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Fitness and Exercise Machine Myths Debunked: The Truth About Workouts

Posted by Push Pedal Pull on Sep 8, 2017 1:20:00 PM

Whether you are working out on home fitness equipment or at a gym, it is not uncommon for you to hear tips and tricks from your friends, co-workers, and fellow gym members. While some of these might be true, in many cases the vast majority of the tips you are told may only be partially true or not accurate at all. 

Men and Woen In Cycling Class

Myths about exercise tips get started because something works for one person, who shares his or her tip with someone else, and, if it works for them, it keeps getting passed on. At some point, people hear the tip, try it, and they do not get similar results. Was the information given faulty?

The best way to think about the answer to this question is that each person’s body is different. As such, we all have different workout routines that will work for us and deliver the results we desire. Yet, what works for you does not always work for someone else. It is not necessarily that the person was given faulty information—just that the tip would not work for him or her.

Myth #1: “Working Your Abs Helps Lose Belly Fat”

Some people believe if they do plenty of ab crunches using exercise equipment, free weights, or squats, it will help lose their belly fat as their muscles become stronger. This particular myth is one you will hear quite often, especially on those fitness infomercials on TV.

While ab crunches do help build your ab muscles and help you improve your posture, they will not specifically burn belly fat. Our bodies decide what fat stores they will burn, how much, and in what order.

Typically, belly fat is the hardest to get rid of because the body tends to burn the fat in this area of the body more slowly and only after all other stores are reduced. Don’t stop doing ab crunches just because you may not see any loss in belly fat, as you are probably losing fat in other areas of the body.

Myth #2: “You Can Gauge Your Progress by Weighing Yourself Daily”

When your goal is to work out to lose weight, someone might tell you the best way to monitor your progress is to weigh yourself daily. There are people that believe this and, after a few months, stop working out because their weight has not changed that much.

The truth of the matter is muscle tissue weighs more than fat tissue. As you start burning calories, your body taps into fat stores to provide fuel and energy. This fuel and energy are what are used to strengthen and tone your muscle tissues. As muscles become stronger and bigger, their weight INCREASES.

Man Exhausted From Treadmill Cardio Workout

So, if you believe this myth, you may notice your weight goes up, not down. However, that does not mean you have not made any progress. The best way to determine how you are progressing is to use a cloth tape measure and take weekly—not daily—measurements of your hips, waist, chest, forearms, and legs.

Myth #3: “You Only Need to Do Cardio Exercise to Lose Fat”

If you have heard this rumor from a friend or co-worker, you need to let them know they are wrong. Part of the reason they might think this is because people have been told doing an intense cardio workout causes the body’s metabolism to continue burning calories for several hours afterward.

While there is indeed some truth to this, the number of extra calories being burned is not that significant to make a big impact on fat loss. Ideally, the most effective way to lose fat is to balance your exercise routines with a mixture of both cardio training and strength training and to alternate your workouts.

Myth #4: “Your Body Burns More Calories with Strength Training Only”

Just like Myth #3, your body does get a small boost to its metabolism from lifting weights, but, again, its effects are only marginal. Plus, you need to rotate muscle groups on alternating days to allow the groups you just worked out a rest period. This is why it is better to alternate between cardio and strength training to get a more well-balanced workout and effectively lose fat.

Woman Exercising By Running

Myth #5: “Losing Weight Is the Same as Losing Fat”

Weight loss is largely dependent upon several factors, including how often you work out, use exercise equipment, the type of food you eat, and so on. People that do not work out and exercise infrequently could still lose weight.

Their weight loss may not actually be fat loss, though. If you remember from Myth #2, muscle tissue weighs more than fat tissue. What do you think happens if you don’t work out and start a diet?

The muscle tissue will shrink in size first, meaning it will appear like you are losing fat, if you step onto a scale. However, you may not have lost any fat tissue whatsoever. In order to lose fat, you need to increase your body’s energy levels so you burn more calories. The only really effective way to do this is with regular exercise and eating a well-balanced, healthy diet.

Myth #6: “Running on a Treadmill Is Less Stressful on the Knees than Running Outdoors”

The force of impact your foot makes when it hits the ground is the same whether you are running on a treadmill or outside. If you have problems with your knees, it is better to look for other exercise machines you can use to reduce the stress running places on the knees, such as shopping for elliptical machines or exercise bikes for sale.

Both of these exercise machines keep your feet stationary while providing a decent cardio workout. If you do like running or jogging, go ahead and use a treadmill, but remember to alternate between machines. Doing so will reduce the impacts of stress on the joints and ensure you will be able to continue running for years to come.

Woman Exercising On Cardio Machine

Myth #7: “Home Gym Systems Are Safer than Free Weights”

This myth got started because some people believe that using a home gym system means it is safer because your body is always in the proper position, plus you will do the exercise correctly every time. While there is some truth to this, you can still injure yourself on a home gym system if you do not take the time to adjust it to your body size, height, and weight for each type of exercise.

Myth #8: “Free Weights Are Better for Building Muscles Faster”

Lifting dumbbells and other free weights does require using more muscles than using a home gym system. However, this does not mean all of the muscles used will be put under enough load to stimulate their growth and help them become stronger.

Man and Woman Exercising In A Home Gym

Muscle growth is dependent upon how much it is stimulated during a working. Whether you prefer free weights or home gym systems, you still need to make sure to target each specific muscle group you want to build in your workouts.

Myth #9: “It Is Better to Do as Much as You Can Each Workout”

If you have ever made a New Year’s resolution to start working out and exercising but failed at sticking with it, it is probably because you were doing too much too quickly. This is the same reason fitness centers are packed full the first few months of the year; by April, they are no longer packed.

If you are just starting to work out or have not worked out for a period of time, it is better to follow the old adage “slow and steady wins the race.” The body needs time to adjust to exercise, and you need time to develop your routine so it will become second nature.

Woman Using Elliptical In Home Gym

The best thing you can do is to start off exercising three days a week for a half hour each day. Rotate your workouts so you are doing cardio on one day and strength training on the next. Allow yourself to get used to this schedule over a period of a month or two, before adding additional days.

Myth #10: “If I Am Not Experiencing Any Pain, There Are No Gains”

Pain is not supposed to be part of fitness and exercise workouts. Granted, your muscles will experience some minor soreness and tenderness a few days after working specific groups. This is why it is recommended to rotate and vary your workouts to allow the muscle groups you just worked out time to rest.

3 People Working Out In A Small Gym

If you are experiencing pain, either during or after working out, it is an indication something is wrong. Most likely, you have injured yourself and should seek medical care to determine the cause of the pain.

Myth #11: “Using the Same Exercise Machine Will Cause Stagnation”

As you start to improve your fitness level, build muscle, and lose fat, your body will eventually plateau. This is how this rumor got started—because people would say they had plateaued and needed to switch to a new machine.

While switching between home fitness equipment and exercise machines is a great way to vary your workouts, the only way to overcome a plateau is to make other adjustments. For instance, instead of spending a half hour on an elliptical machine, increase the time by ten to fifteen minutes. This added time could be what your body needs to get past its plateaued state. When you are doing strength training and lifting weights, move up five or ten pounds, as this will also help.

As you can see, there are several myths about fitness and exercise machines. We hope that by sharing these, you will get more out of your workouts to achieve your health and fitness goals. For home gyms, treadmills, exercise bikes for sale, including new and used equipment, as well as machine rentals, please feel free to contact Push Pedal Pull at 1.844.574.0270 today!

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