View Full Version : 20 fitness myths

January 9th, 2010, 05:44 AM
20 fitness myths debunked - Times Online (http://women.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/women/diet_and_fitness/article6979602.ece)

20 fitness myths debunked
Is running really bad for your knees? Does yoga give you a perfect figure? The personal trainer to Elle Macpherson and Hugh Grant has the answersJames Duigan

1 Sit-ups will get rid of a fat tummy

False. It?s like putting petrol in a car that has flat tyres. If you have a fat tummy, you need to burn fat ? and the best way to do that is with ?big bang? exercises that use lots of muscles. The more muscles you use, the more fat you burn. You also need to eat well (eat more vegetables and good, lean protein; cut out processed sugar and white flour). You will then lose weight. It?s as simple as that.

2 Running is bad for your knees

True and false. Running can be bad for your knees, though I would be more concerned with how too much running can speed the ageing process and stimulate the production of cortisol. This is a stress hormone that has been shown to increase fat around the front of the stomach. If you love running and it works for you, great. But I would always advise people to mix up their exercise routine and do interval cardio training. If you have a faulty running pattern it can be bad for all your joints from your shoulders to your ankles. That said, running is great in moderation and certainly better than doing nothing.

3 You can target the parts of your body that you want to slim down

Sort of. There have been some amazing developments in this area in the US. It depends what is causing the excess fat in specific areas. If it is your love handles, for example, this is usually from excess sugar consumption. I get people off sugar, get them eating ?clean and lean?, and, hey presto, their love handles go. The same is true for other parts of the body. In terms of exercise, however, it is difficult to slim down with movement only. There are certain breathing patterns combined with movement that can lower the cortisol levels, which, in turn, will reduce fat around the stomach.

4 It is impossible to improve saggy breasts in the gym

False. We can get rid of moobs (man boobs) completely ? it usually takes about three months. Even for women we can quite often make improvements by strengthening key postural muscles that pull the breasts back up, making them nice and perky. We have saved many people from surgery in this way.

5 A warm-up is vital

True. But not for long. At my gym, we use something called Movement Prep, which we learnt from athletes in the US. This switches on all the muscle groups and prepares them for movement and exercise. You really need only five minutes to get the body ready for action. A few light repetitions of the activity that you will be doing are OK, and use your common sense ? ease in to things and start slowly.

6 You can eat what you want as long as you exercise

False. You may get away with it for a little while, but it always catches up with you. Eat well and be careful of trainers and nutritionists who are stuck in the Eighties and bang on about avoiding fat. They don?t know what they are talking about. Yes, you should avoid bad fats, such as trans fats, but embrace the good fats, such as fish oils and flax. It is processed sugar and white flour that will do the real damage. And no matter how much exercise you do, you cannot combat the damage caused by bad nutrition.

7 Weight training will give women big muscles

True and false. The science says no, and in most cases it won?t, but here?s the deal: if you don?t want to look like a bodybuilder, don?t train like one. I would be careful if you have a trainer who has huge muscles bulging out of his Lycra cycle shorts and vest. In general, to ensure that you do not bulk up, keep your weights low and reps (repetitions) high and have very short rest periods. It will also help you to burn fat.

8 Tricep dips will get rid of bingo wings

Partly true. It depends why you have bingo wings. They are usually the result of poor diet and high toxicity, so I would start by eating plenty of green vegetables and drinking lots of water. Dips are a great exercise and will tighten the back of the arms, but exercise alone will not do the job.

9 No pain, no gain

Totally false. A bit of hard work a number of times a week can make an enormous difference, but pain should not come into it. Train smart, not hard.

10 Swimming will help you to lose weight

True. It will help, but I wouldn?t rely on it as your only exercise. Swimming is easy on your joints and good for your muscles. It is even better if you can get to the ocean or a beautiful lake or river.

11 Horse riding gives you a big bum

False. It will give your legs and backside a great workout because you are in a constant squat position. Excess sugars, trans fats and wheat are the cause of excess fat accumulation on your bottom.

12 If you don?t keep exercising, your muscle will turn into fat

False. Muscle never turns to fat. If you stop training, your lean muscle mass will reduce, which ultimately will lower your metabolism, thus contributing to more fat accumulating on your body. So keep exercising and enjoy it.

13 Yoga will give you a perfect figure

False. It depends what you call a perfect figure. If Madonna is anything to go by, then no. Yoga is definitely great as part of a varied exercise programme that includes resistance training. It also depends on the type of yoga that you do because there is a wide range of intensity levels. Perfect figures are gained by eating a lean diet and minimising toxins such as alcohol and most processed foods. As with all things, if you enjoy yoga and it works for you, great. If not, find something else that works. Some people work much better as part of a class or a group and work harder than if they were exercising on their own.

