Nowadays it's easier than ever to find the information you need to accomplish your fitness goals. There are many advantages to this, but if you do enough research you will invariably run into a lot of conflicting material.
It can be frustrating at first, but the truth usually comes out with a little effort. Here I'll enlighten you about three common issues here about pertaining to your fitness goals!
Myth 1: Women Shouldn't Lift Heavy Weights
Next time you walk in the gym, take a look at the ellipticals, treadmills, and stationary bikes. Most of the time, this area is dominated by women who spend their entire session at the gym on these machines.
Of course I am generalizing, and this is not always the case, but I rarely see women utilizing barbells or challenging themselves in the free weight area because of numerous false precepts regarding fitness. Unfortunately, many women believe that lifting weights and hitting heavy compound movements will drastically alter their feminine shape by making them "bulky".
The fact is that lifting hard will only enhance a woman's shape because that is exactly what free weights are intended to do. Women simply do not have the levels of testosterone present in their body to illicit enormous muscle gains.
Moreover, most men who are in the gym purely for the sake of "getting huge" find that every ounce of muscle they gain is a struggle. Done naturally, gaining muscle is just not as easy as most people think.
You cannot shape your body by doing hours of cardio or throwing around tiny weights week in and week out. If more women focused on relatively heavy weight lifting, they would be astonished by what it could do for their appearance and mindset.
Studies from the American Psychological Association indicate that women are twice as likely to be diagnosed for depression and manifest ominous symptoms. However, researchers from the American College of Sports Medicine found that intense weight lifting decreased symptoms of depression dramatically and that effect was not dependent on aerobic response.
Lifting weights can increase confidence in anyone, but among women the potential effects are even more potent due to the importance our society places on body image and appearance.
I've noticed that girls who do spend their time at the gym doing squats, deadlifts, leg presses, shoulder presses, barbell rows, etc. do not look the least bit "manly" but they do exude boldness and a venerable, lean feminine figure. In reality, they stand out in the crowd since many women around them think they should only be doing cardio or lifting very light weights to "tone up".
In short, this form of exercise will not create a lasting effect inwardly or cosmetically. Heavy compound movements could benefit women since they increase the metabolic rate substantially, creating a greater capacity to burn fat. Most women will never see the type of results they could be enjoying due to the minimal metabolic effects of cardio.
Both forms of exercise burn calories, but only weight lifting builds muscle to create an overall leaner, attractive feminine physique. Don't get caught up in the status-quo of woman's fitness, lift hard and heavy to really stand out amongst the cardio queens!
Myth 2: BMI Is The Best Measure Of Health And Fitness
At this day in age, you can find multiple methods for determining the healthy weight of a person. BMI (Body Mass Index) can be looked at a few different ways. There are some people who say that BMI is one of the most accurate ways to gauge a person's vitality when having too much fat translates into an unhealthy lifestyle.
BMI is the only accurate way of determining future health problems quickly and easily without expensive equipment. Some problems that have surfaced about BMI have been that a person's BMI doesn't take lean muscle mass measurements compared to fat, and athletes are subject to having higher BMI for multiple reasons.
BMI is a measure which takes into account a person's weight and height to make up total body fat in adults. A number is then given, and the BMI of the individual determines whether or not they are at a healthy weight. For example, someone with a BMI of 26 to 27 is about 20 percent overweight, which is normally believed to carry some health risks. A BMI of 30 and higher is considered obese.
This means that the higher the BMI of the person, the greater the risk of developing additional health problems. Measuring the BMI of a person is one of the best ways to determine if a person is at risk of heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure, and all are linked to being overweight. That is why they claim that BMI is the best way to determine if an individual is at a healthy weight.
The BMI is meant to put people in populations for statistics only. The BMI accuracy in relation to actual levels of body fat is easily distorted by factors such as fitness level, muscle mass, bone structure, gender, and ethnicity. As a general rule, developed muscle contributes more to weight than fat and the BMI does not look for this. Therefore a person with more muscle mass such as a bodybuilder will seem to be overweight.
There is another issue with athletes who run marathons, or endurance athletes. They have to be light, and usually have low body fat for their sports. However, they would be classified as severely underweight. Another issue is that dedicated athletes often know exactly what their actual height and weight are, and other people who don't measure themselves regularly tend to over-estimate their height, and under-estimate their weight.
