Are your clients held back by their belief in fitness fictions? Here, Brent Brookbush, DPT, PT, MS, NASM-CPT, CES, PES, CSCS, ACSM-H/FS, NASM Master Instructor, and author of Fitness or Fiction: The Truth About Diet and Exercise, gets to the bottom of five common misconceptions.
1 You aren’t losing weight because you’re putting on muscle.
Truth: “If you’ve started strength training, you won’t put on enough muscle mass to significantly offset weight loss,” Brookbush says. One study found that those who performed resistance-training three times a week for 16 weeks gained about two pounds of lean body mass, which won’t offset the one to two pounds per week connected to healthy weight loss.
2 Women will bulk up if they strength-train.
Truth: Women don’t have the testosterone or growth hormone levels that men do, so bulking up is very difficult. Instead, they’ll look more toned and be stronger.
3 You can “spot tone.”
Truth: Where the fat comes off first is genetically determined and happens everywhere—did you ever notice how even your fingers get thinner when you lose weight?
4 Machines are safer than free weights.
Truth: Lifting free weights with proper form gives you better coordination and connects more to real-world activities.
5 No next-day muscle pain, no gain.
Truth: “If you’re sore a lot, you may be overtraining and getting worse results,” Brookbush says. One 2012 study found that overtraining can boost inflammation, interfering with muscle growth.