At AFR we’ve put together a list of 10 of the most known and discussed fitness myths out there as a result of people looking for shortcuts in their fitness routines. Each of the following fitness myths are given an explanation as to why they are myths.
Your cardio machine is counting the calories you’re burning.
FACT: Calorie burning depends on one’s age, fitness level, BMI and sex. Different sexes at different fitness levels and BMIs burn calories at different rates. Some machines don’t even ask for weight or sex.
Hearth rate monitors will let you know how hard you’re working.
FACT: Monitors can falter depending on what kind of exercise you’re doing. Your own body is better at telling you how hard you’re working. You can measure how intensely you are working out depending on whether you talk in full sentences, short phrases or are barely able to muster a few words.
Your weight is the end all, be all.
FACT: Your weight has little to do with your fitness level. Muscle weighs more than fat, so it’s common to see an increase in weight when performing lifting regimens after a few weeks. Measure by seeing how your clothes fit and how you feel overall.
Low intensity exercise burns more fat.
FACT: The more intensely you exercise, the higher proportion of carbs you burn. You may burn less fat, but you burn more calories. Your body digs into the fat after it has burned all the carbs.
Chug a protein shake after workout.
FACT: While protein shakes are good for emergencies, they are a very low quality processed product. The best way to get protein is through foods like turkey, beef, yogurt and nuts.
You can spot reduce for tight abs or toned arms.
FACT: The more repetitions you do, the more muscle memory you embed. This reduces the effectiveness of your workout and causes your body to burn less fat. Working out all body parts will reduce muscle memory and increase calorie burn, which will then translate into fat burn.
You can eat whatever you like as long as you work out.
FACT: Losing pounds and burning fat happens when you have a caloric deficit. However, intense caloric deficit works the opposite way. Muscles need to feed, so your food intake should consist of a balance of fats, proteins and carbs.
Cardio is the only way to lose weight.
FACT: Cardio is good for the heart and increases endurance, but is not the best way to burn fat. Since muscles have higher energy stores in them, the body will actually begin to feed off those after extended cardio regimens, rather than fat. 10-25 minutes of cardio will give your heart what it needs, without causing your body to start feeding off of muscle.
You have to do cardio in the morning on an empty stomach in order to burn fat.
FACT: Your body’s metabolism is at its lowest in the morning because you haven’t eaten for 8 hours. Eat a balanced breakfast and you will be able to exercise longer and your body’s metabolism will already be working.
Drinking ice cold water burns fat.
FACT: There is no proof that cold water will shock your system and force your body to burn fat in order to stay warm. However, drinking room temperature water will have the exact same effects.