Everyone wants to know the simplest and easiest way to get fit. That’s why we get plenty of advice coming from dime-a-dozen fitness gurus, who base their advice on personal experiences. So many fitness myths have endured criticisms from real fitness experts who understand the science behind fitness, and it’s one of the reasons why some still find it difficult to reach their fitness goals.
Fitness is a multi-billion dollar market, and companies have been investing in research and development for the longest time. So much about fitness has been boiled down to a science, and with so much reliable information online about fitness, it’s still surprising to read about fitness myths that apparently many still believe to this day.
Here are some of the most popular fitness myths you need to be aware of:
Myth: You can choose where you want to lose fat
Want to get rid of flabby arms and belly fat? Some fitness gurus would like you to think that you can pinpoint specific areas of your body where you want to lose fat, but the reality is, you can’t control which part of your body loses fat.
If you think about it, it makes sense to lose fat in the part of your body that gets worked on the most, but the way the body burns fat doesn’t take into account where the fat cells are stored. You can do ab crunches all day, and you may not lose the belly fat. You can do squats all day and you may not trim excess fat off your legs and buttocks.
The body symmetrically burns fat. This means that you’re most likely to lose an equal amount of fat in every part of your body where fat is stored. If you want to lose excess fat, your best bet is to do cardio with strength training exercises to increase your caloric expenditure and metabolism.
Myth: You need to stretch before a workout
Here’s something that most guys thought would be nice to emulate from pro athletes. We see pro athletes do extensive stretching exercises before a game, and conventional wisdom would suggest that it would be smart to do the same thing, because they do it to prevent injuries, but the reality is that stretching may even weaken your muscles.
Stretching can improve your flexibility, but you do so at the expense of reducing your overall muscle capacity. Improved flexibility can help pro athletes to enhance their athletic performance while on the court, but when working out, most of them prefer to do warm-ups instead.
Warm-up by gradually increasing your workload, and avoid jumping on the biggest challenge in the gym before you’re thoroughly warmed up. Lift lighter weights first, then move your way up to your target weight. That way, your muscles can adjust, giving you better workout performance.
Myth: It’s better to work out on an empty stomach
This idea makes sense because working out on an empty stomach will force your body to tap into your fat stores for energy, and it will ideally help you lose more fat in a shorter period, but working out on an empty stomach may be bad for you in the long run.
As it turns out when you have an empty stomach, the body doesn’t just burn fat, it also breaks down muscles in the process as your body enters a state of catabolism. While you dramatically lose weight at first, maintaining that weight would be even more challenging since you also slow down your metabolism when you lose muscle mass.
This could be one of the reasons why people find it more difficult to maintain weight after drastically losing weight in a short timeframe because they also lose muscle mass in the process of burning fat.
Myth: Your muscles will turn into fat if you stop working out
This is one of the myths that doesn’t make any sense on a scientific level, but many believe it to be true. People believe that when you don’t train your muscles regularly, your body somehow turns it into fat, but what happens is that when people stop working out, they are likely to regress into their unhealthy lifestyle, which triggers fat buildup.
In general, it can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to a month of not working out before your muscles start to shrink. This happens right about the same time that the body builds up fat, which is why people think that their muscles are turning into fat.
If you want to take a break from working out, my advice is to not completely avoid workouts. Exercise every week, or at least every other week to maintain your muscle mass. That way, you can prevent muscle loss.
Myth: Cardio is the best way to get fit
There is a bit of truth to this myth since cardio workouts tend to burn the most calories per workout, which helps you burn excess fat, but relying on cardio to get fit may be unwise if you’re looking to maintain your physique.
Cardio workouts can help you improve your endurance, but it doesn’t help you as much as strength training to build muscle mass, which helps you in the long run to improve your metabolism. With cardio, you can burn fat that your body stores in excess, but doing strength training exercises along with the occasional cardio can also help increase your metabolism and muscle performance.
Myth: You need to lift lighter weights when you turn 40
The idea behind this myth is that middle-aged guys have reduced muscle performance, and lifting heavier weights after a certain age would not produce better results, but this is entirely inaccurate.
The reason why older men reach a plateau once they hit a certain age is because of their testosterone levels. Testosterone is a key factor in muscle protein synthesis, growth hormone levels, and muscle tissue growth, and having lower testosterone levels could drastically affect the rate at which they build muscle. Aging lowers testosterone production, which is why older men struggle to build more muscle beyond a certain age.
Men can take premium testosterone-boosting supplements, such as Male UltraCore to help them maintain optimal testosterone levels that would encourage muscle growth and increase their workout performance. Male UltraCore contains a unique blend of testosterone boosters that are also capable of preserving testosterone for better muscle growth and performance. The formula also contains key vasodilators that help improve muscle pump, strength, and recovery, which help to further boost your performance in the gym.