2019 is in the era of social media, making it easy to put things on the internet and share things amongst your friends and colleagues. Here at Tucker Strength and Performance, we have heard a lot of different things from our clients in regards to exercise. Some of it is real and some of it is just made up nonsense. In this blog, I’m going to be talking about 5 of the most popular myths that we have heard our clients say.

MUSCLE TURNS TO FAT

This is in regards to strength training and muscle mass. There is a misconception out there amongst many people that if you stop lifting weights after many years, your muscles will suddenly turn to fat. This is in fact not correct. Physiologically, fat and muscle are 2 totally different things. What happens when a person stops lifting weights is that their muscle becomes less defined, giving the illusion that they are fat. As well as this, when a person lifts weights regularly, they require lots of kilojoules (Kj) in order to maintain this size and muscle mass, due to the fact that muscle is a high Kj burning tissue. This causes a person to be used to eating a certain amount of Kj of the day, but if they are not burning them off with muscle, they go in to calorie surplus. As they are burning less Kj’s than they are ingesting, this leads to weight gain, in the form of fat. The muscles themselves are still there but the person has more overall body fat percentage.

2. SQUATS ARE BAD FOR MY KNEES

Oh wow, what a statement! Let’s get one thing straight, squats are NOT bad for your knees if done correctly. A lot of people I see have been told to stop squatting as it hurts their knees, and I get this, you don’t always want to do a movement that is causing pain. However, getting up out of a chair or off the toilet, is also a squatting pattern so how come they are not told to stop doing that? When people get sore knees with squatting there is usually a muscle imbalance/weakness somewhere, potentially causing a misalignment of structures. There are numerous studies out there to show that squatting, or a variation thereof, is actually good for your knees as it strengthens up your legs and hips, which makes your knees more stable, taking the pressure off your knees, and therefore reducing pain.

3. WOMEN GET TOO BULKY WHEN LIFTING HEAVY WEIGHTS

This one really gets to me! Women who lift weights DO NOT get too bulky unless taken to the absolute extreme and supplements are used. Generally though, lifting weights is essential for losing weight and burning those extra kilojoules, so is actually very beneficial for women and is definitely recommended! As with their male counterparts, when women lift weights, they will improve their body composition, strength, and movement efficiently (and potentially stop the pain) and in the case of women who participate in sport, they will become faster, stronger and more robust athletes. Put simply, the stronger a person is the less likely they are to be in pain and the better at a sport they will perform. The reason men become bulkier and have a larger amount of muscle mass than women is that they have a larger amount of the hormone testosterone.

4. I CAN’T DEADLIFT, I WILL HURT MY BACK AGAIN

Oh, this gets on my nerves. I have clients who have come to me and have been told they are not allowed to complete the ‘deadlift’ exercise as it will be bad for their back and they will be in pain. There are numerous studies out there that contradict this saying and state that deadlifts, when done correctly and appropriately through the rehabilitation process, are very good for back pain and should be encouraged. They are encouraged mainly due to the fact that involves a very functional human skill that we do every day, the ‘hip hinge’. Think about picking up something from the floor or even bending over properly to mop the floor or do the vacuuming? With both of these tasks, we have to push our hips back in order to use our legs to support ourselves rather than using our back. Don’t get me wrong, not everyone should start with deadlifting heavyweight from the floor, but at some point, in your rehabilitation or strength training, you should be doing some form of ‘Hip Hinge’ exercise to improve your strength and protect your back from future injury.

5. IF I DO SITUPS I WILL LOSE WEIGHT FROM MY STOMACH

The last myth of this post is probably the one that most people have said. I mean, who doesn’t want to lose weight from their mid-section so they can fit into their clothes better, giving themselves more confidence? Unfortunately, it just isn’t as easy as doing sit-ups. In the fitness/ exercise physiology world, we call this ‘sport reducing’. Our bodies are complex and everyone is different, meaning that there isn’t a quick fix to a problem. Sorry guys, the only way to lose weight from our stomachs is to eat fewer kilojoules than we burn, allowing our bodies to burn fat. Genetically, we will lose weight from wherever the body wants to, and more than likely our stomach will be the last place it goes from. Being vigilant with exercise and following a strict diet, will go a long way to reducing our overall body weight, which, in time, will reduce the centimetres around your waist.

**All new exercise programs/routines should be created after an initial consultation with an Exercise Physiologist. For any more information on any of the myths spoken about today or if you have any other Exercise relates questions, feel free to give us a call in the clinic on 0419 159 903, email us at contact@tuckerstrengthperformance.com.au or follow our Facebook page.

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