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The 7 Fitness Myths You Need to Know

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Is “common wisdom” causing you to fail?

If you want to know what’s at the heart of our methodology, please read on. You might be surprised just how much sense all this makes, and yet, just how much of this is contrary to what you’ve been told.

All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident. — Schopenhauer, German philosopher (1788 – 1860)


Birmingham Michigan Personal TrainerWhen it comes to losing body fat and getting in shape, many people feel completely confused – and rightly so.  Just browse through any magazine rack filled with dozens of health and fitness magazines, and you’ll quickly see why.  One headline reads, “New Year, New You with Pilates” while the next headlines promise, “1,2,3  Sets to Bigger Biceps!” and “The Best Cardio for Weight Loss.”  Really?  So which is it?  It’s enough to make you want to walk out the door and forget the whole thing!  With all of this contradictory information about getting in shape coming at us from every angle, how do we know what’s true and what’s not?  For Pete’s sake, what is the truth?

Good thing you asked, because getting the “truth” out about health and fitness is what inspired me, Pete Hudson, to create Body in 45, a personal training studio in Birmingham, Michigan.  We not only deliver exceptional results for our clients, but we serve up the simple truth about getting (and staying in) the best shape of your life.  And no, I don’t have any “secrets” that only I have uncovered, nor do I have a fad workout, pill, thigh master, gimmick or anything else to sell you.

And no, I don’t have any “secrets” that only I have uncovered, nor do I have a fad workout, pill, thigh master, gimmick or anything else to sell you.

What I do have is over 20 years of relentless study, thousands of fit clients and first-hand experience that has helped me to clearly separate fitness myth from fitness truth.  And unlike the fitness industry that spreads misinformation, profits from your fitness failure and then makes you think it’s your fault, we empower you with the simple truth so that you can succeed!

The following seven myths masquerading as the truth are the ones that get my clients into the biggest trouble.    If you’ve read this far, you’re well on your way to avoiding them and enjoying the lifelong benefits of a strong, lean, healthy body of your dreams.

Myth #1:

Aerobic exercise, such as jogging, biking or stepping, burns more calories and is more effective than strength training at cutting fat.


So you’ve spent an hour on a cardio machine and you’re feeling pretty good.  You read on the display that you’ve burned 300 calories.  Wow, that’s pretty good, right?  Wrong.  What the manufacturers of cardio machines don’t tell you is that the 300 calorie number you feel so great about incorporates your BMR – your Basal Metabolic Rate (the amount of calories burned at rest sitting on your ass looking at the treadmill).  What’s the big deal about including your BMR?  Because you didn’t really “burn” 300 calories!

Here’s why:  When you enter your body weight and age, the machine calculated your BMR.  As an example let’s say that you are 5’10 and weight 165 pounds.  Your BMR is 140 calories per hour. What this means is that after spending an hour on the treadmill, you only really burned an extra 160 calories.  Yep.  One hour for a lousy 160 calories.

If you continue training this way, your body adapts and becomes more efficient with its fuel.  You’re now burning even fewer calories while exhausting yourself.  On top of that, your body will naturally decrease its muscle stores to provide energy for the increased aerobic exercise and your metabolism will slow dramatically, promoting an increase in fat stores.  Score one for the fitness industry.  You?  Zero.


Myth #2

Yoga and Pilates are the best way to achieve that long, lean look or body type.


Yoga is a fantastic practice.  It’s a great way to quiet the mind, realize your oneness with the universe and improve flexibility.  Yoga also improves relative muscular strength which we know increases lean muscle mass and metabolism.  Pilates can improve flexibility, relative strength and lean muscle mass.  So what’s missing in both these modalities?  Their ability to periodically and precisely increase stresses placed on the body in a controlled and incremental way in order to ensure continuous improvement.

