Get Fit Myths

Head Trainer at The Laboratory, Marlon, busts some exercise myths, getting us in the mood to hit the gym for a happy and healthy start to 2017!

Take a look below at some exercise myths circulating around the gym that The Laboratory's Head Trainer Marlon helps us get to the bottom of...

Myth: Doing Lots of Cardio Vascular (CV) exercise is the only way to burn fat.

While doing CV exercise can expend Kcals it also can also turn the body ‘catabolic’ where it will break tissue, including muscle tissue, down. In the long term this can slow your metabolism making it harder to lose fat and easier for you to store it! You need to keep your metabolism high to be able to expend Kcals at a higher rate where possible. So even more reason for females to do effective weight training as muscle tissue is your best ally for fat loss!

Myth: Long Low intensity CV is better for burning fat.

The standard guidelines for Fat Burning states that when you exercise at 60-65% of your Maximum Heart Rate your preferred source of fuel that will be burned is fat. This is very much an over simplification when it comes to fitting exercise into your busy lifestyle - who has the time to train 5-7 times per week for an hour or more!? When you perform ‘Intervals’ (a brief period of higher intensity followed by a brief recovery) it has been shown to significantly increase Kcal expenditure both during and up to six hours after you finish exercising. Even better, these benefits can be had with relatively short periods of effort (12-15mins).

Myth: Doing lots of sit-ups will give you a 6-pack

This myth has been with us for decades now and there is no direct evidence for ‘spot reduction’ on the fat tissue itself with a sit-up type exercise. The traditional sit-up works a relatively small amount of muscle which does not significantly increase Kcal expenditure or increase your muscle activity. So why do them? If you wish to increase abdominal strength or functionality then fine, however for reducing the fat around your middle there is a better use of your time and effort. We liberate our fat from all over the body providing we eat and exercise right!

Myth: Performing lots of reps with a light weight will tone you up

Usually by the word ‘tone’ we mean firmer/ tighter and a more defined physique. This is about decreasing your body fat and increasing your muscle tissue activity. Not necessarily making your muscles bigger just more active!
Lifting a load for 12 or more reps primarily will result in increased muscle endurance - great if you want to be able to run for longer or light a weight at a higher rep. However if you wish to increase your metabolism to support fat loss it’s not the best way. Lifting a heavier load that allows you to lift for 8-12 reps will have a significant impact on metabolism with the benefit of helping you burn Kcals outside of the gym. Also occasionally lifting heavier loads (6-8 reps) are of equal benefit and their impact on your nervous system to drive your metabolism upwards!

Myth: Lifting weights will make me look bulky

The short answer is… No - even more so for women. There are a number of variables involved in building muscle mass, none of which occur by fluke, having the right genetics and in particular the right amount of testosterone are big factors.
So, what are the benefits of lifting weights?
Studies show that lifting weights, or any other type of resistance based exercise, is an effective way of achieving the ever elusive ‘toned’ body.
A key outcome from lifting weights is the impact it can have on raising your resting metabolic rate (BMR) which will equate to being able to burn more Kcals throughout your day - in other words you become much more efficient at burning Fat!

More than just a gym, The Laboratory Spa & Health Club in Mill Hill is an elegant, tranquil space to workout and relax in.

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