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The Top 6 Fitness Myths and Truths

Don't Believe These Tall Tales!

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  • NRADUNSKY
    BEVT, I agree. People always talk like training one area is a waste of time because you can't have spot reduction, like the only reason to strength train is some abstract metabolic or bone strengthening health benefit. However, you for sure SEE a difference when you spot train (at least if your weight isn't quite high), and that is what most people care about when they spot train. I have a flat stomach for a few days after doing ab workouts-- not defined by any means, but everything has some structure rather than falling out over the front of my jeans. If I am lazy about ab exercises the next week it comes right back.
  • I think people confuse the spot reduction and fat burning because if you really don't have weight to lose but are flabby and poochy in certain areas just working on those areas makes a big difference. I know that if I don't work my abs they pooch more. If I slack of my triceps and biseps I see a difference. Maybe it's confusing flab with fat. But I notice when I lay off my weights I do get an overall look of "fat" in those areas I use weights for. And no one ever explains that. It looks like fat, do some toning regularly and it goes away. So there's something to it.
  • THESCRIV
    Your advertisements cover the article you are presenting. This means, of course, I cannot read the article. I'm trying not to use a lot of cuss words in saying this. Does no one check to see how the articles are presented? Please, have someone with 1. brains 2. responsibility and 3.common sense, read this.
  • KATHIE_B
    Pilates had given me back my waistline. OK, I am at goal weight but I am 63 and amazed at the toning effect.
  • Interesting that the #1 myth is spot reduction, yet I continue to see just those type of headlines here, makes me wonder
  • CINSHA
    Great article. I've heard that if you run, after 20 minutes you start to burn up muscle and not fat. True? I didn't think it was a true statement, but wondered.
  • TDL5685
    I've never understood the "fat burning zone". From my understanding the way to lose weight is to cosume less calories then your body needs in a day and so our bodies will resort to using the calories stored in the form of fat. The higher intensitiy of the workout, the more calories our body is burning. How does a lower intensity workout burn a higher percentage of fat? Just wondering.
  • FITWISETRAINER
    I'm a exercise specialist and I tell my clients about the fat burning zone in this way:
    We burn a higher percentage of fat when exercising at lower intensities but the total fat burned is often less. Think of it as money. Would you rather have 75% of 100 dollars or 50% of 300 dollars? Translate that to fat and you burn 75% of your calories from fat or 75 calories vs. 50% of your calories or 150! Burning at a higher percentage will net you a lot less fat in the long run, assuming you exercise for the same amount of time. I will take 50% of 300 any day!
  • For all of you confused about #5, please google 'fat burning zone myth'. It's not explained very well in the article so I can understand why you are still confused.

    Someone made the statement that 'if you are not burning fat then you are burning muscle, and nobody wants that'. That is an incorrect assumption. You are still getting a proportion of your calories (energy) from fat when you are not in the fat burning zone, other energy sources include carbs and stored glycogen. If you are burning more calories overall, you will burn more fat (even though the PROPORTION of calories from fat is lower). Burning more calories, no matter where they come from, will lead to better weight loss (as long as you don't eat them all back).

    Here is a good explanation that should clear up some of the confusion: http://scienceblogs.com/obesitypanacea/201
    0/06/the_myth_of_the_fat_burning_zo.php
  • I've believed all these myths at some point, but I know better now
  • Please explain Myth 5 in more detail - I am confused whether I should be increasing the intesity of my workouts.
  • This is a good article. I've heard all of these addressed in The Firm classic video series many years ago. They had an informational film that explained these common myths and more attached to the end of their first classic film featuring the instructor, Susan Harris. If you can, watch it...quite informative!
  • ETRAMPOLINES
    Great Article

    OZWODEN - with respect to #5.

    The problem with doing longer lower intensity exercises is that your because you burn such a high percentage of fat, your body will tend to store more fat as a protection mechanism.

    This type of strenuous workout, without rest, mimics prolonged stress. It also causes your body to adapt in a way that is counterproductive to your health and longevity.

    For all your effort, you only reduce your ability to handle life’s demanding circumstances – and that’s the last thing you want. With less reserve heart capacity available on call, you invite trouble when a stressful situation arises.

    During long-duration exercise, your heart is under constant stress with no time to rest and recover. When this goes on long enough, the heart is traumatized.
    Endurance exercise causes your heart and lungs to adapt for endurance. But these organs are already endurance machines. Your heart beats continuously and your lungs expand and contract with every breath you take. Forced, continuous, endurance exercise prompts your heart and lungs to “downsize.” Reducing to smaller capacity allows you to go further, more efficiently, and with less rest and less fuel.

    Our ancestors didn’t run marathons or jump around for an hour doing aerobics. And they didn’t sit in front of computers or the television the entire day. They moved around a lot at a low level of exertion. And then every once in a while they exerted themselves at nearly 100% of their capacity – hunting prey or escaping from it.

    This pattern of brief intense movement, followed by rest, and lots of low level activity is hardwired in your genes. Your muscles, bones and organ systems are reflections of this genetic design. The way they work together is the formula for strength, vitality and long life.
  • OZWODEN
    RE: Myth #5: You will burn more fat if you exercise longer at a lower intensity.

    If you read the explanation in the article it says that by doing higher intensity exercise you will lose more weight but use fewer fat calories doing so. I.e. you lose more of your weight from areas other than fat.

    Blind Freddy can see the problem with this. Most people's goal at this site isn't to lose 'weight' but in fact to lose fat.

    If you want to lose fat, then you want to get rid of the fat calories -- ie. use up the fat cells storing energy. Thus, following the converse of the argument in the article -- longer, lower intensity exercise should use more fat calories and hence you lose more fat.
  • It is the pervisity of 'spot reduction' that drives me crazy. Oh, I would love to lose two inches off my waist. No darn it not more off my arms, they are getting downright scrawny, my calves and thighs are made of steel and my teeny little butt couldn't possibly afford another centimeter. Every time I backside a few pounds, my belly and breasts get instantly larger, even whilst my rings fly off and my watch hangs upside down. Oh it would be nice to wear pants that weren't either hollow in the bum or strangling at the waist. Usually I buy the tween size and take in the hip curve and put up with the too tight waist. Like me Mum I have spectacular legs, even at nearly 60. Me Mum's legs are still grand, although at 85 she sometimes gets puffy ankles. But my best attribute is never on display because I won't wear panty hose any more and the type of shoes you wear with a skirt are no longer my cup of tea, so from mid-september to mid-May my legs are all covered up. LOL.

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