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Fitness Myths Finally Revealed

There is a lot of fitness information circulating around that is straight up false. In this article I will demystify the fitness myths to help you fast track your fitness progress.

“No pain-no gain” is probably one of the most popular fitness rumors around. It is true to some extent in the sense that you should experience a mild burning a day or two after an effectivily hard workout. But if you’re feeling sore while you are actually training that is not beneficial. That pain means you are doing the exercises incorrectly or that you are already injured. Either way you should stop and get some assistance. Make sure to do the exercise correctly, and if the pain does not subside, see a doctor.

Normally, when people want to bulk up, they increase their protein intake to help stimulate muscle growth. You do need to have enough protein to use as the building blocks that form muscle. However, people tend to take more protein than they really need. When you take more protein than your body can synthesise into muscle, much of the additional protein is removed as waste or is stored as fat. Overtime this excess protein may lead to an increased risk of kidney problems. In New Zealand we tend to get enough protein from our diet. The average New Zealander has a diet high in meat and dairy and should have enough protein intake to increase and maintain muscle growth. The only problem with real food is that much of it is not readily accessible after a workout, which is probably the best time to consume protein.

You cannot lose weight off a specific body part by doing exercises that target those areas. This is otherwise known as “spot reducing” and unfortunately the body doesn’t work that way. Your body puts on weight in a predetermined way based on your genetic make-up and sex. So when people do abs, the working ab muscles do not use up the fat stores around the stomach for energy. You’re going to lose fat from everywhere in the body not just one place. This brings me to the idea of doing hundreds of ab crunches to get a flat stomach. That is not going to work. When doing abs you want to increase the size of the muscles and you do that by doing a lower number of reps like 10-20. Basically you do weights to build up the size of the muscle then incorporate diet and cardio to help lose weight so you can actually see them.

I hate to say it but Oprah is wrong. I know a lot of people believe this one. The idea of food eaten after 8pm will turn into body fat. Your metabolism doesn’t know what time it is and your body still uses that foods energy for restoration and repair during the night. At the end of the day, a calorie is a calorie. It doesn’t matter whether it’s 3am or 3pm, if you consume more calories than you need you’re going to get fat.

Most cardio machines have a fat burning intensity zone that helps to lose body fat. It is true that at lower intensities you should burn a higher proportion of body fat compared to carbs. The thing is that if you train at a higher intensity, although the proportion of fat to carbs is less, you will be burning more fat and carbs in total. That means more calories burned. So when you’re doing cardio, do it at high intensity.

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