Five Workout Myths Everyone Fails To Realize

    October 18, 2010 at 5:00 am

    Taylor Momsen working out

    There are a lot of myths out there when it comes to working out. Who are these clowns that spread this false information? Frankly, I’m tired of hearing them over and over. So, without further adieu, allow me to bust the top 5 workout myths…..

    Myth I hate #1: I’m afraid weight training will make me put on too much muscle and “bulk me up.”

    Lou Ferrigno working out

    This is something that usually worries women, at least I don’t know many men that fear putting on too much muscle. “Oh, no, I want to keep this pear shape I’ve got going for my body with twigs for arms.” Yeah, not that common. First off, muscle hypertrophy (getting bigger muscles) is very difficult for women since they don’t have testes to produce testosterone, an androgen (male characteristics) anabolic hormone which is #1 in hormones when it comes to muscle-building. Men produce forty to sixty times more testosterone than women. So as a woman, your chances of getting big naturally (without taking steroids) are minimal coming from weight training. The “toned” and lean look that most strive for comes from having built some muscle on your frame. The more lean body mass (muscle tissue) you have the higher your metabolism gets (burning more fat doing nothing at all), so by missing out on the benefits of weight training you’ll most likely become even fatter or skinny-fat (skinny with no muscle tone, pretty much fat and bone). So, if you still want to keep on doing your treadmills/bikes and cardio burn classes without weight training, and continue your impossible mission for a lean and toned physique, go for it!

    Ok, so “bulking up” comes from bodybuilders and other athletes who during their off-season program eat excessive amounts of calories to keep their bodies in an anabolic state to gain as much muscle as possible. During this time, some go overboard and might put on an extra 50lbs, which, during this phase, will make them look fat. You will only get bulky if you eat excessive amounts, like 10,000 calories a day like they do. So, weight training and muscles are not to be blamed, it’s a bad diet that’s to blame for a “bulky” look.

    Myth I hate #2: Less calories makes you lose weight, so eating less will make me lose weight and get lean.

    Wourkout myths

    There is a difference between losing weight and losing fat. Too many get focused on numbers (“I have to weigh 140lbs or else!”) and end up doing drastic, stupid things to get there. You should only be obsessed with weight if you’re in a sport with weight classes. Like most humans, we seek instant gratification, and end up doing weird and really tough ”cleanses” and diets, or put on a plastic suit and sweat our asses off on the bike. These things will make us lose those 5 pounds in 2 suffering-and-hunger-filled weeks. We then go back to eating normally again and end up putting on weight again and being fatter than we were before our “brilliant” diet or “cleanse”. There are some stupid diets like the “Super Duper Cleanse” where you are only allowed to eat and drink something absurd like 3 liters of water, lemon, half almond and a dash of something random like spicy chipotle seasoning. When you do this your body is put into starvation mode and starts using energy systems like gluconeogenesis, which breaks down amino acids from the muscles to turn it into energy so your body can function. Once you’re done starving yourself and proud that you made it, you have lost some fat, but also lost a significant amount of muscle (lean body mass). So when you go back to a normal diet you will start putting on more weight (unwanted fat) do to a lowered metabolic rate which your muscle that you lost once helped boost up. As I said earlier you’ll end up fatter and have less muscle. Not smart. Short term, it’s an okay method, but long term, you screwed yourself.

    Myth I hate #3: I’m afraid that if I stop working out my muscles will turn into fat.

    Wourkout myths

    Fat chance… Muscle can’t be converted to fat. If you stop working out, your muscle will atrophy (lose size, if you don’t use it, you lose it) bringing your metabolism down, and if you continue to eat like you did while you were working out without burning those calories like you were before, you will get fat. It’s not because your muscles became fat, it’s because you got fat. So with this myth, does everything else become fat too if I don’t use it, like my bones or my wiener? Stupid.

    Myth I hate #4: Running a mile will burn more than walking a mile.

    Wourkout myths

    When it comes to calorie-burning, in this case, it’s the distance, not how fast you run, that determines the amount of calories you burn. You’ll burn the same amount running a mile as just walking a mile. Sure, your heart will have to work at a higher heart rate for awhile when you run, which is good for heart health, but if your goal is calorie loss, it doesn’t matter which one you do.

    When it comes to losing fat, I would pick the latter, walking. It takes longer which is good for fat burn because it takes about 20min or so for your body to start utilizing your fat as an energy source and the lower heart rates allow your body to use energy systems that are more efficient when it comes to burning fat. Heart rates around 55-60% of your maximum heart rate (220-(your age)=maximum heart rate) for a period of at least 30min is optimal for just burning fat.

