which is why having more muscle is great for preventing fat gain, the body eliminates muscle mass when it decides it no longer needs to do so. Any remaining muscle mass begins catabolizing, or deteriorating, when it is not being stressed or used.

Inactivity causes muscles to contract less and fat deposits to expand. Soon, a body that was once attractive, trim, and fit now appears flabby and fat. Honestly, it’s that easy.

Because muscle burns more calories than fat, dietary changes must accompany any changes in exercise routine. If diets aren’t modified to reflect a less active lifestyle, if food intake stays constant but total caloric expenditure declines, what happens? The excess calories that are not burned off through activity are transformed into body fat.

Science tells us that if you exercise less, you burn fewer calories and must eat fewer calories as a result.

The good news is that once muscle has been developed, it can be kept in shape with just 60 minutes of strength training each week at the gym (or in your preferred strength training workout). Once muscle has been built, maintaining it requires much less effort than building it from scratch.

Myth 2:

Daily exercise is recommended. Wrong.

Many people mistakenly think that if they aren’t making the desired progress, it’s because they aren’t training hard (or long) enough. As a result, they immediately start pushing their bodies harder, which is the exact opposite of what should be happening.

Every time you work out your muscles hard (in the gym or elsewhere), you cause tiny tears in the muscle tissue, which take time to repair so that the muscles can once again withstand the same amount of force. Muscles won’t get stronger and may even lose important muscle mass if the time and effort required to do this are not given.

The body needs rest days in a well-planned protocol when exercising actively in order to have the time it needs to grow stronger than it was before. One, if not two, days off per week should be ideal. However, even that is not an exact science. Some people need more. In fact, three to four days of rest are not at all unusual for novice athletes or those who engage in rigorous training.

As your workouts become more intense, keep in mind that you will need more total rest to recover from them.

Knowing when to work more diligently and when to take a break is crucial. To achieve that end, you must recognize the differences and provide your body with exactly what it requires.

Respect your workout, but keep a rest day in between.

Myth 3:

False: Cardio exercise is a fantastic way to lose weight.

Cardio is the term used to describe steady state cardio sessions, which people dread doing but must do every day after going to the gym. hopping on a piece of cardio equipment and maintaining a constant pace for 20–60 minutes.

Very few people benefit much from these exercises. We eat more as a result of these prolonged cardio workouts because they increase our appetite. In fact, many people, who are classic “cardio bunnies,” report ravenous appetites that just won’t go away.

Even loss of lean muscle mass can result from cardio exercise. The body makes every effort to be as effective as it can when it knows it must move for extended periods of time at a moderate intensity pace. Less muscle tissue is better for your body because it requires more energy to maintain than more.

When you combine this with the fact that many people are exercising and eating fewer calories, you have a body that is eager to lose lean muscle. Lean muscle is actually being gained during the process rather than fat.

In spite of the fact that losing weight after months of cardio exercise may make the body appear smaller, the change in body composition is unhealthful. The ratio of lean muscle mass to total body fat has changed, and the outcome is not favorable. The appearance is unfitting, soft, and jiggly.

Cardio exercise is not the way to achieve a fit, lean, firm body. The only effective method to stop unhealthily losing muscle is strength training.

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