The BMI standards, as something the general public can use doesn't take this tendency into account. This will cause athletes to have a higher BMI than a normal person of the same height and weight.
Body Mass Index can be an effective method for people to determine if they are overweight and at risk for health problems. It is also quick and inexpensive, but it doesn't look at athletes with high muscle mass.
The density of muscle is greater than fat, which can lead to inaccurate results. The knowledge of athletes about their bodies and the lack of knowledge of non-athletes can cause differences between the two groups. BMI can be a reasonable tool for calculating health, but it is important to know there are other factors to determine healthy body weight.
Myth 3: Eating Before Bed Will Make You Fat
There has been lots of talk lately about eating meals later in the day, and how they have a greater potential to cause excess weight. The common claim that eating calories at night will cause fat gain can be looked at a couple of ways.
Some sources will claim that as long as you don't over eat throughout the day, it is okay to eat a meal late at night and it will have a positive effect on your physique. The time of the day doesn't matter, because the overall calories make the difference.
Some sources also say that eating a snack before bed can actually help you sleep better and be beneficial. The other side also makes a strong argument and they claim that your metabolism slows down at night, and added calories are much more likely be stored as fat.
They additionally say that college kids who gain weight have tight schedules and most of their eating takes place at night. These two sources have a multitude of information for examining the issues related to night time feedings.
A Columbia University online health site deals with many different issues regarding health claims and myths. One of the main points they make about taking in calories late at night involves the time after which the body is most apt to store fat. For example, if you eat the same exact meal at 6 PM or at 10 PM, it doesn't matter because each meal has the same number of calories.
What really matters is the total amount of food and drink you have over the course of a week, month, or longer, and ultimately how much energy you put out in that certain time period. This means that extra calories will be stored as fat over time, regardless of whether they are taken in during the day or night.
They go on to say that eating a small snack like cottage cheese and oats can help you sleep. This is because even though you are sleeping your body is still expending energy, so your body will still efficiently utilize the calories during sleep.
There are various sources that have stirred up the general public about the harmful effects of eating calories late at night. These ideas deal specifically with college students. They say that eating meals between 8 PM and 4 AM is a major reason for weight gain in this particular age group.
Studies from the European Eating Disorders Review found out that in a twelve week assessment of college students' eating habits, their total energy consumption did not influence weight gain as much as their late-night energy intake.
People who have unique schedules that cause them to eat later in the day usually are hungrier at that time because their body has adapted to the schedule. Their metabolism slows down because they haven't had food to digest throughout the day; therefore they are subject to consuming extra calories at night which will definitely cause weight gain.
The claim that eating most of your calories at night will invariably lead to weight gain has confused the public due to the conflicting results from studies and research. It makes sense that as long as you eat within your needs during the daytime, you shouldn't need to worry about what time you have to eat your last meal because your body never stops utilizing calories.
If the portions you eat at night are out of control, then there is a good chance that you will gain weight because your metabolic rate slows down and there isn't a substantial need for extra energy. It is crucial to keep a record of what you eat and to look at the total amount of calories consumed, because that will be the determining factor in gaining fat, not the time of day!
The amount of information available to you is incredible. That is why it's crucial to take a closer look at what you come across and make sure it makes sense to you!
- Cureton, K. J., Collins, M. A., Hill, D. W., & MCELHANNON, F. M. (1988). Muscle hypertrophy in men and women. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 20(4). Retrieved from American College of Sports Medicine.
- Davis, J. L. (n.d.). Medicine Net. Retrieved January 16, 2010, from http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=52445
- De Zwaan, M., Burgard, M. A., Schenk, C. H., & Mitchell, J. E. (2003). Night time eating: a review of the literature. European Eating Disorders Review, 11(1), 7-24. Retrieved from Ingenta Connect.
- Doyne, E. J., Ossip-Klein, D. J., Bowman, E. D., Osborn, K. M., Neimeyer, R. A., & McDougall-Wilson, L. B. (1987). Running versus weight lifting in the treatment of depression. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 55, 748-754. Retrieved from American Psychological Association.
- Must, A., Dallal, G. E., & Dietze, W. H. (2004, February 4). American Society for Clinical Nutrition. Retrieved from http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=5107049