It's amazing. These myths about excercise have all been debunked, but they still persist in current gym culture...
The idea that one type of biological tissue can miraculously become a whole different kind of tissue is absurd. Muscle CANNOT turn to fat and fat CANNOT turn to muscle! I believe this myth started because of the saying 'Use it or Lose it" applies to muscle. If you stop being active, your muscles will atrophy, and being inactive tends to result in a gain of body fat. But the two always have been, and always will be two different phenomenons.
This one prevails more with female gym-goers, and is a total myth. There is no way to remove fat from a specific area. All the crunches in the world won't remove fat from your abdomen, and all the triceps kickbacks in the world won't remove the fat from your arms. Fat is burned from the body in GENETICALLY PRE-DETERMINED patterns that have no relationship to the muscles being used in that area. SO HOW DO WE GET RID OF IT???? Well, read about myth #4 to find out more.
Sweating is your body's way of regulating its temperature. This has absolutely nothing to do with body fat loss! This myth probably arose from the fact that when you sweat a great deal, you lose water weight. However, that weight comes right back on as soon as we re-hydrate. Excessive water loss during a workout is VERY dangerous. Your daily goal should be to drink a GALLON OF WATER everyday (you heard right!) in order to keep well hydrated and flush out toxins. Body fat is lost through short bursts of HIGH energy, which I will discuss in detail another day! And stay out of the steam room- (or, as I call it, the LOW SELF ESTEEM ROOM!) It's a breeding ground for bacteria and will not help you lose weight- in fact it will only slow down your metabolism further!!!
Trainers around the world have finally come around to what I've been saying for a very long time: Long-duration, steady-state cardio workouts (Or what we call "The Hamster on the Wheel" ) are not efficient for fat loss. The only thing proven to work, and work very well, is high-intensity short bursts of energy, done interval-style. What that means is: keep changing the intensity of your cardio- from a brisk walk up to an all-out balls-to-the-wall sprint, in very short bursts- and no more than 30 minutes per workout. Skip the elliptical machines and run or bike- but only for quick short bursts of high-energy!!!
This myth started 6 or 7 years ago and is still prevalent in most gyms today. Look at the majority of gym cardio equipment and it's directions for use will even insist it's true. But it isn't! There is no magical "zone" that you burn only fat in, and staying in this low intensity zone will NOT burn more fat calories. As I mentioned in Myth #4, the only way to truly burn fat in an efficient, effective way is with short, high-intensity burst of energy for very short durations, repeated over and over. So adjust your workouts accordingly, and... Go get 'em tiger!!!