Busted! 5 Fitness and Health Tips That May Make You Cry

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You read articles, watch videos and listen to the experts. But 100% of what you hear isn’t necessarily accurate. We often get channeled into a mindset that certain aspects of health and/​or fitness work or don’t work. Here are five of the most common myths busted!

Myth: The more ab exercises I do, the skinnier my waist will be.

BUSTED: Doing stomach exercises can strengthen your abdominal muscles, but it won’t burn body fat to give you that 6-​​pack you’re after.  If you want your ab muscles to show, you need to either be naturally skinny or embrace a diet low in carbohydrates and high in proteins with a decent helping of healthy fats and fruits and vegetables.

Myth: My diet includes diet soda, it’s zero calories so it has to be good for me.

BUSTED: According to a recent University of Texas study, drinking just two or more cans a day accelerated waistline expansion by 500%. The artificial sweeteners disrupt the body’s ability to regulate calorie intake. In other words, your body is being tricked into thinking it’s ingesting sugar, so you crave more food and as a result, eat more food than you would have without drinking the soda.

Myth: By working out, I can convert fat into muscle.

BUSTED: You cannot convert fat into muscle as they are completely different.  In fact, when working out it is best to focus on either losing fat or gaining muscle.   In order to gain muscle, you have to eat more calories than you burn and, in order to lose body fat, you must burn more calories than you consume.

Myth: Cardio is more important for fat loss than weight lifting.

BUSTED: You will definitely burn calories completing a cardio workout, but to lose weight your primary concern should be muscle loss.  Muscles make it easier for your body to prevent fat gain.  Your body will burn more calories maintaining muscle than maintaining fat. In other words, the more muscle you build, the more calories your body will burn each day.  The less muscle you have the lower your metabolism.  A great weight loss program should focus on (in this order) your caloric intake, weight training and then cardio.

Myth: Stretching before a workout prevents injury and increased my performance.

BUSTED: I know, you grew up stretching before a workout or sporting event because your coach or parents told you it was beneficial.  You were probably told that stretching prevents injury, when in fact, the opposite is true.  Recent studies show that stretching before a workout will weaken the muscle by up to 30%.  By elongating your muscles before strenuous exercise you actually may be increasing the risk of injury. Instead of stretching before a workout, get your blood flowing through your muscles with some low impact cardio for 5 to 10 minutes.  Stretching after a workout is great and still proves to be beneficial.

With your new found knowledge of health and fitness, grab yourself a deck of my new invention, Strength Stack 52 bodyweight fitness cards.

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6

  1. Brad says:

    Skipping a pre-​​workout stretch is an idiotic thing to do. Warm up, then stretch, THEN workout. Don\‘t skip the pre-​​stretch unless you want to tear something.

    • mike says:

      static stretching great after a workout, before it is proven scientifically to be useless, in fact, harmful to your muscles

  2. McConico says:

    \“Myth: Cardio is more important for fat loss than weight lifting.

    BUSTED: You will definitely burn calories completing a cardio workout, but to lose weight your primary concern should be muscle loss\”

    In this myth they meant to say \“your primary concern should be gaining muscle mass.\”

    and if you warm up properly, you don\‘t need to stretch.

  3. elee says:

    I\‘m medically cleared from an injury and need to be back in military shape, so should I be lifting weights, or doing cardio? will weights help my run? will cardio help my pushups and situps? thanks for such a great site.

    • Daniel Owens says:

      I would look at starting an easy program invlolving bodyweight or kettlebells, Either do Convict Conditioning by Paul wade or the program Minimum by Pavel Tsatsouline. Do a little every day without pain and build up to the standards recommended in their books.

  4. mike says:

    mix it up, but if weights hurt don\‘t do it! Choose a fitness routine that is challenging but not hurtful

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Michael Volkin

Sergeant Michael Volkin is a U.S. Army veteran. He served in Operation Enduring/Iraqi Freedom as a Chemical Operations Specialist and received an Army Commendation Medal for his efforts and for the fitness programs he designed to help his fellow soldiers. He has a Master's degree in Science and is the author of the Ultimate Basic Training series of books which help recruits prepare for the mental and physical aspects of basic training.

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