If you’ve spent any time learning about fitness and nutrition, there’s a good chance you’ve run into plenty of false information about exercise and eating to get fit. Unfortunately, figuring out what’s fact and what’s fiction can be tough, especially when certain falsities sound logical enough to be true.
In this blog, we’re sharing three of the biggest myths about fitness, muscle building, and fat loss and why they’re downright false.
Myth #1: Fasted Cardio Is Superior
Ever heard you should do your cardio first thing in the morning on an empty stomach to maximize fat loss? Don’t believe it. The idea here is that because your body is in a fasted state, it’ll immediately turn to your fat stores to fuel your cardio session. And while the thought process sounds pretty logical, researchers have disproved the theory many times.
Fact: According to science, it doesn’t really matter when you do your cardio. Aerobic exercise coupled with a hypo-caloric diet (eating fewer calories than you need to maintain your weight) will yield changes in your body composition regardless.
Since your body needs nutrients to perform optimally, it’s actually not a bad idea to have a small meal before you train. But leave enough time for your food to digest before you hit the gym. When nutrients are available in your bloodstream, you can actually train with more intensity, which can help maximize your results.
If you’re not sure what to eat before a workout, getting nutrition coaching from an experienced personal trainer is an excellent way to help maximize your results.
Myth #2: You Can Lose Fat in Just One Place
Ever heard you can shrink one area of your body by doing enough of the “right” exercise? Don’t fall victim to this bad advice. Spot reduction (losing fat from just a single area) is a total myth and it’s been debunked by dozens of studies.
Fact: Losing fat is kind of like draining a swimming pool. When you drain a pool, you can’t drain water from just one corner of it; the water level continues to decrease the longer you let it drain. The same idea applies to your body: The longer you create a calorie deficit through exercise and healthy eating, the more fat you’ll lose from all over.
Fat storage and fat loss are largely controlled by your genetics (hormonal imbalances play a role for some people too). So no matter how hard you try to crunch away the stubborn fat on your stomach, it’ll stay there until your body is ready to get rid of it.
A good personal trainer can help you with individualized nutrition coaching and a training plan that's designed to help you get the results you’re looking for.
Myth # 3: Fat Can Turn Into Muscle or Vice Versa
Ever heard your muscle will turn to fat if you take a break from working out? Or maybe you’ve heard that your fat turns into muscle when you start working out? While both of these theories might sound fairly logical, they’re totally false.
Fact: It is physiologically impossible for muscle tissue to transform into fat and it’s also impossible for fat tissue to transform into muscle. You can grow new muscle cells and you can also grow new fat cells. You can lose muscle cells with extended periods of inactivity (muscle atrophy), and they can also shrink with shorter periods of inactivity.
Fat cells, on the other hand, are something you can never totally lose without medical intervention. When you lose fat, you’re essentially draining the fat out of each fat cell, but the cell itself remains. If you regain fat, those cells will fill back up, and you’ll simply have more fat tissue on top of your muscle.
Avoiding the Fitness Myths That Can Slow Down Your Progress
Whether you want to lose fat, build muscle, or do both, working with a knowledgeable personal trainer is your best bet. Having an individually tailored training and nutrition plan will help ensure you’re exercising efficiently and eating the right nutrients to build muscle and maximize your workouts.
Your trainer can also help you determine your daily caloric needs to ensure you maintain enough of a calorie deficit to lose fat at a steady rate. Perhaps more importantly, a good personal trainer can help you stay accountable throughout your fitness journey.
Fitness is a lifelong marathon, not a sprint, and when you achieve the results you’re after, you’ll have to work to maintain them. Having a pro to hold you accountable even when the going gets tough can help ensure you don’t lose sight of your goals.
Get Individualized Personal Training & Nutrition Coaching at Envision Fitness
At Envision Fitness, we know there’s no shortcut to achieving the fitness results you’re after. We also know that with the guidance of a knowledgeable personal trainer and a strong support system of like-minded individuals, you can achieve any fitness goal you set. At our Hopkins, MN gym, we’re committed to empowering our members to be the best versions of themselves and if you’d like to join us, we’d love to have you!
To get started or learn more about us, give us a call today at 952-444-2791 or book a free fitness consultation online. If you can envision your potential, we’re here to help you reach it!