Common Fitness Myths Debunked

IFBB Pro Patrice Vignola debunks some of the most widespread fitness myths that keep you from reaching your goals.

February 12, 2013
Common Fitness Myths Debunked

One of the gym members approached me last week while I was at the gym training. She said wanted to speak with me sometime in the future about starting a training program. Of course, I told her that was great and that I would love to work with her. Although I felt she shouldn’t “put off” her health, I didn’t want to push her without knowing her reasons for waiting. But she proceeded to explain that she first wanted to lose some of the weight she had put on over the years, and then she would be in touch to set up a schedule. If I had a penny for every person who has come to me with that same statement—I would be one rich lady! Needless to say, at that point I felt much more comfortable telling her there was no need to wait; she needed to get started now!

Many women assume that they need to lose the weight first, and then start to workout. I think it’s because most fear the age-old myth that fat will turn to muscle, or vice versa that the muscle they build will turn to fat if they stop training. This is so far from the truth and the reason is simple: body fat and muscle are made up of completely different cell structures and cannot be converted to each other. However, you can decrease body fat while increasing lean muscle mass. And in doing so, you become a fat-burning machine! How, you ask? It starts with a sound weight-training program. Increasing your lean muscle through weight training boosts the amount of calories your body burns in order to maintain this muscle.

Another myth most women are fearful of is, that they will gain weight if I start lifting. You may in fact see the scale go up as you build muscle, because it’s more dense than fat. But here’s where the myth-crushing truth comes in: A 130-pound person who carries more muscle will appear much leaner than someone who weighs the same but carries more body fat. So yes, the scale may show an increase in bodyweight, but the mirror will reflect a leaner, tighter, toned you. When most people see me, they couldn’t imagine that I could weigh anymore than 100 pounds. Truth is, I weigh 125 pounds in the offseason. The more lean muscle mass you carry, the more fat and calories you burn, even at rest.

Another point to remember. No matter who tells you otherwise, you can’t out train a bad diet. It is important to fuel your body with clean, healthy foods so your body can thrive. With dedication, consistency, determination and a sound weight-training program, you will be well on your way to achieving all of your physique goals.

Train Hard, Live Healthy & Enjoy Life,

Patrice Vignola
IFBB PRO
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