14 You must keep increasing what you do in the gym to maintain your level of fitness

True. Your body will get used to a programme that you are following at the gym, which is why it is important to vary your workouts, and even vary the type of activity that you are doing. If you find that you have hit a plateau with your gym workouts, it is important that you try something completely different, such as boxing.

15 Cycling makes you sterile

False. This is a myth, but if you wear tight Lycra cycling shorts no one will ever have sex with you anyway, so it?s almost irrelevant. Spending 20 minutes on a bike at the gym three times a week will only do you good, but the key is to keep your exercise varied, so use the bike once a week, then do some resistance training, take a circuits class, walk the dog. Too much of anything could contribute to problems, so remember to keep your workouts and activity varied.

16 It?s never too late to start

True. My oldest client is 86. He started with me three years ago. He is now fitter and stronger than he has been in 20 years and can breeze around the golf course without a buggy. He is the envy of all his friends.

17 By a certain age a woman has to choose her face or her figure

False. Cut out sugar now! The sugar can drag the collagen from your face, so put down the red wine and suck on a fish-oil capsule instead. Nourish yourself properly and you can have both.

18 You should not exercise when you have a cold

True. When you have a cold your immune system is trying to fight it off, and if you exercise vigorously it could interfere with that. Your body would be busy repairing muscles when it should be fighting the infection. It is better to rest for three days, perhaps doing some light stretching, until you are feeling better. Besides, you don?t want to give your germs to everyone else in the gym.

19 It?s not worth doing exercise for less than 20 minutes

False. It depends on the exercise. With a really high-intensity workout, such as an interval workout ( sprinting and then walking) or a high-intensity weight training circuit, 20 minutes is perfect because you are going all out. You are working at such a rate that you will burn more calories than you would by doing an hour of a slower-paced exercise.

20 Exercise can never change the shape you were born with

Partly true. You really can do some amazing things through exercise. I have seen remarkable results achieved by clients whose love handles disappear, hips and thighs slim down and flabby arms tighten up. Of course, there are limits to what you can do with the basic skeletal structure that you are born with, but when you feel healthy you look beautiful.

James Duigan is the founder of Bodyism. For more information, go to bodyism.com

January 9th, 2010, 06:21 AM
Thanks Marshy, interesting read.

January 9th, 2010, 10:02 AM
Thanks Marshy...

January 9th, 2010, 10:23 AM
#4 is really good news for me! Now I need to find all the right exercises for perkiness.:)

January 9th, 2010, 10:28 AM
:jumpin::baaah:thanks for the info marshy:baaah::jumpin:

January 9th, 2010, 10:51 AM
LVT25;787997 wrote: #4 is really good news for me!
:H :H

January 9th, 2010, 03:52 PM
Marshy, thanks so much. I enjoy all the health info I can find.

As for #4, I supposed one would need to be endowed with something on top of those muscles.....

Miss October
January 13th, 2010, 09:15 AM
"17 By a certain age a woman has to choose her face or her figure

False. Cut out sugar now! The sugar can drag the collagen from your face, so put down the red wine and suck on a fish-oil capsule instead. Nourish yourself properly and you can have both. "

Thanks Marshy, Another good reason to stop drinking wine !! Thanks again for sharing...I am an avid exerciser, and I love to read about fitness and nutrition.

August 9th, 2011, 10:26 PM
Perky breasts? Riiight.

August 27th, 2011, 10:46 AM
thanks Marshy - I am needing inspiration to get back on it

September 15th, 2011, 10:15 AM
http://i25.photobucket.com/albums/c79/HughJazz3x/Animals/Bear4.jpg" Fitness is in the mind of the beholder !" Ha!

December 20th, 2011, 07:14 PM
Very timely information right now, even though the original post was months ago. I'm glad someone bumped it up again.

June 15th, 2012, 02:20 AM
Interesting point on No 7 - Myth - Weight training will give women big muscles.
I was a fitness instructor through my 20's and 30's and trained (and dieted) for definition like a women possessed. It never quite happened. Of course everyone is different but I am here to tell you that as hard as ever I trained, I never bulked up. I am quite lean and toned even now as I never stopped training but the big muscle gains just don't happen with some kind of intervention. Fact.


June 15th, 2012, 02:23 AM
8without some kind of intervention

November 23rd, 2012, 04:30 AM
Is that you Iful posing as a little spammer? Well you're not fooling anyone. Trying to get someone to participate with your big muscle. :b&d: Haven't you got enough attention on your own thread??!!