10 Shocking Fitness Facts That Men Get Wrong
You may have heard some shocking fitness facts that men get wrong. Here are some of those myths flying around your local gym that science has cleared up.
Myth # 1: Working out with an empty stomach burns more calories.
This is one of the wrong fitness facts men used to believe. Julie Bender, a dietitian of Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas and Phil Tyne, the director of Baylor Tom Landry Health and Wellness Center, explained that eating small meals one to three hours before workout provides fuel to the body. This energy reserve helps increase performance, burn more calories and eliminate post workout binges. Loading up on some fruits, whole wheat breads and yogurt is recommended.
Myth # 2: Lifting heavy weights in slow reps will make you grow bigger.
Moderate weight lifting in 6 to 15 reps can actually increase muscle mass. A study conducted in McMaster University in Canada showed that lifting moderate weights in the said range creates balance between metabolic stress and muscular tension. Protein production is maximized through the contracting mechanisms happening in the muscle cells.
Myth # 3: Exercise to turn fats into muscles.
This is one of the shocking fitness myths most men believe. According to Dr. Wayne Westcott, head of the Exercise Science Program at Quincy College, it is impossible to turn fats into muscles because they are two different tissues.
Fats and muscles are composed of two different structures and functions. Hence, there are specific exercises that help reduce body fat and some workout programs that focus on increasing muscle mass.
Myth # 4: Vegetarian meals are healthier than the protein-filled ones.
Vegetable diet can help lose weight but omitting other food groups is bad. Meats have high saturated fats but they are rich in iron that maintains good energy levels and produces enzymes against infection.
Researchers at Pennsylvania State University showed that iron deficiency is observed among dieting men who have cut down on meats and other proteins. If you decide to reduce your meat consumption, consider eggs, dairy and soy as alternatives.
Myth # 5: Stretch to prepare your body for exercise.
Studies prove that stretching can slow down performance. Researchers in Florida State University showed that stretching before a run reduces efficiency to 5 percent which means that you need to burn more energy while running. Italian researchers studying cyclists discovered that it is counterproductive.
Toe-touching alters the brain signals to the muscles and weakens the force-transmission properties of muscle fibers reducing range of motion by 4 percent. Thus, stretching is only ideal after workout.
Myth # 6: Weight lifting makes you look bulky.
Dr. Jeffrey Janot, assistant professor of Exercise Physiology at South Dakota State University, noted that strength training can help lose weight. Large muscle proportions require more than weight lifting. Diet, food supplements and genetics are key factors that influence muscle size. Learning the correct way of resistance training coupled with cardio exercises will result to a lean and balanced physique.
Myth # 7: Crunches and abdominal workout can shape a six-pack abs.
According to the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, the most effective way to get a six-pack abs is by combining interval training, selecting the right training movement, using carbs effectively, getting enough sleep and maintaining a low stress level. It does not mean that you have to abandon crunches and sit-ups completely, going heavy with free- weights, planking, squats and deadlifts can help achieve a flat stomach and defined obliques.
Myth # 8: Avoid carbs when you are on a bodybuilding diet.
One of the common fitness facts you should ignore by now. Carbohydrates are sources of energy and they increase endurance. Your body needs energy for heavy workouts therefore a diet of whole grains and cereals can help reduce metabolic rate and increase insulin. Insulin energizes the muscles in the form of glycogen. Research shows that the best time to consume carbs is during breakfast and before workout.
Myth # 9: Work out slow to burn more fats.
As explained by Dr. Mary Jayne Johnson, an exercise physiologist and spokesperson for the American Council on Exercise, oxygen is needed to convert fat to energy. One study showed that athletes who alternated 30 seconds of sprinting with 4 minutes of rest to catch their breath in 2 and half hours for a week get better results than those who do slow exercises at 10 and a half hours a week. This kind of training interval can also increase the body’s ability to burn fat in two weeks.
Myth # 10: Shock your muscles to gain more mass.
Overloading has a negative effect to your system which could lead to injury. A study published in Sports Medicine explained that the proper way to gain weight is by outdoing the previous workout. This is called progressive resistance. This method requires adding extra weight on the next session once you can perform one or more repetitions in your current routine.
These are some of the few fitness facts that men usually misunderstand. Do you know other fitness myths? We will be glad to hear from you.