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The Top 6 Fitness Myths and Truths

Don't Believe These Tall Tales!


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This is a good article. I've heard all of these addressed in The Firm classic video series many years ago. They had an informational film that explained these common myths and more attached to the end of their first classic film featuring the instructor, Susan Harris. If you can, watch it...quite informative! Report
Great Article

OZWODEN - with respect to #5.

The problem with doing longer lower intensity exercises is that your because you burn such a high percentage of fat, your body will tend to store more fat as a protection mechanism.

This type of strenuous workout, without rest, mimics prolonged stress. It also causes your body to adapt in a way that is counterproductive to your health and longevity.

For all your effort, you only reduce your ability to handle life’s demanding circumstances – and that’s the last thing you want. With less reserve heart capacity available on call, you invite trouble when a stressful situation arises.

During long-duration exercise, your heart is under constant stress with no time to rest and recover. When this goes on long enough, the heart is traumatized.
Endurance exercise causes your heart and lungs to adapt for endurance. But these organs are already endurance machines. Your heart beats continuously and your lungs expand and contract with every breath you take. Forced, continuous, endurance exercise prompts your heart and lungs to “downsize.” Reducing to smaller capacity allows you to go further, more efficiently, and with less rest and less fuel.

Our ancestors didn’t run marathons or jump around for an hour doing aerobics. And they didn’t sit in front of computers or the television the entire day. They moved around a lot at a low level of exertion. And then every once in a while they exerted themselves at nearly 100% of their capacity – hunting prey or escaping from it.

This pattern of brief intense movement, followed by rest, and lots of low level activity is hardwired in your genes. Your muscles, bones and organ systems are reflections of this genetic design. The way they work together is the formula for strength, vitality and long life. Report
RE: Myth #5: You will burn more fat if you exercise longer at a lower intensity.

If you read the explanation in the article it says that by doing higher intensity exercise you will lose more weight but use fewer fat calories doing so. I.e. you lose more of your weight from areas other than fat.

Blind Freddy can see the problem with this. Most people's goal at this site isn't to lose 'weight' but in fact to lose fat.

If you want to lose fat, then you want to get rid of the fat calories -- ie. use up the fat cells storing energy. Thus, following the converse of the argument in the article -- longer, lower intensity exercise should use more fat calories and hence you lose more fat. Report
It is the pervisity of 'spot reduction' that drives me crazy. Oh, I would love to lose two inches off my waist. No darn it not more off my arms, they are getting downright scrawny, my calves and thighs are made of steel and my teeny little butt couldn't possibly afford another centimeter. Every time I backside a few pounds, my belly and breasts get instantly larger, even whilst my rings fly off and my watch hangs upside down. Oh it would be nice to wear pants that weren't either hollow in the bum or strangling at the waist. Usually I buy the tween size and take in the hip curve and put up with the too tight waist. Like me Mum I have spectacular legs, even at nearly 60. Me Mum's legs are still grand, although at 85 she sometimes gets puffy ankles. But my best attribute is never on display because I won't wear panty hose any more and the type of shoes you wear with a skirt are no longer my cup of tea, so from mid-september to mid-May my legs are all covered up. LOL. Report
I found the article to be motivating. The difficulty is I live alone with no neighbours or anyone to talk to about my cravings due to boredoom after my accident and to exercise with. I power walk my dogs daily but would like to involved with others that can motivate me. Report
I am confused re myth 5 statement - what are "fat calories" - I want to burn fat and get fit - there is so much conflicting advice. My workouts normally 5 times a week are cardio based - just moved onto running no that I've lost 46lbs - do some weights but only as an afterthought - should I be doing weights sessions.

When I was young and played Rugby we weight trained everyday but I was also told this was for strength not fitness.

