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Fitness fact vs. myth
Some fitness myths have been around for so long that people assume they are true. But beware: you don’t want to set yourself back by listening to hearsay, so don't always believe the hype.
Fitness expert Allegra Feamster, creator of The Body Beautiful by Allegra, gives us the real skinny on common workout myths.
Myth: Lifting weights will make you bulky
Truth: Don't worry ladies. Adding weight lifting to your workout routine will not transform you into the terminator.
"This is a myth that no matter how many times it’s explained, it seems to always prevail," says Feamster. "Essentially, in order to build bulky 'manly' muscle you need high levels of testosterone which women do not naturally have. Lifting moderate to heavy weights is highly effective for leaning out and sculpting the body."
Myth: Doing crunches alone will create a killer six-pack
Truth: Though crunching it out sounds good in theory, the truth is you can’t spot-reduce fat. Feamster points out that what we eat can be our biggest "ab killer".
"I've often seen people do ab work for hours and declare that they do 500 crunches, but it’s not noticeable in their mid-section at all until they've cleaned up their eating," she says. "Unless one is monitoring their eating and incorporating an integrated fitness program involving strength training, cardio and clean eating, only doing crunches will give you an awesome six-pack that will never be seen because it will be hidden under a layer of fat."
Her advice: Mix up core training to guarantee that you're targeting all areas of your abdominal muscles.
Myth: You need to work out for hours to get results
Truth: You don’t need to spend hours sweating it out to get a good workout in.
"The name of the game is to work smarter not harder. A good way to maximize time is to complete integrated workouts that combine both strength training and cardio or high-intensity interval training sessions," says Feamster.
She recommends staying active during your rest period between sets.
"Instead of sitting during your rest period for two to three minutes, jump rope or perform burpees in between sets so that your body is constantly moving. The bouts of high-intensity increase your caloric expenditure, allowing you to achieve the results that you desire."
Myth: The scale never lies
Truth: The scale can easily become a frenemy during your weight-loss journey, and sometimes, it just can't be trusted.
"Let's just say that the scale is deceiving. Your best indicator of weight loss is how your clothes fit. Go for size and not pounds. Though 5 pounds of fat and 5 pounds of muscle are both 5 pounds, the muscle is more compact and denser, so it gives the appearance that it’s heavier on the scale. This is why your clothes will let you know what’s really going on. It’s possible to be 150 pounds and wear a size four or six," says Feamster.
Myth: Belonging to a gym is the most