High-intensity interval training, on the other hand, increases strength, lean muscle and flexibility to the outer limits of what’s possible.  What’s the benefit to you?  Well, you become a lean, mean, fat-burning machine for one.  You do this by increasing your lean muscle, elevating your metabolism substantially and permanently, and helping your body fry fat 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Pilates and Yoga, although wonderful, can’t deliver these kinds of results.  Couple a high-intensity training program with a good dietary strategy such as the South Beach Diet, a Paleolithic diet, or a whole foods-based vegan diet, and you have the key to getting that long, lean look you’ve been dreaming about.


Myth #3:

Women who lift weights will get too muscular and bulky.


This myth drives me absolutely crazy, so let me be clear — Not true, not true, not true!  Women simply do not have the genetic potential or natural testosterone to develop large muscles.  Period.  I think this myth came from seeing female bodybuilders in print and electronic media who are at the extremes of genetic potential and who use anabolic steroids.  Sadly, it’s this myth that is the number one reason why most women don’t strength train and prevents them from getting the results they want — a lean, attractive, strong body which is the result of high-intensity exercise.  (Just ask any of my female clients.)


Myth #4:

More exercise is better for weight loss.


When it comes to weight loss, nothing could be worse for you than “more” exercise!  When your body is exposed to stress, it needs t-i-m-e to recover in order to repair itself.

Studies repeatedly verify that the most effective approach is to train intensely, briefly and infrequently.  An intense bout of strength training prompts the muscle fibers to recover to a new larger capacity, and ample rest is needed for this to occur.  This rest creates an environment where your body creates more lean muscle in less time, efficiently creating a faster metabolism.  In other words, if you work out 45 minutes, twice a week, you will enjoy fat loss, gorgeous muscle tone and gain increased energy and strength.


Myth #5:

Seniors and the elderly should not lift weights, or challenge themselves and their bodies.


After the age of 40, we lose 5-10% of our muscle mass each decade.  By the time we reach 65, this rate speeds up, and we’ve undergone significant muscle and strength loss.   Lost muscle leads to a decline in functional ability and fragile, weak bones.  By challenging your body intensely (relative term) and progressively, you will increase strength and lean muscle mass bringing about a literal fountain of youth.  An increase in lean muscle mass also prevents osteoporosis by reducing bone deterioration and actually increases bone strength and mass. You’ll have a stronger body, a stronger heart, and can expect to live longer.  Oh, by the way, you’ll notice that you feel stronger, more energetic and lively compared to your friends.


Myth #6:

The best way to get in shape with weights is by toning up with higher repetitions.


Lifting lighter weights with higher repetitions does not – I repeat – does NOT stimulate the body to increase strength and therefore will not increase lean muscle mass and metabolism.  I know this sounds harsh, but purple or pink dumbbells with 18-25 reps are a complete waste of time.  You would be better off going home and cleaning the garage or mowing the lawn — at least then you’d be accomplishing something tangible with your effort.

Myth #7:

Aerobics is the best way to achieve cardiovascular health and fitness.


While it can be said that aerobic training is cardiovascular in nature, it can also be said that not all cardiovascular exercise need be aerobic. High-intensity interval-type training creates a demand on and improves our skeletal muscular system, which in turn requires the supportive subsystem (the cardio pulmonary system), to improve its capacity.  So why is this important?  Because a stronger heart doesn’t have to work so hard.  It actually beats fewer times per minute, even at rest!

As we grow older, having a strong body in addition to a strong heart becomes very important.  The guy at 60 who has a heart attack shoveling snow doesn’t necessarily have it because his heart wasn’t strong enough.   If his body was weak, his heart had to work much harder just to lift the shovel!!

In a world that conspires to confuse you, take your money and then blame you for being a failure, getting fit and healthy can be confusing and stressful.  But it doesn’t have to be.  Whether you are a man or a woman, someone interested in Pilates, Yoga, Crossfit, High Intensity interval strength training, Zumba or just getting fit, knowledge is power.  But better than knowledge is knowledge based on the truth.  At Body in 45, we believe getting and staying in shape is simple.  Then again, the truth is always simple, isn’t it?




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