Exercise, Fitness, and Weight Loss Myths You Probably Believe

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exercise and fitness myths genetics MYTH #4: FITNESS "RULES" APPLY TO EVERYONE If you hire a personal trainer who speaks only in absolutes, he's A) probably a Sith, and B) bullshitting you. Peoples' bodies react to stimuli differently. So it might take you longer to lose weight or gain muscle than, say, a younger and healthier you. The same applies to "bad" exercises. You might have heard that barbell squats turn your knees to sawdust. And upright rows turn your rotator cuff into hamburger meat. And that deadlifts kill baby seals … and your lower back. (Actually, the baby seals thing is true.) Forget the "rules." Listen to your body. If you detect pain during a specific movement, proceed with caution and address mobility. If you don't, you just wrote your own rule.   MYTH #5: MACHINES ARE MORE EFFECTIVE THAN FREE WEIGHTS Free weights are better for functionality since they're less restricted than machines. However, machines have a place for targeting certain body parts or weaknesses. But without actually squatting, bending, or twerking twisting, you are missing the meat and potatoes for the crème brulee. Since you have to move to complete daily tasks — picking up groceries, tying your shoes, flipping manhole covers — doing something like a bodyweight squat or lunge is going to have better carryover for body movement than a couple sets on the thigh spreader machine.     MYTH #6: MUSCLE TURNS INTO FAT Does your skin turn into bone? Do your fingernails become intestines? Probably not. And that's because two different types of cellular tissue cannot pull an Optimus Prime and transform into something else. Muscle and fat can only be gained or lost. As you age, you're losing more lean mass and gaining more fatty tissue. No David Blaine magic here, just a sad truth.   NEXT PAGE: LIFTING HEAVY = LESS FLEXIBILITY