Exercise Myths Busted – Part 3

There are dozens of exercise myths.  And some myths go on forever
without being challenged.  

In my
first article and my second article I covered 6 common exercise
myths.  In this final installment of this 3 part series, I will address 3 more
popular myths.

Exercise Myth #7 - Machines Force You To Do The Exercise Correctly

What machines do is to get you into the proper position before the
exercise begins.  Once you start pushing some heavy weight around, most
machines do not force you to maintain the correct posture.

For example, if you use a smith machine for bench presses, it's a great
safety feature that you can not drop the weights and crush your chest or
esophagus.  But, if you are arching your back while straining to knock out
those last few reps, you stand a chance of injuring your back.

Another example is if you are using the "pec deck" to do flys.  If you are
leaning forward during the last hard reps, you are using your body weight
to cheat a little.  Keep your back straight and isolate your pecs.

These are just a few examples.  The point is that if you are using machines
in your workout, you still have to be conscious of maintaining good form.  
Not only will this improve your workout, it prevents injury.  Don't count on
the machine alone to guarantee good form.

Exercise Myth #8 - Spot Reduction; Crunches Get Rid Of Belly Fat

I'm not sure what to say about this one except that we need to cover a
little biology.  When you exercise,  your body initially burns glycogen for
fuel.  This is a form of stored sugar that your body prefers.  

If you exercise enough, your reserves of glycogen are depleted and you
begin to burn fat.  However,
where the fat comes from is not determined
by the exercise being done
.  Your body takes fat from many places at the
same time.  A little from your belly, a little from your legs and a little from
your back, etc.  

If you are losing fat, you will lose it proportionally across your whole body.  
It's an absolute fact that spot reduction is not possible.

Now, it is possible to lose more weight in one area than another.  That
might sound like a contradiction but consider that some people store fat in
their belly and some store it in their hips.  Where ever you store the most
fat, that's where you will see the greatest reduction.  

Is this spot reduction?  No!  It's just your body taking fat proportionally
from where it is most available.

Repeat after me - spot reduction is a myth... spot reduction is a myth...
spot reduction....

Exercise Myth #9 – Exercise Will Convert Fat Into Muscle

This one picks up on the biology of the last myth.  When your body burns
fat, it does not change it into muscle.  It burns it for fuel.

You might grow some muscle at the same time but the process of burning
fat is very different from the process of growing new muscle.

This one might seem like splitting hairs because if you are exercising
diligently, you will lose fat and you will grow some muscle.  The fact that fat
does not turn directly into muscle may not be too important to you.  

Just know that it's not a direct switch from one type of tissue to the other.

Exercise Myths Busted
So, a few more myths put to rest.  This is the last in our series of exercise
myths.  If you missed any of the first installments, check out the links
below.

If you are curious about any myths circulating around your gym, drop us a
note and we will do a little investigative work for you and report the results.

Keep exercising and all of our best wishes for great results!



Related Articles

Exercise Myths - Part 1
What is sometimes accepted on blind faith is really a myth.

Exercise Myths - Part 2
More exercise myths circulating through the gym.

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when describing your fitness efforts!

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