10 Myths That Could Be Holding You Back in Your Training

There are many misconceptions when it comes to training that can be holding you back from reaching your goals.

Much of the information that is presented on the Internet or through the so-called “health” and or “fitness” magazines is misleading and often not true.

A lot of the information written in these publications by “experts” is based solely on theory not factual data.

It’s because of this misleading or false information that people think they are training correctly, while in reality it’s these very same so called training tips that are holding them back from reaching their goals.

This report is going to uncover the truth about 10 of the most common myths in training.

1. You have to do cardio workouts to burn fat

Many believe that the only way to burn fat is to do cardiovascular activities (running, biking, swimming, walking etc.). The myth comes from research that showed the body utilizes fat when it reaches a “steady state” that occurs while doing cardio. In reality losing fat comes down to two reasons—increasing the heart rate (exercise intensity) and exercise duration.

To burn fat you simply need to eat a healthy balanced diet high in vegetables, fruits and protein, and exercise at a high intensity (your body will use stored sugars first for energy, then, if a high intensity is maintained, will begin to burn fat.

You can also burn fat at an extremely low intensity, but you will be using much less in the way of calories and it will take you much longer to lose the unwanted weight AND build muscle. Burning calories can be done by doing cardio only workouts, lifting weights at a high intensity, or a combination of the two.

Cardiovascular activities are not the end all be all for burning fat. There are a lot of added benefits to weight training other than burning calories and losing weight—such as an increase of muscular strength, flexibility, bone strength, joint strength, and a decrease of muscular imbalances that can be caused by solely doing cardio.

Not sure what we mean? Try lifting weights, using a total body routine, and instead of resting/relaxing for a minute between sets or between exercises, pick up a jump rope and get as many jumps in as you can in your one minute ‘rest time.’

This will increase the intensity of the workout, and keep your heart rate up enough to increase your metabolic demand—meaning that you will burn through much of your store carbs and begin burning fat during your weight lifting workout. You can get your ‘cardio’ and your weight training all done in less than 1 hour, saving you much time and stress! For more tips on how to lose fat, please contact a Finish First Sports Performance coach.

2. Lifting heavy weights will make you “bulky”

This myth comes from seeing all the guys that are “jacked” lifting heavy weights.

These people are in every gym and there are pictures that appear in every fitness magazine or website.

For those of you that don’t want to look like those guys there is the misconception that lifting heavy weights will make you bulky. The truth is there are a very small percentage of people that can naturally get big and bulky.

Lifting heavy weights will only make you stronger and healthier. Just think about how many people you know that want to get “jacked” and can’t achieve it naturally.

3. Lifting heavy weights is bad for my joints

The use of heavy lifting is often looked at as bad for your joints and body. This is only true if you are weight training with improper technique.

It is the lack of form or technique that puts an individual at risk for joint pain or injury--it’s not from heavy weight training. The fact is that weight training correctly will help your joints to become stronger by strengthening the muscles, tendons, and ligaments surrounding the joint.

4. As long as you workout you can eat whatever you want

Don’t be fooled by this myth. Many believe, just because they worked out they can go and eat six Big Mac’s or they will eat junk and claim they will burn it off in their workout.

Truth is eating properly is equally as important to getting healthy and in shape as working out. Eating junk before or after a workout will negate your hard work.

A balanced healthy diet allows your body to recover and replenish from your workout.

5. Diet alone is enough to lose weight

Getting on track with a healthy diet is a great start to losing weight. But unfortunately that can only take you so far before your weight starts to plateau and you can’t lose any more weight.

The only way to continue to lose weight besides starving yourself (which I don’t recommend) is to exercise.

Combining a healthy diet with consistent exercise will maximize your weight loss and allow you to reach your goals. Losing weight is simple—burn more calories than you take in on a weekly basis while eating a balanced healthy diet and exercising.

6. You can target a specific area of the body to lose fat “spot reduce”

This could be the most common of all the myths. If I had a dollar for every time someone asked how they can lose the flab under their arm (bingo arm) or they need to lose the fat over their lower abs etc… I could have retired years ago.

