Truth or Myth?

Sep 2, 2015

Truth or myth? The top 2 fitness myths revealed
A lot of what we hear about health and fitness is simply not true.
It can be hard to know what advice to take when there are so many fitness sources out there.
Check out the most common fitness myths that I have come across with my clients!
Myth #1: Weight training will make a woman look like the Incredible Hulk.
Fact: A common and real myth is that if a woman uses weights she will develop huge muscles. This is not the case. Training with weights actually results in a lean and toned physique. The muscles develop and become toned opposed to being underused and undefined. It is nearly impossible to develop Hulk-like muscles unless you take supplements and specifically train day and night (and who even has time for that?) One reason that men develop larger muscles so much faster is because they have much higher amounts of testosterone in their bodies (roughly 20 times) than women do.
When weight training is combined with cardio exercise, weight loss and weight maintenance is what will result. Another key benefit for us as women is to strengthen our bones. One in three women will develop Osteoporosis in their lifetime. Lift weights and your bones and your muscles will become stronger and healthier!
Here are a few of my favourite exercises for toned arms:
1. The Triceps Push Back

Drop to your knees, and start showing your triceps some love with this low-weight move. Use five-pound dumbbells for this one.

Hold your weights, and kneel on your knees with toes touching the ground. Hinge forward from your hips, and bend your elbows at 90 degrees.Unbend your elbows, and extend both of your arms straight back, palms facing each other. Squeeze your triceps, and then return back to starting position.

Repeat 10 times. Do three sets of 10.Source: POP SUGAR Studios. gallery/2982202/image/21397098/Triceps-Push
2. Single Leg Scarecrow
Challenge your balance while working the small muscles that support your shoulder, known collectively as the rotator cuff. This move also makes for shapely upper arms.
Stand on your left leg, and lift your right knee up until it is level with your hip. Holding a dumbbell in each hand, raise your arms out to the side until your upper arms are parallel to the ground. Bend your elbows to 90 degrees.

Maintaining a strong sense of balance, rotate your upper arms forward to bring your fists to the floor; then rotate the upper arm backward to bring the fists up. Do not lower or raise your upper arms; keep them parallel to the floor. This completes one rep.Do 10 to 15 reps, then switch legs lifting the left leg up, and stand on the right foot for another 10 to 15 reps to complete the set.Use five to eight pound dumbbells.Source: POPSUGAR Studios

Myth #2: The best way to lose stomach weight is by doing 100 crunches.
Fact: The best way to lose those love handles is actually to do aerobic exercise. Unfortunately it’s not possible to “spot treat” our bodies. Our overall weight will drop as we run on the treadmill or ride a bike for 20 minutes or longer. When we focus on our crunches without the cardio exercise, we are actually building muscle over top of fat. You will have stronger abs for sure, but it will be harder to lose that weight. The best recipe is to do cardio exercise 3 times a week along with some core exercises.
Try out one of my new favourites for your core:
The Dead Bug

The name may make you laugh, but this stability exercise fires up the core, working both the front and back of the body.
Lie on your back with a neutral spine and your hips and knees at right angles with your palms pressed into your thighs just above your knees.Pull your abs to your spine keeping your ribs and pelvis still as you lengthen your right arm and leg out until they are almost parallel to the floor. Keep your torso and spine completely stable as the arm and leg move.Return to the starting position, and repeat on the left side to complete one rep.
Source: POPSUGAR Studios
Are there other fitness myths that you have come across recently? Are there things that you have learned and would love to share with others? Do you have any burning fitness questions that are not being answered? I’d love to hear about these!

Meg Stickl

Owner and Personal Trainer, AIM Fitness

Meg Stickl is an Older Adult Fitness Expert and the Founder of AIM Fitness- a local Ottawa Mobile Fitness Company specializing in Adults 50+.

Meg and her team love seeing their one-on-one Personal Training Clients gain strength and energy. Meg is passionate about sharing her knowledge about aging and fitness in the community, and she loves to travel to New York City and Jamaica!