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5 Fitness Myths For Weight Loss

When it comes to losing weight, what you do in your fitness routine really does make all the difference. While any exercise is beneficial there are some fitness routines that simply work better than others with helping you to release and burn stored body fat.

I’m going to share with you five of the most common fitness myths and provide you with some insider secrets on how to speed up your weight loss results with exercise.

Fitness Myth #1: You Need To Exercise In The “Fat Loss Zone”

This is by far the biggest lie about the best way to exercise for weight loss. Step on to most any treadmill, elliptical trainer, or other cardio equipment and you’re likely to find a placard or monitor that shows you where your “fat loss zone” is at.

It will correlate to a certain heart rate range where your body is in what’s called an “aerobic state.” The idea is that when you’re in this “aerobic state” your body can access stored fat for fuel. While this is true, the whole idea of a “fat loss zone” can be quite misleading.

Here’s a quick review of how your body gets energy during exercise. When you’re in an “aerobic state,” you’re able to meet oxygen demand. Since you’re able to get in enough oxygen your body can use both carbohydrate and fat in what’s called the Krebs cycle (the process of making energy in the presence of oxygen).

If you push your heart rate up with higher intensity exercise you can’t keep up with oxygen demand and then your body switches over to what’s called the “anaerobic state.” In the absence of readily available oxygen your body can no longer use fat for energy production.

On paper this all makes perfect sense, stay in the “aerobic state” at a lower heart rate so you can use more fat during the exercise session. The idea being that the longer you stay in this “aerobic state” the more fat you’ll be likely to burn. This would lead you to believe that longer-duration (45-60 minute) workouts at a low intensity would be best for losing weight. The reality is this philosophy is simply false.

It’s not how much fat you burn during the workout but after that makes all the difference. Doing short-duration, high-intensity exercise like “interval training” is significantly more effective for fat loss.

When you do higher-intensity exercise you may not be using a lot of fat during the workout but you’ll be more likely to burn more fat after due to hormonal responses that are virtually non-existent with lower-intensity aerobic exercise.

High-intensity exercise, like interval training, promotes the release of growth hormone, adrenaline, and other powerful fat burning hormones. This is a key difference. By taping into these hormones you’ll get a fat burning advantage you could never get with the lower-intensity routines.



Go ahead and start with lower-intensity “aerobic” routines to simply build a base of conditioning which will allow your body to work at higher levels of intensity. Then progress to occasionally doing interval training routines for optimal fat burning benefits.

Fitness Myth #2: You’ll Burn More Fat Exercising On An Empty Stomach

I’m amazed at how many so called “experts” are still promoting this ridiculous idea. It’s never a good idea to exercise on an empty stomach. The reality is you need a small amount of glycogen (stored carbohydrate) to fuel your energy needs during a workout.

Thinking that you’re body will just pull from stored fat if there’s no other energy available is simply preposterous. Remember your body can’t use fat for fuel in higher intensity exercise anyways because once you’re unable to meet oxygen demand you’re out of the Krebs cycle.

The best strategy is to always have a small amount of carbohydrate to fuel your workouts and allow you to work at a high intensity. A piece of fruit will provide you with just enough energy and if you’re working at a high enough intensity you’ll be able to burn fat after your workout.

Fitness Myth #3: Cardio Is Better Than Resistance Training For Weight Loss

A lot of people mistakenly believe that doing cardio alone is enough to lose weight. The reality is if you’re not working on developing lean muscle, fat loss will be hard to come by or maintain. It’s important to remember that the mitochondria of a muscle cell is the only place where stored fat can be used for energy. The more lean muscle you have, the more likely you are to burn fat. It’s just that simple.

You must incorporate resistance workouts, preferably burst training into your fitness routines if you want to lose weight and keep it off. It doesn’t matter how you plan on doing resistance training; with free weights, machines, bodyweight, etc, just as long as you’re working on developing metabolically active lean muscle.

The benefits to your metabolism and hormonal systems that regulate fat loss are too numerous to list in this article. Just know that while cardio is a key player in weight loss, resistance training is equally important, if not more important.

Fitness Myth #4: Longer Duration Workouts Are Better For Weight Loss

When it comes to losing fat with exercise more is not necessarily better. The key factor is what you’re doing, not how long you’re doing it. Like I previously mentioned, doing short-duration, high-intensity exercise routines simply work best for fat loss. This is true for both cardio and resistance training.

You want to be doing short bursts of “get out of breath” exercise in order to stimulate release of the fat burning hormones. The beauty with the burst training workouts is they only take 30 minutes or less to complete. You don’t need to be doing hour long cardio workouts or weight training sessions to see results.

Doing longer workouts, especially in a calorie restrictive state can actually be counter-productive with weight loss. You’re likely to slow down your metabolism and promote a “catabolic state” where you’ll lose lean muscle.

Go ahead and do some longer runs and cardio workouts if you enjoy them or you’re preparing for a race or athletic event. But just make sure to allow adequate recovery time and mix in some shorter burst training workouts and intervals into your routine.

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Fitness Myth #5: Bodyweight Workouts Won’t Work For Weight Loss

Don’t be misled into thinking you need to use free weights or machines for resistance training. You can get just as good of results with using your own bodyweight. Your muscles can’t tell the difference with what’s applying the resistance. Delivering an overload stimulus to your muscles with any resistance against gravity is all that’s required.

You can get incredible results with using exercises like Hindu squats, Hindu push-up’s, bodyweight rows, pull-up’s, dips, lunges, and v-up’s just to name a few. Bodyweight workouts are extremely effective for losing weight and adding muscle if their done in the short duration, high-intensity, burst training fashion.

Shane Doll is a certified personal trainer, fitness expert, speaker, author, and founder of Shaping Concepts Personal Training Studios. Learn more how you can receive a no obligations FREE trial of his Charleston personal training programs and experience the Shaping Concepts difference for yourself.

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Category: Fat Loss.