The 3 Biggest Exercise Myths
It might sound crazy, but you can get into great shape without loathing the exercise experience. In fact, you might even learn to enjoy regular exercise and create a healthier relationship with movement altogether. In this article we’ll uncover the truth surrounding these exercise myths so you can get off the exercise roller coaster and onto a smooth path toward your fitness goals.
By Ryan Carsia
Is regular exercise a key piece to achieving and maintaining a healthy body composition? Absolutely.
But can we really just exercise our way out of a poor diet? Sometimes. But not always. And not very often.
At least not very consistently. Unless you’re a competitive athlete, it’s unlikely you’ll be spending multiple hours per day exercising.
And you shouldn’t have to. Let’s explore some common myths about exercise and set the record straight so you can get and stay moving for good.
Exercise Myths #1 – Exercise burns fat
While we do burn fat with exercise, the majority of the energy we burn comes from carbohydrates. This is especially true for higher intensity forms of exercise such as high intensity cardio and interval training.
Where our body burns the most amount of fat calories is at rest or while performing low intensity exercise (walking, gardening, house chores, etc).
So, if you’re interested in burning more fat with exercise, our focus should be directed toward resistance training and general physical activities that we enjoy.
When we have more lean muscle mass, our bodies are more efficient at burning fat at rest. And the more time we spend moving overall, regardless of intensity level, will help us burn fat.
Which leads us into our second exercise myth.
Exercise Myths #2 – Lifting weights makes you bulky
While we do gain lean muscle mass from lifting weights, it’s unlikely you’ll become “bulky” from doing so. Gaining muscle is actually rather difficult. Most people will see an initial increase in muscle size that tapers off after a few months.
Not only is getting “too bulky” extremely hard for most people, having lean muscle mass has numerous benefits. Including:
- Increased levels of strength
- Improved resilience to injury
- Improved insulin sensitivity
- Increase resting metabolic rate (RMR)
All of which lead to a leaner, stronger, and healthier body overall.
Additionally, the only way to continuously increase muscle size and bulk is to be in a caloric surplus (eating more calories than you expend). So, if you’re worried about getting bulky, more of your focus should shift toward nutritional interventions. Numerous studies have shown that nutritional interventions provide superior results than focusing on exercise alone.
Which leads us into our final exercise myth.
Exercise Myths #3 – You need to do cardio to lose weight
Many people notice a decrease in body weight when performing numerous hours of cardio each week. The problem is, the majority of this weight comes from retained water and lean muscle mass.
Not only will losing lean muscle mass raise your current body fat percentage, maintaining your bodyweight in the future will become more challenging without lean muscle mass due to the points mentioned in the previous myth.
And, again, where people typically see the most reliable weight loss is through a combination of exercise and nutritional interventions. As we learned in myth 1, more important than doing intense forms of exercise is just spending more overall time moving – regardless of the intensity level.
Where we’ve seen people see the most sustainable levels of progress in overall fitness is by doing the following:
1. Focusing on food as much as exercise
If you’re not seeing results, it’s likely that your diet needs as much attention as your exercise routine. Addressing both will give you the best results.
2. Incorporate regular resistance training
We recommend 2-3 full body training sessions each week, focusing on all major muscle groups. Doing so will improve multiple aspects of your fitness and health and make it easier to maintain your progress for the long term.
3. Get moving
You don’t need to run yourself into the ground to see great results. Start looking at forms of exercise and movement that bring you joy and are easy to incorporate for a more enjoyable process.
Want help becoming the leanest, strongest, and healthiest version of you?
Most people know that exercise, eating well, sleep, and stress management are all important in looking and feeling their best.
Yet most struggle with applying this information in the context of their busy, sometimes stressful lives.
That’s why we work closely with our clients to help them reduce body fat, gain strength, and build lean muscle so they can improve their health…regardless of what they have going on around them.
For an in depth look of what this approach looks like, schedule a consultation by booking an appointment below.