    Myth I hate #5: I need to get rid of this little “pouch” on my lower abs so I’ll do bunches of ab work for lower abs to get rid of it.

    Wourkout myths

    There are two things I would like to bust in this one. First, you can do abs ’til the cows come home and still not get washboard abs. Sure you’ll get strong abs, core strength is always good, but the “six-pack” will not appear by doing that. To get a visual six-pack you have to get rid of the subcutaneous fat, the fat underneath your skin on top of your muscles, to get that desired look. The trick isn’t a machine on a infomercial, the trick is to lose body fat. So diet and cardio is the key to a six-pack. Spot reduction is not possible either, so doing a lot of abs will not burn off the fat on your midsection.

    Second, there is no such thing as “working my lower abs”. The rectus abdominis, the outer layer of muscle in one’s abdomen, is the muscle people refer to as their “abs” or “six-pack”. This is one long muscle that starts at the pelvis (pubis or pubic bone) and attaches to the sternum (costal cartilage of ribs 5 to 7 and the xiphoid process). As with all muscles in the body, you can’t contract (“flex”) one part of a muscle and not engage the whole thing. So whatever you are doing for abs, you are hitting the whole thing. Genetics will determine the way your abs look, so you can’t change that 6 pack into a 8 pack, some people have 6, some have 8, it’s just the way it is.

    1. I totally agree. I’m the fittest person I know. I have a desk job like everyone else, but I run and lift weights, and I look great. I’m 42 and just had 3 babies , but you’d never guess by looking at me..thank u

    2. Dean says:

      I’ve researched health and physiology, specifically fat loss and muscle building off and on for about 6 years. In the beginning I heard a lot of things like “weight training burns more calories because after you’re done, you continue burning calories” which turned out to be true, but greatly exaggerated (the number of calories burned for the period after a rigorous weight lifting session was something insignificant like 12 per hour more than aerobic training. A lot of things I found were “true, but greatly exaggerated”.

      A lot of people seem to have an issue with #4. It’s false, sure, but that doesn’t really matter. Say you’re 175lbs and you run a mile in 6 minutes; you’ll burn more calories than if you had walked that mile in 20 minutes, but not *that* many more. I mean, sure, you may have burned relatively 20 – 30% more calories in that period of time. So, instead of burning 100 calories you burned 130. That’s great, but your metabolism has already burned 2200 calories all day just keeping you alive, warming you up, keeping your heart beating, breathing, etc. That extra 30 calories you burned will lose you an extra pound of fat in about 116 days of running versus walking. There is only a significant difference if you plan on running for a long time.

      I guess #2 is true for some people, but it’s not an absolute truth. I’ve read about certain thermogenic responses to consuming certain macronutrients. I read some study that claimed that protein, when converted to glucose, was only converted at about a rate of 80% versus carbohydrates, because it required a heat response from the body to metabolize that wasn’t present in the carbohydrate metabolic system. Or something like that, and I’m not saying it’s true or false, but other than that I’m pretty sure everything else I’ve ever heard has boiled down to “calories in vs. calories out”.

      It’s all “calories in vs. calories out”, eat less and you will lose fat. I’ll preface this by saying, starvation mode is greatly exaggerated (also, there’s only one study that has been done on it, to my knowledge, and it was done on people they had starved down to 5% body fat. Even under these conditions, the starvation response wasn’t as great as people would have you believe.) O.k… So the theory is, if we starve ourselves (which would be like eating… 500 calories a day? I can’t defend 0 calories, since you have to consume protein and essential fats or else your health really will deteriorate), then we will lose mostly muscle and binge our way back to being fatter than before. I’ve done a starvation diet, under very controlled circumstances where I meticulously planned out my diet and took proper measures to ease out of the starvation diet. I lost 15lbs in 3 weeks… and somehow, I kept it off. Well, I probably kept it off because I didn’t throw myself a “Mission accomplished” ice cream party. Also, I can say with relative certainty that it wasn’t “all muscle” either. I experienced a great reduction in strength during the course of this diet, but once I reintroduced carbohydrates, I was close to my previous strength (about 5% weaker than before). The diet I used is described in a book by Lyle McDonald called the “rapid fat loss handbook” and it consisted of eating 800 calories a day of pure protein with 1 – 2 “free” meals a week where you ate a sensible, normal, meal to keep your sanity. Also, this diet was not meant to be used for more than about 3 months at a time (3 months if you needed to lose a lot of weight, aka, morbid obesity). Afterwards, I slowly upped my calories back to normal, and since then I haven’t gained back that weight.

