Boys & Girls Club

Of Greater Kansas City Wellness Program

Fitness Myths

You've seen statements in magazines, on TV, on the internet. It seems like new information on fitness is constantly being published. Unfortunately, there is little to no truth surrounding much of the information out there. This issue of our newsletter seeks to debunk some myths floating around and shed some light on general fitness.

Spot Reduction

Many people believe that by working certain muscles, they can reduce the body fat around that area. For example, many people work their abdominal muscles religiously to get rid of that stubborn belly fat. Unfortunately, studies have proved this to be impossible. The only way to reduce body fat is proper exercise and diet – calories consumed must be lower than calories burned. Fat lost comes off different places according to your genetic makeup.

Weight Lifting Will Make Women Bulky

This myth comes from women who are too afraid to lift weights because they are afraid they will gain too much muscle. The fact is that because women have such low levels of testosterone, they cannot gain as much muscle as men. Typically, the only way women can gain very large amounts muscle is to use steroids. Lifting weights can be extremely helpful to women as they are at higher risk for osteoporosis later in life. By lifting weights, bones get denser, lowering the risk of osteoporosis.

The More You Sweat, the More Calories You Burned

Many people believe that if you sweat more during an exercise that their body got a better workout and they burned more calories. Sweat is a mechanism to cool the body when it gets warm, not to remove excess fat. If you sweat more from a workout, you may weigh less than you did before the workout, but the weight lost is mostly water weight and will usually come back when you hydrate your body.

Running is Bad for Your Knees

This myth has a shred of truth to it. Constantly slamming your feet against a hard surface can take its toll on your knees. Women in particular experience higher knee injury from running due to muscular imbalances in the legs and abdomen. However, by implementing whole-body resistance training exercise, trainers can improve these muscle imbalances and reduce the risk of knee injury from running.

Exercise Machines Are Safer Than Free Weights

Many people believe that free weights are dangerous and they should just use the exercise machines at their local gym. While free weights can be dangerous if the trainer has less experience and lifts with improper form, weight machines pose another problem. Many machines put the limbs and joints in abnormal positions or planes of movement. This can be harder on the joints than free weights and can lead to injury, especially in the shoulders.

No Pain, No Gain

Many people associate pain with a good workout. While soreness is common after weight lifting and even intense running, pain during a workout is not a good sign. Pain is a signal to your brain that something is being damaged in the body. If you experience pain during workout, you should stop and rest. Do not exercise through the pain as it could result in even greater injury.