The following fitness fallacies need to be archived under: "Exercise tips you should forget about ASAP."
You can spot reduce.1 of 11
The idea that you can target fat from a specific part of your body is one of the oldest and craziest fitness myths around. When you lose weight, you cannot dictate which part of your body it comes from.
Bottom line: Working out can reduce your overall body fat, but you can't control where that fat comes from. Instead of focusing on how to fix one problem area, spend your time doing compound movements and exercises that use your biggest muscles. This will help torch calories and strengthen your body overall.
Muscle confusion is the only way to go.2 of 11
The idea of changing things up is a good one, however, if you are mixing it up too often, you're not giving your body a chance to truly learn the movements you're doing.
Bottom line: There is skill involved in exercising, and if you don't allow enough time for your body and brain to learn the skill, there is no way to improve or adequately measure progress.
Women will bulk up if they lift weights.3 of 11
I've spent years strengthening and "growing" muscle, and I am far from "bulky." Women do not need to shy away from weight training simply because they think they will end up with 15-inch guns for arms. Women aren't built to bulk up the same way men do, because they don't have the testosterone levels necessary to make this happen.
Bottom line: It's critical that women include strength training as part of their fitness plan to help increase wellness, bone density and overall health.
Stretching is the only thing you need to do before a workout.4 of 11
Static stretches (think seated hamstring stretch and standing quad stretch) are stretches that are held for a period of time—usually 30 seconds—that target different muscles in the body. The belief used to be that performing static stretches before working out was a way to prevent injuries and "warm-up" the muscles. However, static stretches are best saved for your post-workout cool-down.
Bottom line: Starting with a dynamic warm-up (think leg swings and arm circles) before exercise is much more effective than static stretching alone. Dynamic exercise will get blood flowing and warm up your muscles, which can help prevent injury.
Activities that are fun don't count as working out.5 of 11
Have you ever tried putting on music and dancing non-stop for 10 minutes? It's hard work! Yet, lots of hard-core fitness fanatics say activities like dancing, practicing soccer with your kids in the yard or even a casual bike ride do not count as a "real" workout.
Bottom line: Working out doesn't only happen in the gym or on the road busting out a 10-mile run. Sometimes just moving your body while laughing and having fun is one of the best workouts you'll have all week.
Working out means I can eat whatever I want and still lose weight.6 of 11
Exercise will help strengthen your bones, your muscles (especially your heart), boost your metabolism and improve your mood, but unfortunately, that is not enough in the battle to lose weight.
Bottom line: You can't out-exercise a poor diet. Any kind of weight loss, or fat loss for that matter, is likely a result of quality exercise and proper nutrition.
Weight training helps convert fat to muscle.7 of 11
Oh, if only this were true. But the reality is, it is physically impossible to convert fat to muscle, especially when you consider the two tissues are completely different substances.
Bottom line: Exercises such as strength training will help build muscle—which encourages fat loss by increasing your resting metabolism--so you can burn more calories throughout the day. But one does not magically become the other.
More is better.8 of 11
The saying goes something like this: If some exercise is good, then doubling its intensity and volume is even better. But it's actually quality, not quantity, that matters in the quest to get fit.
Bottom line: One of the best things you can do for your body is to give it a rest—especially if you're hitting it hard. Muscles need time to repair and grow. If you workout every day and place constant stress on your body, you will actually stall your progress.
My squat is better than your squat.9 of 11
While I am all game for educated tips, please don't tell me that I have to work out like you. One of the most frustrating things about exercising is having a fellow gym-goer or trainer tell you that you should do their program or do exercises just like them to see results.
Bottom line: Your body is unique. Performing a workout that was designed for another person may be a great way to get some ideas, but ultimately, you need to create a plan that fits your needs. Just say no to the "one-size-fits-all" approach to exercise.
You need these fitness gadgets to maximize your results.10 of 11
If you spend any time watching television or on social media, then you're aware of the thousands of products that are "guaranteed to change your life."
Bottom line: You don't need a lot of fancy—and quite often, very complicated—equipment to workout. You have the best tool money can't buy: Your body.