      So, starvation mode. They took some people who were in about normal BMI range for the time, probably 18 – 20% body fat, and starved them down to 5% body fat. Their metabolisms slowed down something like 40% during this time period. Well, that sucks, their metabolisms crashed, right? Sort of, they also lost a significant amount of weight during this time. Your weight has a very significant direct impact on your metabolic rate. (no, it doesn’t “really” matter that much if that weight is muscle or fat… the whole “muscle burns 50 calories a day per lb but fat doesn’t burn any” is another myth. Muscle burns something like 6 – 9 calories per lb a day, whereas fat burns about 2. So, if you have 100lbs of muscle, versus 100lbs of fat, you’re burning 400 – 700 calories more per day based on your body composition at a certain weight. Also, 100lbs of muscle is a LOT of skeletal muscle, think Arnold sized or slightly smaller) So, they got a lot smaller, and their metabolisms dropped by about 40%. Well, if they got about 40% smaller, then they’d be right on par. They didn’t get that much smaller, there was about a 10% “slowing” effect on their metabolism that could be attributed to a “starvation mode” or “adaptive metabolic response”. So, yes, there is a starvation mode response, but it only takes something like 3 days to enter it, and it’s never so great that you stop burning fat. You’ll lose a lot of muscle if you crash diet with carbohydrates, or purely fats, sure. But there are ways to crash diet and burn mostly fat. It requires nearly inhuman will power, causes wild mood swings (I yelled at a washing machine for being full of clothes), makes it hard to think straight for a while, and must be done very carefully, but it’s possible. When you lose weight, your metabolism will slow down and you will burn less calories, but that’s not starvation mode, that’s reduction of body size (mostly). To stay at this reduced size you’ll either have to burn off the excess calories, or start eating less.

      In conclusion, I’m not right but I’m not entirely wrong either. There are a lot of processes involved in metabolism, and no one *really* knows what is going on. It’s a magical black box where we do experiments with inputs, record the outputs, conjecture, and spread mostly exaggerated information. Fortunately, it doesn’t matter so much that we can’t speak generally about some things like “running burns the same amount of calories as walking” which may be false, but in the grand scheme of things, the difference is a drop in the bucket (for most people).

    3. burns says:

      This is an extremely poorly researched article. Most of the information stated in this article isn’t true or lacks a correct explanation for why it is true. Myth #4 is the worst offender in this case. Running a mile will most certainly burn more calories AND fat than walking a mile. Even if you disregard the muscle physiology behind the two exercises and the biochemistry of lipid catabolism, the increase in respiration rate and body temperature from running significantly alters the number of calories burned. The author of this article clearly has no expertise in this field.

      (My credentials: 4 years undergrad as a Physiology major, 4 years @ Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, 5 years Residency Training in Orthopedic Surgery)

    4. biomajor says:

      Walking a mile will not burn as much calories as running a mile. Unless you are comparing a fast walk with a slow run.

      Keep dreaming fatties.

    5. Steve says:

      I’m a kinesiology major with a concentration in exercise physiology and I think this article is pretty legit. It makes it simple for the general public to understand without going into all the science junk. Two thumbs way up!

    6. Sherlock says:

      Yes, everything except the running/walking a mile is correct. The more you work, the more calories you will burn…so running WILL make you loose more calories…hell sprinting a mile if you could would make you burn even more. Your body can just casually use its aerobic energy systems in walking and you wont burn nearly as much…otherwise every postman would look like an olympic long distance runner.

      • RandyR says:

        re: Heart Rate Zone myth – Yes, you will burn more fat with higher exertion, as long as you have oxygen. There’s a reason the higher exercise rate is called ANAEROBIC, it means non-aerobic, because your muscles run out of oxygen, so they can’t burn fat.

        Like Vincent says, the best way to do it is interval training. Do wind-sprints to get your heart rate up and metabolism up, then do moderate aerobic exercise to keep your body at the same metabolism rate, while letting your muscles get the oxygen they need need to burn fat efficiently. Do HIIT to keep you metabolism at the optimum. (HIIT won’t work for people that are out of shape though, you need to work up to that)

    7. Fredsy says:

      This is big big Business Network.

