2020 has been… a lot. It has been a time of difficulty, learning moments and time to learn real truths. We thought we’d finish out 2020 with debunking some fitness myths so you can go into 2021 with better intentions and goals. You and your time are much too valuable.
Burning Fat = Cardio Time!
Yes, cardio is a great way to burn fat and should be incorporated into your weight loss routine if that’s what you are going for. Cardio is also great for building endurance. However, it’s only one piece of the magic puzzle. Muscle tissues burn more calories in the body meaning that you will continue to burn calories if you build muscle mass.
So instead of Burning Fat = Cardio Time it’s more like Burning Fat = Cardio & Strength Training!
Crunches Will Give You Abs
Sorry to break it to you, but doing endless crunches will not give you that six pack that you’ve been waiting for. To achieve abs, it is about changing the actual body composition by reducing fat and building core muscle. This involves a strategic mixture of cardio, strength / resistance training, and nutrition. When they say “abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym” – it’s not totally accurate but it’s also not totally inaccurate, either.
Exercise Means Weight Loss
Cardio, weight training, sparring, HIIT, all of it will help you burn calories and build lean muscle. While this is true, it is possible to gain weight while exercising. This is typically when body composition starts to shift and understanding that muscle weighs more than fat is critical. It is also very important to understand that nutrition is still part of the master plan and even with burning calories, you can still gain weight if you are in a caloric surplus.
Lost Muscle Will Turn Into Fat
If you’ve ever broken a bone before, you know what it’s like for muscles to atrophy because you stopped using some of those muscles. However, our fat storing processes exist independently of our muscles and is our body’s way of conserving energy. Fat and muscle are two separate entities.
Best Recovery Method: Foam Rolling
There is no doubt that foam rolling is a great recovery method to help relieve muscle soreness or loosen up some tension. Some gnarly scar tissue that needs some love will thank you later. While we don’t recommend droppnig foam rolling from your routine, we do recommend incorporating slow and deliberate movements that help prepare for similar exercises that you’ll be doing during your intense workout.
Lose Weight then Build Muscle
If you’ve ever seen anyone’s fitness journey on social media and it starts with losing weight with cardio first and then building muscle with weights, you’re being tricked. A combination of the two with balanced macros will help you reach your aligned goals. It’s the myth of all myths.
Exercise Out a Bad Eating Habits
“I work out so I can eat the way I want to” only lasts for so long. Another classic is taking a tough class so you can brunch well later. This one can be a tough one to wrap around, but you can work extremely hard in the gym and burn a lot of calories but still not lose weight (or even gain weight). Provide yourself with some good mantras to help remind you of this.
We all have certain areas that we would like to work on more than others – we’re human! This doesn’t mean that they can be reality. It is important to take genetics into account and the full-body process of reaching goals. You can control what you do in the gym and what you eat, but you cannot control where your body and metabolism opt to store fat.
Go into 2021 with the knowledge you need to make it your year.