This week, I thought we would mix it up a bit and discuss five of the biggest fitness myths that you have probably heard at one time or another. 

Remember, just because someone says something with conviction, doesn't necessarily mean it's true. 

Myth # 1 : Machines are better than free weights.

Ah no, not even close. When using a barbell, for example, you use the greatest range of motion. Not only does it involve the most muscle mass, it can be loaded progressively. Machines lock into their range of motion and will (typically) have you in a seated position. If you do not know how to use free weights, have someone teach you!

Myth # 2 : Eating Carbs will make you fat.

False. Overeating makes you fat. If you are someone that trains hard, whether you are a runner, weight lifter, or both, carbs are necessary fuel that will help your body perform at the highest level possible. The only carbs you need to stay away from are the processed ones.

Myth # 3 : Squats are bad for knees.

Poorly performed squats or not squatting at all is bad for your knees. A full squat (hip below parallel) will increase your strength in your hamstring , adductors, and glutes (all of which actually stabilize your knee.) Underdeveloped and weak hamstrings play a huge role in ACL injuries.

Myth #4 : Women who lift heavy weights will bulk up.

Nope. There are three things that are needed in order to add bulk; testosterone, calories, and frequency in the weight room (at least 3 times a week.) Instead, there are lots of benefits that come from strength training whether you are a man or a women. Some of these benefits include; an increased metabolism, a decrease in osteoporosis, and a boost in confidence. Women who strength train also tend to lose inches.

Myth #5 : Being sore means my workout worked.

This is a big misconception. If you are sore, that means there is inflammation. Always being sore can take a serious toll on the body and end up causing health problems if not taken care of. How can you avoid being sore all the time? Instead of doing a mishmash of 10 or more exercises that are performed once every few weeks, try following a training plan. 

Image by Jinterwas, Flickr

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