    8. Very cool! Can you do this long distance?

    9. VIncent says:

      The fact about running versus walking in a really simplified way is the same then driving a car fast , let me explain . When running you burn more calories but can substain the effort for a shorter period . The reason you burn more calories is that your body is in a greater state of effort but the ratio between the calories burned versus the effort made is different. When going at a slower rate you dont burn more calories but you burn more in relation to the effort you are making . If your capacities only allow you to run at high pace for 5 mins and you want to lose weight then you should consider going down in intensity but for a longer period of time as your body will burn more( on total ) on a substained effort then on a short burst . Personnally i prefer an interval training on which i do jogging for 2 min then a 1 min sprint for my cardio ( In my case i cant burn too much calories because my fat percentage goes between 5-8 %)

      ps :Sorry for the spelling errors english is not my main language

    10. Barret says:

      Steve is right on this one. All other 4 myths that the author covered are spot on. Myth 4 though, while well intentioned, is a little bit wrong. Running 1 mile and walking 1 mile will burn *approximately* the same number of calories, but running will burn more. For 150lb person it’s about 100cal vs. 110-120cal respectively.

      2nd point: while yes, lower intensity exercises (such as walking) do burn a higher PROPORTION of fat than higher intensity exercises, the total number of calories is the important thing to focus on. Sleeping basically burns 100% fat, and 0% carbs while an all out sprint basically burns 100% carbs, 0% fat. However, the overall calorie differences are hugely different. The key to losing fat through exercise is: exercise at the highest intensity that you can safely handle for the amount of time that you have available. If you have 3 hours? Go at a lower intensity for all 3 hours. If you have 30 minutes? Crank it up a few notches.

    11. Jesse says:

      You know it’s weird, this is hardly new information. We’ve heard all of this for years. And yet I STILL have clients who believe this stuff! Once I get them on my program and they actually start seeing results they quickly change their minds, but where is this crap information being propagated I wonder?

    12. leonx says:

      when we talk about weight loss, we should talk about changing our life style,,,, a friend of mine used to tell me that i should eat to live, not live to eat,,,, i didn’t think much of what does it mean then,, but now that i’ve changed my life style i know what he meant by that,,,,, in this era that we’re living, food became a goal for lots of us,,, our desire for food is not moved by our need for it any more, but by the multimedia and commercials that the food industry is feeding our brains with,,, and i believe (personal opinion) it’s the same for everything else,,,, what does fit and healthy means??? does it mean having more muscles to show, or just to be healthy fine (as in no access weight)?? i believe that our bodies adopt to our life style,,, so putting that in mind and not eating more than our need,,, will give us the healthy body that is meant for us,,,, as for what come to strength and from personal experience,,, bigger muscles doesn’t necessary means stronger, it’s about how efficient you can use what muscles you’ve got,,,, and i’m quite sure that lots of you had seen or experienced that,,,,, there is more to strength than just the muscles size.. we should learn how to use our bodies and understand it better,,, make our bodies a tool in our every day life,,, and from that sense i’ll say you can run a mile or walk a mile,, sure running will burn more than walking,,, just do what your body can and in time it will adopt and will be capable of doing more,,,, but what about making love (having sex) don’t you think that it will also burn calories,,, it will also,,,, it’s you life style,,, we should be more active, as some1 said here,, turn off your facebook and do more with your body,,, if you won’t use that body, you’ll get rusty in time 🙂

    13. Wrox says:

      Another factor is TIME. Running a mile takes a fraction of the time it takes to walk the same distance. The amount of energy required to move a mass from A to B is the same notwithstanding the forces of aerodynamics (which is negligible in this case). The runner has reached his/her peak burning rate far sooner and will be long into the resting state when the walker (of equal mass) is still burning calories on a more even plateau. Also, the body temperature does not increase “more”, remember, the human body must remain somewhat constant so the body responds by opening pores (sweat) and capillaries near the surface of the skin to regulate the body’s core temperature. Any abnormal deviation from norm, as most know, will result in unpleasant circumstances. The human body is very efficient so do not compare it to a car, which the forces of aerodynamics (and engine speed) play a major part.

      • Rick says:

        I’m really glad you mentioned this. That’s the piece everyone keeps leaving out. Yes, walking is more efficient than running. Running for the same amount of TIME will burn more calories than walking. But when you’re walking, you’re doing the more efficient exercise for a longer time period. I don’t know enough about exercise physiology to be specific, but, for example, if walking burns 1/3 the calories that running does, but you do it for 3x as long, the end result is the same. Some folks seem to like to oversimplify.

    14. Pete says:

      Eating less calories WILL make you lose weight.

      If you eat more calories than you use, you gain weight.
      If you eat less calories that you use, you lose weight.

      That’s a non debatable fact.

      Calories is indeed the deciding factor.

      All the other stuff, like doing exercise and eating healthy food are things that make it easier for you to eat less calories than you spend and getting the right nutrition and vitamins at the same time, so you feel good too. But in the end, what decides if you gained or lost weight is the amount of calories (energy).

      • Rick says:

        This is both correct and overly simple. What it fails to account for is that our metabolisms don’t run at a constant speed for a given activity. If you’re talking about cutting out the two twinkies a day or passing up the extra helping of pork chops with dinner, then you’re probably right in your statements.

