There are many myths regarding both resistance or weight training and cardio in all of its forms, I will attempt to dismantle a few of these for you today.
1. Resistance training is dangerous: exercises such as the dead lift and squat are regularly seen to be dangerous, and if done incorrectly this can be true. If though they are done correctly (which is something everyone can achieve) they are two of the most effective resistance exercises going around. Hire a personal trainer to teach you correct technique, and you’ll find yourself losing weight, getting stronger and decreasing your chance of injury in no time.
2. Females: Resistance training will give you big muscles and make you bulky – Resistance training can give you big muscles but a few sessions a week is nowhere near enough to have that sort of an impact. Bodybuilders who have this physique train everyday and follow very regimented eating plans.
Testosterone is the primary hormone for muscle growth and as females generally have very little testosterone and for this reason they tend not to grow muscle like males do.
3. I want to lose weight... better get on the treadmill – The most effective way to lose weight is through a combination of high intensity interval training and structured whole body resistance training. Your metabolism drives the amount of energy you expend at all times, if you exercise your metabolism increases. The more energy you burn, the more weight you burn.
Steady state cardio (treadmill) – increases your metabolism a moderate amount during your workout.
High intensity interval training – increases your metabolism a large amount for the duration of the session even though you spend some of your session resting. This is because when you are working you’re working much harder than on the treadmill.
4. I’ve done lots of exercise, now I can eat what I like.
The old saying you can’t exercise away a bad diet still holds very true. Exercise plays only a small role in weight loss, your basal metabolic rate – how much energy that is required to keep you functioning at rest – is a major factor and this is genetically determined, along with easily the most important factor of them all is what you eat! Weight loss in roughly 70% diet and 30% exercise, the most important thing is to eat a balanced diet of real low calorie food.
5. Very low carbohydrate diets for weight loss
For your body to metabolise (burn) fat you must have some carbs in your body. They are a required part of the process and without them you’re body will revert to using muscle glycogen as fuel and leaving the fat alone. This is the last thing we want and often results in becoming ‘skinny fat’, which I’m sure is the last thing anyone wants. In saying that carbohydrate that is not oxidised via our metabolism during exercise will be stored as excess weight, so a balance must be maintained.
While it can be east to read about what is the best ‘exercise’, realistically the best form of exercise is the one you enjoy! Whether that’s running, lifting weights, bike riding, curling or white water rafting, do what you enjoy and you’re far more likely to maintain it for longer. If you'd like to have a chat about this, get in with me, regards, Sam, firstname.lastname@example.org