When I was bodybuilding years ago it used to amuse me when I would have kids come up to me with my twenty inch arms and say, "I just want to shape up a little, I don't want to have arms that big". As if they could! People mistakenly think that you if you just walk in the gym and smell the iron dust it is going to turn you into superman, (or woman).
The truth is that that kind of muscle size takes work, lots of it and a specific diet. If you don't want big muscles, don't worry about it because it's not going to happen! No more than you are going to walk into an aerobics class and magically drop 50 pounds!
Let's look at some of the other myths perpetuated in the fitness world.
Back when I first started training with weights there was a common statement heard in the gym daily, "No Pain, No Gain!" This is probably one of the most widely spread myths in the exercise world. The truth of the matter is that if exercise is physically painful it is your body trying to tell you something is wrong! For most people you do not even want to go into severe lactic acid build up, which is painful. This is why many people never continue with their exercise regimens, they work out too hard and can't move for a week so they quit. Enjoy your exercise. Pushing beyond into the pain zone of lactic acid build up is for serious athletes, leave it to them.
Here's one that is in line with my introduction. If a woman lifts weights she will get too muscular. Not hardly. Again, large muscles take lots of work, plus women naturally do not have the abundance of testosterone required to build large muscles. What about those chicks I see on TV that have bigger arms than my legs? Remember, I said naturally. Those women are taking performance enhancing substances that help them to get that way, why they do it I have no clue. Weight training will just give you good tone, which by the way you will not even see if you are even moderately overweight.
If I work out before eating will it burn more calories? Actually, no it will not. You would think that scientifically this makes sense but the fact of the matter is that your body needs some energy to carry you through a workout and you should eat something beforehand. A small snack rich in carbohydrates is the best, like an apple or banana. If you are trying to lose weight make sure that you are taking in less calories than you burn on a daily basis.
Crunches will give you washboard abs. Nope, no way, not going to happen. The sharply defined abdominal muscles you see gracing magazine covers come from extensive strict dieting. For most people they muscle tone is already there it's just covered by a layer of fat. Exercise is good, but without a proper diet you will never see your stomach muscles.
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Gregg Hall is an author and internet marketing consultant living in Navarre Florida. Find more about exercise and weight loss at www.shop4betterhealth.com
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