5 Exercise Myths

Being in the exercise business for 16 years you see all sorts of things: advice, results, disappointment, injury, but mostly people who waste their time by doing the same thing everytime they go to sweat. Check out these five Exercise Myths.

1. Lifting weights will bulk you up

Women are particularly concerned and often end up lifting 3 and 5 pound dumbbells thinking 'high-reps' will 'tone' muscles. True, lower reps and heavier weights can increase muscle mass, but women have a lot less testosterone and unless you are lifting a resistance that is around 90% of your maximum lifting capability, you're not going to end up on stage at a bodybuilding show. Keeping resistance at the 12-15 rep range is advised...for most general resistance training goals.

2. Health & Fitness Magazines are the best source for advice

Probably the worst place to get advice is more accurate. Month after month publications like Shape, Men's Fitness, and the worst: Muscle & Fitness (aka: Muscle & Fiction), brainwash millions of people with repackaged exercises to rip-tone-tighten with little regard for your personal goals, capabilities, limitations, and most of all...eating habits. Hire a fitness professional for workout and eating advice.

3. Running and Cardio machines are the only ways to lose weight

I've said it before, but Eating Right is 90% in obtaining the body you want. Machines are restricted man-made motion offering limited results and real world potential. Running is not all it's cut out to be torturing people to joint degeneration and blood markers that promote inflammation. Humans are built for intervals and terrain, not repetitive pounding or motion.

- Read this article on Running by local Doctor James 'O'Keefe -

4. You have to exercise for 30 minutes a day

Not so. Some exercise sessions, depending on the intensity can be effective in just minutes, (sprints, jump rope, stairs, pullups, squats), whereas a long brisk walk or hike for an hour or more at less intensity can be just as effective. Exercise is about changing it up and varying the intensity.

5. You have to stretch before and after a workout

Flexibility and optimal range of joint motion are obtained through proper exercise selection and execution Reaching and tugging accomplishes nothing. Choosing exercises like deadlifts, squats, ball crunches, lunges, overhead presses, pulldowns/ups, and performing them with proper form, appropriate resistance, and range, is the way to negotiate and maintain flexibility/pliability/resistance for a lifetime.

Stretching is forcing a joint beyond its current accepted range and accomplishes nothing. The nervous system is in charge of muscle, connective tissue, and joint chain of command.

Hey, and when you think about it, if you choose the right range for a given exercise, aren't you stretching a (and contracting) on each and every rep?

- Read More on Stretching -

- Leavitt July 12, 2012