There is a lot of information surrounding fitness and bodybuilding that can actually be characterized as false, and many tips that can be characterized as myths. Usually, many of these exercise and diet myths are created by people that are not involved into fitness, bodybuilding or any type of sport activity whatsoever. They cause confusion amongst trainees and fitness enthusiasts, especially the beginners. Let’s debunk some of these myths in this article.
Myth No. 1: Body fat is the result of consuming dietary fat
This misinformation is the reason of why a large number of active athletes base their diet on very low fat intake. This is also a reason why corporations market their products as “healthy” low-fat foods when in reality those same foods are loaded with sugars and are not so healthy.
The truth about body fat is that it is a result of the total calorie intake. Simply put, when you consume more calories than your body can use as energy, that excess amount of calories gets stored as fat. It’s that simple.
Myth No. 2: The lower the body-fat percentage you carry the healthier you are
As much as we want to admit this is true, it actually is not. Being shredded looks amazing, but carrying very low percentage of body-fat year round is equally as stressful for your body as carrying high body fat levels.
The truth and the opinion of a large number of professionals and fitness experts is that our body needs a certain (basic) level of body fat to protect organs and assure their normal function. Carrying very low bodyfat levels can also cause hormonal imbalance, just as carrying high bodyfat level does. Female athletes need at least 11% to 14% body fat, while the male athletes need at least 6-10% body fat to function properly.
Being under these numbers is OK if it’s just temporary, but long term it could be harmful for the body.
Myth 3: When losing fat, you can target specific body parts
Regular bench pressing will result in bugger chest, right ? So the logical assumption is that the same thing can be applied with fat loss. Lose fat in your belly, love handles, chest, neck, face…. You probably have heard these phrases many times before, right ?
The truth, however, is that it’s impossible to target a specific part of the body and reduce excess fat in that part alone. When reducing excess fat, your body (or its genetic structure) actually dictates where the fat will be reduced first, regardless of what exercises you do or what diet you use. Almost always fat loss happens first in the face, neck, chest and arms.
In men the last place that fat loss happens the belly. In women the most problematic place are the thighs.
Myth No. 4: When you stop working out muscles turn into fat
Since some of the trainees start gaining weight after a lay-off, there is a wrong assumption that muscles turn into fat.
But the reality is that muscle fibers and fat cells are two different things and none of them can turn in the other one. Much of these trainees gain weight as the result of spending a lower number of calories because of the reduced activity, while at the same time they keep consuming the same number of calories as when they were active.