Top 8 Myths about Fitness Programs

Myth #1: You need cardio to lose weight

Strength training is the most effective way to lose weight.  Now, taken head to head, cardio probably burns more calories during a workout than even the most intense strength training, but the real benefit of strength training happens after the workout. For about 48 hours after each session, your metabolic rate remains elevated as your body builds and replaces lean muscle tissue. Now for the triple burn that no amount of cardio can provide: for every pound of lean muscle tissue you build through strength training, you speed your metabolism by 35 to 50 calories a day.

Myth #2: You need cardio to stay healthy

Strength training provides a much bigger health gain for your exercise buck. Here’s why. Stronger muscles take up and burn blood sugar more readily, reducing your risk of diabetes and stabilizing blood sugar levels 24-7. Cardio? It helps too, but only in the 24 hours after a session.

A 10 week study of 32 depressed seniors completed by Harvard researchers determined that three weekly strength training sessions significantly reduced depression, improved quality of life, social function, and even reduced sensations of pain.

Myth #3: A complete fitness program includes daily stretching

Yes, daily stretching can lengthen muscles, giving you more range of motion around a joint, but so can strength training, and you need to strength train much less often to get the same effect. In a Greek study of 32 seniors, strength training increased sit and reach flexibility (basically hamstring and back flexibility) as well as range of motion at the elbow, knee, shoulder and hip joints. A separate Greek study of 58 seniors found similar results, showing that the more intense the strength training program, the more flexible the study participants became.

Forget all the machines, all you need is a floor and a wall.

Myth #4: Women Need Light Resistance and Lots of Reps

High rep weight training can result in only two outcomes: If the weights are too light, it does nothing at all. If the weights are heavy enough to do anything, it makes you look like the  “Michelin Man”.

Myth #5: You Must Workout for 45 Minutes or Longer to Get Results

One rep is better than 12, and that one set is better than three. My shortest workout takes just 3 minutes to complete, but it gets you just as strong as that 90 minute workout. If you do a traditional weight lifting workout, you’ll do about 10 reps per exercise, spending about 15 seconds per set. You’ll do 12 different exercises, 3 sets of 10 reps each. That adds up to 36 sets. Between each set, you must rest and recover, usually for about 2 minutes. Do the math and you will find, as I have, that 36 sets will take about 90 minutes, but your muscles will actually be working only about 540 seconds, or about 9 minutes. That’s a lot of wasted time.

Myth #6: You Need to Fail to Succeed

Numerous studies show that 90 percent of dieters who do not exercise typically regain everything they lose within several months after they stop dieting. When you lose weight by dieting alone, about one-quarter of the weight you lose comes from muscle protein and not from your fat tissue. This slows your metabolism, increasing the likelihood that you’ll regain the weight. The National Weight Control Registry—the largest study of individuals who have successfully lost a lot of weight and kept it off long-term—has determined that regular exercise is the only solution for lasting weight loss.

Myth #7: You Need to do the Entire Nautilus Circuit to Get Results

Most gym workouts include 10 to 12 different exercises. That’s why so many people at the gym carry little pieces of paper around with them. They need to write down their workouts because they can’t remember all of the exercises. Research shows that the human brain can only retain about seven pieces of information at a time. That’s one reason why none of my workouts contain more than seven exercises.

My shortest workout includes just two. Most of my 90 Second exercises are big exercises. They require you to do special “compound” movements that stimulate more muscles throughout your body (in your abs, back, arms, and legs). The plank, for example, works your arms, chest, abdominals, back, legs, glutes, calves, toes, hands, wrists, and neck. The wall sit targets your legs, butt, abdominals, and low back. These two exercises work everything from your toes to your ears.

Myth #8: You Need to Train a Lot to Stay Healthy

If your muscles don’t burn it for energy, then it’s going to get converted to fat and come to
rest inside of a fat cell.  Even with strength training, most people think they need to do more than they really need. Depending on which of my strength training programs you use, you will work out as often as 5 days a week or as infrequently as once a week. That’s right. You didn’t read that wrong. I said once a week.

Research conducted by the Research and Sports Medicine Center, Government of Navarra, Spain has found that once weekly strength training along with once weekly cardio is just as effective at building strength as twice weekly strength training and endurance as twice weekly cardio. You can indeed go just as far by doing half as much.

(excerpts from The 90 Second Fitness Solution)