I'd like to give an opinion on the myth about women and bulking up. I recently started doing a lot of toning work, and have noticed my limbs in particular appearing similar, however, i am noticing myself start to "bulk up" as soon as i tense. i think when we say "bulk up" we mean "appear muscular" or have noticeable muscles. i find myself too bulked up now, but im clearly nowhere close to the incredible hulk or a bodybuilder. That myth is true, or false, depending on your definition of bulk up. I notice one or two of the women on here who said they arent bulked up, are what i would call bulked up, but also clearly arent of bodybuilder proportions.

To be honest, the term just needs clarifying

good luck and stay strong everyone
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"Bulking" is a relative term. I know plenty of women who understand that lifting weights will not give them large Incredible Hulk-type muscles, but will still add some size, which they do not want. Their concerns are valid and shouldn't be pooh-poo'd. Report
Back to myth #5, there have been some recent research studies to indicate that pure cardio training, particularly when you maintain the same program, even 60 minutes of cardio 5x/week does not equal more weight loss. The research supports interval training, at it specifically demonstrated that the study group who did the interval training actually burned LESS calories per session, but demonstrated a greater loss in body fat (by 9%!). So, Strings58 is on the right track to keep your workouts varied and include intervals of cardio and strength training at a moderate (able to talk, and not short of breath) intensity. Report
I have to admit the first Myth is a bit of a bugaboo with me. If the whole point of proving the myth is wrong is the amount of fat in a location then the answer is totally true except when the reducing is done by liposuction.
But this is where my life experience and common beliefs separate from this simple idea that the idea is to lose fat in just a particular area. Think of the "swimmers body" lean smooth not particularly "lumpy" in areas that the "body builder" would be. Or the "skater legs" this is something that ice skater I have known that developed large strong muscled thighs from all the work they do pushing off. I am by nature more muscled and fat is stored in my butt and thighs. I have had more luck with doing yoga and swimming to develop long muscles while I am attempting to loose the extra fat in those areas. If I did lots of lunges (I did train as a dancer) and other exercises that would work the troubled area I would end up with less fat and more muscle bulge in the area I would prefer to have more streamline. So it comes down to understanding our own bodies and doing what is best for us. Report
If you're not burning "fat calories" you are burning muscle and nobody wants to do that! So total weight loss less is not as important as fat loss. A person can lose ten pounds of fat and gain seven pounds of muscle and so the scale only shows a three pound loss, which is not an accurate picture of what's going on. Fat calipers help to track percentage of fat lost. Report
it's a slow twitch/fast twitch muscle fiber thing where using both (fast twitch helps with strong burst of power, slow twitch are the endurance muscle fibers) helps burn calories. the fast twitch helps burn more calories but the slow twitch encourages the fat burn after a significant time threshold (which shortens with increased fitness. So, keeping the workouts varied even by length of time helps Report
I kind of want to say more about that length vs intensity thing, too.
I think there are two key issues- that for some very healthy young, fit people, they need to up the intensity to burn more calories, because they don't have TIME. If you have time, you can do longer durations that are less hard on your body, and burn just as many calories. So... yes/no. The key is burning calories to lose weight- however, for more cardio effectiveness, you need to get the rate up... but, hey, if you are on the verge of collapse, not so good! The answer seemed- incomplete to me.
Mare Report
I'd say the trainer at your doctor's office is wrong and right. Depending on your weight and your fitness level, it might be a better idea to START doing lighter activity for longer amounts of time. It's better to ease your way into exercise. As your fitness level increases, adding more streneuous exercise done for less amounts of time is for effective if you're trying to lose weight. It's all about how many calories you burn overall, not the amount of fat. That's where that trainer is wrong. Report
Okay, I found Myth #5 confusing. Jen says you burn more by working harder or faster and not by doing the activity longer, whereas my doctor's office has a trainer telling me the opposite -- that I'm better off using my recumbent bike for a longer period of time at a lower tension level than at a level a bit more strenuous for a shorter amount of time, and that I need to focus on fat burning and not just the amount of calories. Soooo, which is it??? It's difficult enough for someone as out of shape as me to get exercise, but then to hear conflicting "truths" about which I should be doing to get the best results just makes it harder.


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