WARNING: Don't weight train until after
you've lost weight!
No, no, no, no, pleeeeease don't believe
that headline! That's one of the many
myths associated with weight loss and
fitness. If you're interested in losing
weight and getting fit as quickly as
possible, don't let these myths throw
you off track;
Myth #1 - Some fancy exercise
machine-of-the-month burns more calories
than any other exercise.
FACT - One thing that many people seem to be
confused about is how many calories are
expended during different types of exercise.
For example, I receive lots of questions
regarding how many calories are burned with
fancy exercise machines or certain unusual
exercises that are supposed to burn lots of
Don't be fooled by this stuff! Here's
the bottom line - caloric expenditure is
directly related to the amount of effort an
activity requires. In general, the more
difficult it feels, the more calories you burn.
The easier it feels the fewer calories you burn.
That's it! I don't care how fancy or expensive
the equipment is, the harder you work the
more calories you burn.
Myth #2 - Weight training with free weights
is much more effective than with machines.
FACT - For the purposes of general fitness,
muscle toning, and weight loss, it doesn't
matter. My suggestion is to do whichever you
are most comfortable with and are most likely
to do on a regular basis.
Myth #3 - Low intensity exercise puts
you in the "fat burning zone" and is ideal
for weight loss.
FACT - The "fat burning zone" doesn't matter.
Here's how it got started. Your body is always
"burning" a mixture of carbohydrates and fat
for fuel. This mixture tends to contain a
little more fat during lower intensity exercise.
Somebody took this to mean that a lower
intensity workout was best for losing weight..
It all comes from the same "pot". It doesn't
matter if you're burning a little more fat or a
little more carbohydrate at any particular time
in your fuel mix. It all comes from the same
calorie pool. The bottom line is, how many
calories are you burning.
Myth #4 - Exercising for 30 minutes two to
three times per week is sufficient for
FACT - That's better than doing nothing but
it's not optimal. I firmly believe that God
designed our bodies to be active daily. When
we exercise daily we are healthier, leaner,
more energetic, and the list goes on and on.
Also, daily exercise boosts your metabolism
like nothing else can. I recommend working
up to 30 to 60 minutes of daily aerobic
exercise and three days of weight training
Myth #5 - You can lose fat from a specific
part of your body by doing an exercise
for that part of your body. For example,
abdominal crunches will remove fat from
your abdominal area.
FACT - You can't spot reduce! You cannot
control where fat is removed from your body.
Myth #6 - You can't lose weight.
FACT - You CAN lose weight but it usually
happens much slower than you'd like it to.
Believing that you CAN lose weight is critical
to making it happen. Realize that if you are
consistently doing the right things, it will
happen. Don't get side-tracked by every new
crazy diet or exercise gizmo. Keep plugging
away at healthy eating habits and daily
exercise - it will happen!
Myth #7 - You shouldn't start weight training
until you've lost most of the weight you
want to lose because it will slow down your
fat loss, or trap your fat in the muscle, or
who knows what else.
FACT - Weight training is VITAL to a weight
loss program because it turns up the metabolic
fires that burn calories - and it tones your
muscles. You should start weight training
Myth #8 - You burn more fat if you exercise on
an empty stomach.
FACT - Exercising on an empty stomach
does not affect how you lose weight. In fact,
it may hinder it if you don't have the energy
to exercise. You should at least drink a
glass of juice prior to your workout if you're
exercising in the morning.
Myth #9 - You should always do your weight
training just before your aerobic exercise
session because you burn more fat that way.
I've even heard that you should weight
train, eat two raw carrots, and then do your
FACT - The order in which you exercise does
not affect how you lose weight. I always
recommend weight training just after your
aerobic exercise (such as walking) simply
because your muscles are warm and supple and
much less prone to injuries.
Myth #10 - You'll burn more calories jogging a
mile than walking a mile.
FACT - Caloric expenditure is 62 calories per
100 pounds body weight per mile traveled
(walked or jogged). For example, if you weight
150 pounds, you expend 93 calories per mile
walked or jogged (62 x 1.5). Of course, if
you're jogging, you'll cover the distance in
less time than if you're walking. Thus, you'll
burn more calories in a given period of time
if you're jogging.
copyright 2004 by Greg Landry, M.S
Author and exercise physiologist, Greg Landry,
offers free weight loss and fitness success stories
and targeted, highly affective weight loss programs
for women, men, type 2 diabetics, and people with
slow metabolisms and hypothyroidism..