5 Misconceptions That Could Be Harming Your Progress

healthy-person-woman-sport.jpgAs a personal trainer, I get a lot of questions about the best path to follow to reach fitness goals. There is so much conflicting information out there about the best way to lose weight, gain muscle, decrease bloating, improve stamina–some days it can seem impossible to dig through all the fluff and find the real answers. Luckily for you, I am tackling the 5 most common questions I get asked in the hopes of clearing up some of the confusion.

1. Spot Reduction.

I’m going to burst a few bubbles right out of the gate with this one. If you are looking to lose fat from one particular spot (I’m looking at you, belly fat), it is NOT possible. Everyone’s body is unique and as a person loses excess fat, it comes off in a way that is particular to the individual. You can do as many sit-ups as you want; while that will build core strength and muscle, it will never convince your body to lose fat from your belly. Only a well-rounded diet and consistent exercise will get those results.

2. Exercise Cancels Out A Bad Diet.

At first, this one may seem to make sense. After all, calories in vs. calories out is what weight loss boils down to, right? Well, it is a bit more complicated than that. Our bodies need certain macro- and micro-nutrients to be healthy. Those come from eating a balanced diet of proteins, carbs, and fats. Without that balance, you will never really feel your best, you will hinder your workouts, and you won’t see the results that you are hoping for in the long run.

3. Women and Men Should Do Different Exercises/Reps/Sets/Etc.

How many times have you heard that men should lift heavier weights for less repetitions in order to build muscle and women should use lighter weights for high repetitions in order to avoid looking “bulky”? Well, its not that simple. Men and women have very different hormones and unless a woman is working EXTREMELY hard to build muscle, she will never get bulky. Lifting too light is a waste of time as your muscles need resistance to grow so don’t be afraid to push yourself and see what results you can achieve!

4. You Need To Do A Lot Of Cardio If You Want To Lose Weight. 

Cardio is great for building heart strength, endurance, and lung capacity, but is it the be all, end all of weight loss? Not at all. In fact, because muscle burns more calories than fat, the best thing you can do to increase your metabolism and get your body working for you, even when you aren’t at the gym, is going to be weightlifting. A mix of cardio, weightlifting, and stretching is critical for helping anyone achieve their weight loss goals at a healthy and steady rate.

5. The Longer The Workout, The Better It Is.

This one will make those of you who are short on time feel a lot better. While it may seem like spending 2 hours at the gym will get you closer to your goals than 30 minutes, this isn’t necessarily the case. In fact, a quick HIIT (high intensity interval training) session will continue to burn calories long after you leave the gym so, while you may not have the time to be at the gym for 2 hours, your body will keep working as if you are still there! Any workout is better than none so, whether you have 10 minutes to go for a walk or an hour to go to a yoga class, just get moving and the rest will follow.

Do you have any other questions or misconceptions that I didn’t cover here? Email me at sarahzimmerfitness@gmail.com  or reach out through the contact tab and let me know!