Fitness myths are all around us–and that’s in large part due to diet and fitness culture. Every gym, diet, and fitness blogger wants you to believe they’ve found the secret to shedding weight and getting strong. And, while some of the things they recommend do work, there are a lot of myths floating around that don’t work.
From misconceptions about lifting weights to how often you need to exercise, here are a handful of fitness myths you need to stop believing.
Myth #1: Doing Cardio Is the Only Way You’ll Lose Weight
Wrong! While cardio exercises (running, biking, swimming, etc.) are great for burning fat, they’re not the only exercises that burn fat. In fact, if you really want to lose weight, adding in strength training is the way to go. Lifting weights will help to build muscle, which will in turn increase your resting metabolic rate.
Myth #2: More Is More
Stop believing you have to work out six days a week for an hour at a time in order to see results. You don’t. While there’s nothing wrong with pushing yourself and going hard in the gym a few times a week, the most important thing is to listen to your body. It’s important to give your body rest, but it’s equally as important to give your body something different.
While doing spin classes every day may seem like a good idea, the truth is you’ll probably see better results if you switch it up. Maybe go for a walk two times a week, go to spin class one day a week, and then lift weights one day a week! This will work out different muscle groups and also keep your body guessing at the same time.
Myth #3: Lifting Will Make You Bulky
Women have long been afraid to lift heavy weights because they believe it’ll make them “bulky.” This is not true! While lifting weights will lead to an increase in muscle size, it will not immediately turn you into looking like Dwyane “The Rock” Johnson.
In fact, incorporating heavy weights into your workout routine will help to burn fat quicker and ultimately lead to more toned muscles.
Myth #4: The More You Exercise, the More Weight You’ll Lose
While getting in enough exercise can help you lose weight, it will not magically take the weight off. You could exercise every single day for two hours, but if you’re consuming thousands of calories the weight probably still won’t come off.
Truthfully, if your main goal is to lose weight, you need to focus on your diet. Being in a calorie deficit (eating fewer calories than you burn) is the only way you’ll start to shed pounds.
Myth #5: Short Workouts Aren’t Worth It
This is false, everybody! It doesn’t matter if you have 50 minutes to work out or just five minutes; you can still use that time to do something beneficial.
Long workouts are necessarily better, anyway. Frankly, it’s all about making the most out of the time you have. Use those five minutes to get a great ab workout in or do 50 pushups.