2020 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 the most popular exercise 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 exercise myth is BUSTED. 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.

When people lift weights regulary, they muscles grow and need more energy. So when you stop lifting weights, the muscles don’t burn as much fat, therefore you store it rather than burn it. As less Kjs are being burnt, weight will be gained through the production of fat.

The muscles themselves are still there but the person has more overall body fat percentage. To find out more about strength training, check out blog on strength training.

SQUATS ARE BAD FOR MY KNEES

Oh wow, what a statement and another exercise myth BUSTED! 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. 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. This exercise strengthens up your legs and hips, which makes your knees more stable, taking the pressure off your knees, and therefore reducing pain.

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. As with their male counterparts, when women lift weights, they will improve their body composition, strength, and movement efficiently (and potentially stop the pain). 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.

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. There are numerous studies out there that contradict this saying and state that deadlifts. When done correctly and appropriately through the rehabilitation process, deadlifts very good for back pain and should be encouraged.

Deadlifts are encouraged because they involve 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 pick up children’s toys? 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. It is important though at some point, in your rehabilitation or strength training, to be doing some form of ‘Hip Hinge’ exercise to improve your strength and protect your back from future injury. For further information on strength training check our or blog.

IF I DO SITUPS I WILL LOSE WEIGHT FROM MY STOMACH

The last exercise 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. Unfortunately 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. Then, in time, this 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.

Bennett Tucker is an Accredited Exercise Physiologist and Level Two Strength Coach. He has been in the industry for 7 years and worked with a variety of professional athletes. Bennett specialises in athlete rehabilitation and lower back, knee and hip pain. His clinic is located in Croydon, Victoria.