You can all probably relate to this following scenario. You’re at the gym, you’re working out, your form’s pretty good, when all of a sudden, an out of shape, middle-aged guy makes his way over to you, and tells you that what you’re doing is wrong, and what you should instead be doing it like him. He will then perform a ridiculous looking exercise, and pass it off as being correct. You can’t reason with people like this as they think they’re always right, you can simply smile, nod, and wait for him to leave, before you go back to doing exactly what you were doing correctly in the first place. The problem with the health and fitness community is that everybody has an opinion, and for some reason everybody thinks that they’re right no matter what. Because of this, there has been a great deal of confusion regarding certain exercises, certain exercise techniques, and certain diet and nutrition programs, that people are still not entirely sure about. These myths are still all too common and although they should go away, people still continue to believe them. Here’s a look at a few examples of what we’re talking about.
The cardio machine is telling you the EXACT number of calories you are burning
This is a very common myth and it is one which many people tend to get pretty animated and passionate about. You probably know that most cardio machines these days, will have a screen that displays the supposed number of calories that have been burned during your workout. The problem here is that this is not an exact number of calories, and is only a rough estimate. Think about it, we all burn calories at different rates as all of our body compositions are so different to one another. If a 275lb bodybuilder were to step on the treadmill and perform 20 minutes of steady state cardio, he would burn more calories than a 190lb “skinny fat” guy who very rarely exercises. The reason for this is that the bodybuilder’s metabolism will be far greater because muscle requires more energy than body fat. Most of these machines don’t even ask you to log your bodyweight, so how can they possibly know exactly how many calories you have burnt off?
You can turn fat into muscle
This is one of the most ridiculous yet extremely common myths that just will not go away, no matter how much evidence is presented that essentially proves that it’s complete gibberish. People unfortunately still believe that you can turn fat into muscle, which is how they justify gaining way too much body fat when “dirty bulking” by consuming vast quantities of high calorie junk food. Fat is fat, and muscle is muscle, and unless it is magic fat that has the ability to transform itself, fat is what it will always be. In other words, you can’t change something into something that it is not. You can lose the fat, and replace it with muscle, but you can’t suddenly change the structure and genetic makeup of body fat so that it becomes muscle, as it is just not possible.
You need to work out for at least 45 minutes each session
This is another myth that is all too common and it is causing a great deal of confusion amongst gym-goers all over the world. Many people believe, because they read it in some magazine or website, that in order for your workout to be effective, it will need to last for at least 45 minutes. This is complete nonsense as truthfully it doesn’t matter how long you spend in the gym, what matters is what you do with your time, and how much effort you actually put in. Think about it, you could walk into the gym, do one set of one exercise, have a 5 minute rest, do another set of the same exercise, rest another 5 minutes, and so on. That means that in just over 10 minutes, you will have only performed two sets on the same exercise. During that time, if you had rested for one minute between sets, you could have performed numerous working sets, and could already be onto your third exercise of your workout. It doesn’t matter how long your workouts last, what matters is what you do in that amount of time.
Stay away from weights if you want to lose weight
People believe that resistance training and lifting weights will hinder weight loss progress and make you heavier. Now, by weight loss, we’re presuming they mean fat-loss and so this is partially true. If you lift weights for a prolonged period of time, I.E months, you will begin to build lean muscle mass. Lean muscle weighs twice as much as fat, so you may be slightly heavier. However, the muscle will boost your metabolism, meaning you burn more calories and so you will burn fat much easier. Not only that, but as it is still exercise, you are still burning calories and are therefore losing fat. If you stepped on the scales, you may be heavier, or perhaps the same weight, but if you tested your body fat percentages, you’d see that you will have lost quite a substantial amount of fat, and replaced it with lean muscle instead.
Protein shakes are steroids
We shouldn’t really dignify this with a response but you’d be surprised by just how many ignorant people there are out there that actually believe this to be true. These people have very little knowledge on diet and exercise, and know even less about steroids and supplements. They probably think that all steroids are exactly alike and would struggle to name even one. Protein supplements come from dairy, or egg, or plant-based protein sources, they’re enriched with vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, and they have never been, nor will they ever be, a steroid of any shape or form.