Whether you’re looking to lose 10-15 pounds of fat or add 10-15 pounds of lean muscle mass, it’s important to first face some of the biggest lies / myths in the fitness industry. Otherwise, you may end up wasting your precious time and could even harm your health in the long run.

For starters, the myth / belief that muscle turns to fat is totally wrong.

Myth 1:

Muscle never turns to fat.

They are two totally separate types of tissue. Just as your heart is different from your liver and you wouldn’t worry that it could turn into your liver, your muscle cannot turn into fat. It would be like watching an apple turn orange before your eyes. It will not happen.

So what happens to someone who was once very muscular and fit but stops exercising? If muscle doesn’t turn to fat as many believe, then why does your once fit and lean body now appear fat, flabby, and unhealthy?

The reality is much worse than getting fat. Muscle is not turning to fat, it is being lost. It is literally wasted.

Because the body uses a lot of energy to maintain lean muscle mass (which is why having more muscle is great for preventing fat accumulation), when the body thinks it no longer needs to maintain muscle mass, it eliminates it. Any muscle mass that is not being stressed (used) begins to catabolize (break down).

Muscles shrink from lack of use and fat pockets grow. Soon, what was once an attractive, slim and fit body now looks flabby and plump. It’s that easy.

Because muscle burns more calories than fat, whenever exercise habits change or slow down, dietary changes must be followed. If diets are not adjusted to align with a less active lifestyle, if food intake remains the same but total calorie expenditure decreases, guess what? Surplus excess calories (which are no longer burned through activity) are converted to body fat.

It’s pretty simple science: When you exercise less, you burn fewer calories, and therefore should eat less.

The good news is that it only takes about 60 minutes of strength training weekly at the gym (or your preferred strength training workout) to maintain muscle once it has developed. It takes much less effort to maintain muscle once it is built than it does to build it in the first place.

Myth 2:

Exercising daily is optimal. Incorrect.

Many people believe that if they fail to see the progress they are looking for, it is because they are not training enough (or for long enough) that they immediately start to force their body harder, which is the exact opposite of what they should. be happening.

Every time you train your muscles hard (in the gym or elsewhere), you are creating micro-damage to the muscle tissue and it takes time for it to rebuild itself to support the same level of force once again. If the time and energy to do this is not provided, the muscles will not get stronger and can actually cause the loss of valuable muscle mass.

Reality: When actively exercising, the body requires and needs days of rest in a well-planned protocol to allow time to become stronger than it was before. Ideally, allow one day off a week, if not two. But, even that is not hard science. Some people require more. In fact, three or four days off for beginners or those who do intense training is nothing unusual.

Remember, as you increase the intensity of your workouts, the total rest needed to recover from that workout will also increase.

It is very important to recognize when it is time to work harder and when it is time to rest. Understanding the difference and giving your body exactly what it needs is what gets you there.

Honor your training, but balance it with rest.

Myth 3:

Cardio is a great way to lose weight – False.

Cardio – (referring to steady state cardio sessions) – the workouts people dread but do every day after hitting the gym. Jump on a cardio equipment and advance at a pace for 20 to 60 minutes.

These workouts do very little for anyone. What these prolonged cardiovascular workouts do is increase our appetite, causing us to eat more. In fact, many people who are classic “cardio bunnies” report ravenous appetites that just don’t go away.

Cardio training can even lead to loss of lean muscle mass. When the body knows to go for long periods of time at a moderate intensity pace, it does what it can to be more efficient. Since maintaining muscle tissue requires a lot of energy, it is better for your body if you have less.

Combine this with the fact that many are on a low calorie diet while doing cardio and now you have a body ready and willing to lose lean muscle. Therefore, you are not actually losing fat in the process, but rather lean muscle.

The body may appear smaller after months of cardio due to weight loss, but unfortunately it is due to an unhealthy change in body composition. The body now contains more fat mass in proportion to lean muscle mass and the result is not pleasant. The look is smooth, wavy, and anything but fit.

If you’re looking to build a fit, lean, and firm body, cardio is not the way to go. Strength training is the only thing empowered to reverse unhealthy muscle loss.

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