Sadly, there is no shortage of misleading information when it comes to fitness. In an attempt to set the record straight, Body & Soul tackles some of the most common industry myths here:
- Weight training makes you look bulky. This is probably the most common myth (and fear) for people, especially women, hoping to lose weight or slim down. First, achieving a ‘bulky’ look is heavily dependent on testosterone, so while a focus on weight training can help men achieve larger muscles it is much harder for women to achieve such a look through weight training alone. Second, achieving a significantly ‘bulky’ look will depend greatly on genetics and the use of synthetic hormones (e.g. steroids).
- Lose your belly fat. If spot reduction of fat were possible, everyone would have a flat tummy. Studies continue to show that targeting a specific area of your body for fat loss is just not possible. When your body loses weight, the weight lost is spread across your entire body.
- Sit-ups = six-pack. No matter how many sit-ups and crunches you do, you may never achieve the alluring six-pack abdominals. Why? In the end, it comes down to the human body – your muscles are encompassed by fat which means that a layer of fat is covering your abdominal muscles and obstructing the view. In order to achieve a visible six-pack, you need to lose the fat surrounding your abdominals.
You body is capable of a lot, but even with the right diet and proper fitness program you may never be able to achieve every standard you set for yourself. Simply put, genetics play a large part in your body’s ability to lose weight and gain muscle. It is important to develop realistic goals with respect to your body, limitations, fitness level and lifestyle.