MayReport - page 8

n my previous columns about fitness, I gave an overview
about how and why to start a fitness program, and I dis-
cussed some tips to help you stick to your fitness program.
Unfortunately there are some popular fitness myths out there
that can become impediments to starting a fitness program,
going about it correctly, and sticking to it. This article is not an
all-encompassing list of fitness myths, but rather a discussion
about those that I think are the biggest impediments to a fitness
1. Lifting weights will make you bulky.
This is probably the one fitness myth I hear the most. While
strength training does help increase lean muscle mass, it won’t
automatically make you look like Arnold Schwarzenegger. You
really need to have the right weightlifting routine and the right
diet to bulk up. It’s very difficult to put on even a pound of
muscle when you lift hard. Lifting weights will not make you
bulk up by accident. Furthermore, women have too much estro-
gen and not enough testosterone to bulk up.
2. Cardio is more important for fat loss than
weight training.
Weight training actually helps decrease body fat and burn
calories more efficiently (i.e. lose fat faster and keep it off in the
long run). If you also do cardio, it will help you retain muscle as
you drop fat, as well as prevent your metabolism from slowing.
In short, if you lose fat and lose muscle along with it, you have
made your future ability to keep the weight off harder. Don’t
focus all your efforts on the elliptical machine or the Stairmas-
ter…some weight training will help you reach your goal.
3. Doing cardio before weights will help you
get more definition faster.
If you spend 30 minutes on the treadmill, the elliptical, or
the Stairmaster before hitting the weights, you’ll be too fatigued
to train as heavy as you can. You need muscle, not miles, to
burn fat. Studies are also showing that you will burn more
fat by doing cardio after weight training because the glycogen
stored in the muscles are depleted at this point, which will make
your body tap into the fat stores for energy sooner.
4. Body weight is the be all, end all indicator of
It is a familiar routine that you see very often at gyms: nov-
ices hit the gym and then constantly weigh themselves on the
scale. Day after day, they see no downward trend on the scale
and start saying, “I haven’t lost any weight. This is pointless, I’m
not accomplishing anything.” And then they often quit.
After a few months of consistent exercise, those who don’t
quit will notice significant improvement. Even though a person
may not be losing weight, his health has improved in ways that
might not be measured. People who get stuck in the mindset
By James F. Bogen
Popular Fitness Myths
Balanced Living
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