Fitness - Truth or Myth #1
So in this crazy world we currently live in we need a bit of clarity around some things, AHW thought we'd start by adding some details around Truth or Myth when it comes to fitness training!!
Keep your eyes peeled as more will follow in the coming weeks!!
Abdominal crunches will give you a six-pack
Core work, including abdominal crunches, is a highly effective method for increasing muscular endurance, strength, spine stabilisation and posture. However, countless abdominal crunches will not necessarily reveal the “six-pack” look. Obtaining that chiselled midsection takes more than perpetual toe touches. To flatten the stomach, one must work to achieve a favourable change in body composition (reduce fat and build muscle). This is accomplished through a strategic combination of cardiovascular activity, resistance and core training (to increase resting metabolic rate and strength), which are all supported by healthy and balanced eating habits.
If women weightlift, they will get “bulky”
Nothing could be further from the truth. Women can and should lift weights (heavy ones) without the fear of becoming anything more than healthy, toned and strong. Note that these characteristics are not synonymous with “bulky.” One of the fundamental ingredients for muscle growth is testosterone, which is a hormone found in high concentrations in men, but not so much in women (women do have testosterone, but not in the levels present in men). While some females are predisposed to developing significant muscle tone and size, this is not the case for all. Women lack the chemical make-up required to “bulk up” without extreme training volumes, strict dieting habits and possible supplementation. Fortunately, more and more women are getting the message and dropping the light weights.
There is a simple equation to achieving the lean, toned look.
Build (some) muscle + Lose Fat = Tone!
Remember, if you are only focusing on reducing the number on the scale, you will often lose water and muscle weight. This leaves you weighing less but still flabby, or ‘ skinny fat’.
If resistance training stops, muscle will turn to fat
The first thing you need to know is lean tissue (muscle) and non-lean tissue (adipose/fat) are entirely separate materials with different biochemical structures, metabolic rates and functions. If an individual (this is true for men and women) stops lifting weights and adopts a sedentary lifestyle, lean tissue will atrophy (weaken) and reduce in size. Muscle will not and cannot turn to fat. However, the resting metabolic rate will slow as a result of decreased muscle mass, because muscle tissue is more metabolically active than fat tissue.