Whether your reading a fitness magazine, talking to a friend, or hearing about a celebrity’s latest workout, fitness myths are everywhere! Aside from an overload of information, we risk injuring ourselves if we listen to the wrong advice. Our team of fitness experts decided to explore the most popular myths and clear the air so you can train the right way. Here’s what the experts have to say:
True or False? Muscle weighs more than fat.
Answer: False. One pound of muscle weighs the same as one pound of fat! So why do people always insist that muscle is heavier? They’re confusing the density of muscle compared to the density of fat. One pound of muscle literally takes up 3 X LESS space in your body than 1 pound of body fat. The other great thing about building muscle? Every pound of lean muscle mass you build, your body burns an extra 50 fat calories a day, thus boosting your metabolism and turning your body into a fat burning machine!
True or False? I should work out first thing in the morning on an empty stomach to burn more fat.
Answer: False. Though there’s nothing wrong with working out in the morning, it’s critical to eat something first to stabilize your blood sugar and prevent your body from becoming hypoglycemic and burning lean muscle mass during your workout. Remember while you are sleeping at night, your body is in fasting mode and so it’s critical to re-fuel first thing in the morning. Not a breakfast eater? Even a ½ of a balanced protein bar or protein smoothie is better than not eating at all. Having a balanced meal or snack complete with protein, carbohydrate and fat prior to your meal sets your body up to burn fat only during your workout and will protect your lean muscle mass (which in turn increases your metabolism!).
True or False? I only need to eat right and do cardio to get lean
Answer: False. It’s true that the foundation of any healthy lifestyle is great nutrition, and the right cardio can protect lean muscle and burn body fat. You also need to strength train to build lean muscle mass and increase your metabolism. Remember lean muscle mass burns body fat, builds bone density and will help you to create the lean toned physique your after. We recommend that you work with a personal trainer or physical therapist to create a full body strength training routine for best results.
True or False? I need to train my abdominals every day for best results.
Answer: False. Your abdominals are like any other muscle group; they need adequate rest and recovery in order to develop and to prevent injury. Toned and strong abs stem from proper nutrition and consistent cardiovascular exercise (both of which burn the fat covering the abdominal muscles). The last piece of the puzzle is proper training. Aim to train your abs every other day or 2-3 times per week with a variety of exercises to strengthen and build your core.
True or False? I don’t need to strength train if I’m doing yoga regularly.
Answer: False. Though yoga is incredibly beneficial for strength, toning, stretching and peace of mind, a regular weight training routine is critical for great results. Weight bearing exercises help to build lean muscle and bone mass and will help you to burn more body fat. Adding strength training into your routine, along with yoga is ideal.
True or False? If I’m out of breath during cardio, I’m getting an effective workout
Answer: Not necessarily. There is a time and place for an intense cardio routine. This type of intense, out of breath cardio is called interval training and does require a lack of oxygen in order to be most effective. What most people don’t know is interval training should only be performed a few times a week (and only if you are physically fit). The challenge most people have is they over-exert themselves during EVERY cardio session and are always out of breath. These same people can’t achieve the fat burning results they are looking for. Red fiber or fat burning training is critical and the base of a great cardiovascular routine. To burn fat most effectively you should never be out of breath . In fact a good rule of thumb is you should be breaking a great sweat and also be able to hold a conversation. It is critical to work both red fiber (fat burning) and white fiber (sugar burning, interval ) training into your routine. Please see your online member handbook for complete details on how to perform both types of cardio correctly and get ready for the best results of your life!