Let me come right out and say you CAN NOT target a specific area to lose fat. Everyone loses fat at different rates and everyone holds on to fat in certain areas of their body. It may take you longer to lose the fat in the areas that you are most concerned with.

7. You can turn fat into muscle

The turning muscle into fat myth is one that I’ve been hearing for a long time.

Many people believe that it’s ok to be fat because you can turn that fat into muscle.

This is not true—fat and muscle are two entirely different types of body tissue that are made up of very different components …the concept of turning fat into muscle would be like turning a butterfly into a dog—unless you have a magic wand, a fairy princess godmother, or a wish left with a genie, this is impossible.

In order to gain muscle you will have to lose the fat around the muscle first. Overweight people will often see a dramatic decrease in weight when they first begin an exercise program and eventually the weight loss will plateau or balance out. This is due to the loss of fat and then the eventual gain in lean muscle. The strength gains in the first six weeks of a training program are due to the neurological adaptation of the muscles.

Simply put, your muscles become more efficient. It is after those six weeks that the body begins to increase lean muscle tissue and you will see a decrease in the rate of weight loss. That’s why it is important to pay closer attention to your body fat percentage rather than your actual weight. Often times your weight will stay about the same but you will be losing body fat.

8. You’re too old to workout

If you’re an older individual and think that it’s too late to begin working out you’re wrong. It is never too late to begin an exercise program and the research shows that working out will have many benefits. A proper exercise program will improve you’re ability to perform activities of daily living (walking up stairs, taking a shower, getting dressed, yard work, etc…), lose fat, increase lean muscle, strengthen joints, improve flexibility, increase bone mass density (stronger bones), and strengthen your heart. The list goes on but these are a few of the main reasons a person of any age or fitness level should begin an exercise program.

As long as the program is appropriate and proper technique is used, you are never too old to start working out.

9. Machines are better than free weights

Machines can be very useful and purposeful, but they aren’t the end all be all. Free weights such as dumbbells or barbells are just as effective and have many added benefits. Exercise machines are a controlled movement and they only focus on one particular muscle group.

Free weights require the use of multiple muscle groups in order to complete a particular exercise. For example, the chest press machine vs. the dumbbell bench press—the chest press machine requires you to only use the main muscle groups that include the pecs, shoulders, and triceps but if you use dumbbells you are required to use all of the above as well as the core and all of the small stabilizer muscles required to steady the dumbbells as you press them. Some might argue that machines are safer, but in reality without proper technique you’re just as likely to be injured using machines as you would free weights.

So don’t be afraid to use free weights in your exercise program. Free weights will allow you to exercise in multiple planes, utilize a variety of muscle groups, and give you a much more diverse workout.

Be sure to use proper technique and consult a professional before attempting to train with free weights.

10. The morning is the best time to workout

Some people swear that exercising at 6am is the best time to get the heart rate up and burn calories. Others feel that working out mid afternoon or after work is the best time. Truth is there is no reliable research that states what time is the most efficient to burn calories. But the time of day can influence how you feel when you train. Most importunately is to choose a time of day that you can most consistently workout. This will allow exercising to become a habit and you will be less likely to skip working out. So whether you’re an early riser or a night owl chose a time to train that best fits you, your schedule, and allows you to make training part of your daily routine.

The truth about training is that, in today’s world it‘s very easy for people to claim they are an expert and post or write something that may not be backed by scientific data or reproducible, consistent training evidence.

This information is readily accessible to the public through the Internet and magazines.

It makes it easy to get trapped into believing something that may be misleading or untrue. So, don’t fall prey to the gimmicks that many trainers and strength coaches in the fitness industry try to place on you, keep your training simple.

There are no miracle exercises or secret ways to reach your goals.

With all of the B.S. that is out there hopefully this report gives you a better understanding about training, helps you siphon through the bad information, and gets you back on track to obtaining your fitness goals.

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Kingdom Man: Every Man's Destiny, Every Woman's Dream

By Dr. Tony Evans

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