Welcome to Workout Wednesdays, the Playboy.com fitness blog by Jayde Nicole—personal trainer, fitness nutritionist, health nut, TV personality and, last but not least, Playboy’s 2008 Playmate of the Year. Check back each week for Jayde’s latest tips, and be sure to visit her all-new fitness website JaydeNicole.com.
Five Common Fitness Myths Busted
So you hear exercise rumors all the time, at the gym, from your friends, but which are true and which are completely false? Know your facts! I have done my research on five popular fitness myths and its time to set the record straight!
1. Running on a treadmill is better for your knees then running on pavement.
Having a bad knee myself, I have heard this myth from countless “fitness-know-it-alls” in gyms all over the world. If you have a bum knee but love to workout you know you will take any help you can get, so I let my self believe this for years. Once I started studying the human body and personal training more thoroughly, I came across many great articles on this subject. Unfortunately, since it's the force of your body’s weight on your joints that causes the stress, it's the same no matter what surface you run on, treadmill, track, or straight pavement. So get outside and enjoy the weather!
2. Doing crunches will get rid of belly fat.
As a personal trainer, I get this question all the time. “What exercise can I do to get rid of my muffin top?”, “ I do 100 crunches a night to get rid of my belly fat, what other ab exercises will help me get rid of it?” The answer is none. It is unfortunate that we cannot target fat burning where we want it. Everyone carries fat differently on their bodies. The only way to get rid of it is an over all weight loss program with a healthy diet and a full body strength training program. You cannot pick and choose areas where you’d like to burn fat!
3. The more you are sweating the harder your workout is.
We all use this myth; don’t act like you don’t! We wear our sweatshirts on the treadmill and feel more accomplished when we are drenched in sweat at the end of our workout. Using your wet t-shirts as an indicator of your workout intensity will not actually help! Sweating is just your body’s way of cooling itself.
It is common to burn a significant amount of calories without breaking a sweat. Try taking a long walk, swimming or doing some lightweight training.
4. The “No pain, no gain” theory.
This is one of the worst myths out there because it encourages people to push themselves to injury thinking they are just getting a good workout.
While you should expect some muscle “burning” during your strength training and some degree of soreness the next day, there should never be any real pain during your exercise. If there is, you are most likely doing something wrong or using too high a weight. Seek the advice of a certified personal trainer for proper positioning and lower your weight until you have built up your strength.
5. Cardio burns more fat than lifting weights.
For every 1 pound of muscle you gain your metabolism is boosted by 2 to 4 percent and your body burns approximately 50-70 more calories a day. You also end up burning more calories post-exercise. Doing a mix of strength training and cardio will burn the greatest amount of energy and show the best results. For a great fat-burning workout, try a circuit-training routine that uses high-speed intervals on a treadmill or outdoors, combined with a series of exercises like walking lunges, medicine ball squats, push-ups, crunches, and pull ups.
Now you know the truth. You can’t live in denial any longer! Now you go be a “fitness-know-it-all” at your gym and share your myth busting facts with everyone that will listen.