Does weight training make you bulky? Will hundreds of sit-ups give you a flat stomach? Take a look at these common fitness misconceptions and read the truth behind them.
1. Muscle turns to fat
False. Muscle and fat are 2 completely different tissues. What people commonly experience when they stop training is muscle atrophy (wasting) accompanied by increased fat storage due to a fall in metabolism so the muscle is replaced by fat.
2. Women trying to lose inches should avoid weights because it’ll make them bulky
False. On the contrary, in fact. Weight training increases lean tissue, which in turn increases metabolism and can actually help with fat loss. Read more about the link between metabolism and weight training here . Much depends also on the type of training you do. You can bulk up but it takes a lot of hard work, just ask any bodybuilder. By sticking to a simple, medium intensity weights programme a few times a week you’ll get the metabolism-boosting benefits without unwanted bulk.
3. If you want a flat stomach, do lots of sit-ups
False. Unfortunately we can’t ‘spot reduce’, or decide where we lose fat from first. Unless you work to lose the layer of fat covering them, your stomach muscles will remain hidden. To lose fat, we need to burn more calories than we consume. Try a combination of cardiovascular and resistance exercise whilst maintaining a healthy diet (lots of fresh fruit & veg, lean protein and avoiding processed foods & sugar) to boost your metabolism and drop the fat. If you have excess fat around your middle, by doing this you’ll eventually see a reduction
You’ll only lose weight if you sweat
False. Research shows it’s possible so burn a significant number of calories without breaking a sweat. Walking, for example, can burn 280 calories per hour. Sweating is merely the body’s way of cooling itself and everyone is different in terms of how efficient their ‘cooling system’ is.