        But if you’re talking about cutting a 2000 calorie diet down to 1100/day, the body will actually slow its metabolic rate in order to conserve energy. So you can very easily stall a good weight loss program by restricting calories too much. Plus, the weight you do lose when restricting calories too heavily will include a high proportion of lean mass, which we want to conserve when losing weight. I think that’s the point that myth #2 was trying to make.

    15. mikey says:

      most of these ‘myths’ are stuff only complete fucking retards would believe in.. but yea i hate stupid people, too.

      • Anonymouse says:

        Most of these “myths” are actually fact and the guy who wrote this article was completely wrong in denying them.
        You CAN flex differently parts of your muscle without flexing the whole thing.
        Running DOES make you lose more weight than walking.
        Dieting will make you lose fat. It is highly unlikely that the body will start using protein for energy before fat. This is only a risk on a high protein diet, or if you are anorexic and have very low fat levels.

    16. Mike says:

      “You’ll burn the same amount running a mile as just walking a mile”

      I completely disagree with this statement. Higher intensity during training will bring upon greater results.

    17. Adam says:

      You can still get a very toned body on a bicycle. Granted, if you only ride at a slow easy pace never varying speed or resistance you may not get very toned, but if you actually workout, like by doing intervals, you can work a vast array of muscles in your body. Look at the guys in the Tour de France, Andy Schleck is definitely toned. I know they do other workouts, but most time is spent on the bike doing intervals.

    18. saf says:

      wow honestly this is the most informative page i ever read, i have been going threw allot of bodybuilding and six pack videos and books but the truth is that they never give the truth, they
      want you to believe in lies and misconception that we all have about diet and exercise so they can sell their products.

      I have been working out for two years and still i didnt news much of the stuff that the writer explained. thanks allot.
      God bless you for this

    19. jin says:

      myth #2 is not a myth.

      most people are fat because they take in much more than they need to maintain weight equilibrium where they should be.

      the idea is not to go on crash diets but just eat as many calories as a person of X pounds needs to maintain X pounds. and if X pounds is lighter than where you’re at now, you’re going to start losing weight till you hit equilibrium.

      it is THAT EASY.

    20. Colin says:

      #4 is a tricky one. Running will burn more calories than walking, but walking will burn more calories of fat proportionately than running will.

      When running your body will use more carbs than fat for energy, when walking your body will use more fat than carbs.

      Best thing strictly for losing fat would be a light jog, which will burn more calories than walking, but still be burning mainly fat. This is in contrast to a harder run which will burn mostly carbs, since it cannot produce the energy needed from fat quick enough.

      *** Take this with a grain of salt, I only have some basic university kinesiology classes, no in depth training

    21. tyhtyhtyh says:

      You’re wrong, running is a less efficient form of moving and burns more calories per mile than walking.

    22. CM says:

      Number #4 is plain wrong! Running one mile WILL burn more than walking one mile

    23. This myth busting needs some myth busting in itself!

    24. Max says:

      People are getting fatter and fatter because everyone hates exercise. People do anything not to get tired!

      You invite friends over if you need to move furniture around and things like that! (specially women. It has happened to me more than once).

      If you get fiisical tasks in your life in a natural way, you’ll loose some weight and you won’t even know how! Sure you won’t get that model look just by doing so, but it’s a start.

      Don’t use your bodies only in the gym. Use them all the time. Use stairs, walk to your work/school, don’t call 911 if you need to change a tire (is that really too hard or you are being lazy?).

      Work, work, work! Give your bodies something to do!
      (turn off Facebook and get out! Please!).

    25. todd says:

      I managed a Gold’s about 20 yrs ago and my friends son is a personal trainer and these 5 myths are as current now as they were then.

      You can run this article every year/

    26. Areo says:

      #4 breaks the first law of thermodynamics. Faster=more energy; think of your car, its speed and the gas usage.

      • Dorian says:

        not quite, speed doesn’t necessarily mean more energy, a car going uphill at 10mph will use a lot more energy then a car going downhill at 20mph…

        It’s actually the amount of work you do that decides how much energy you use.
        running up stairs will burn more energy then sprinting across flat ground.

        Generally you are right though, with equal fields, faster short sprints are better than slower long runs. Think why basketball, soccer, hockey, and football players all do ‘sprints’ to do a warm up, sprint 20 yards, back and forth 5-10 times, GREAT workout.

    27. “When it comes to losing fat, I would pick the latter, walking. It takes longer which is good for fat burn because it takes about 20min or so for your body to start utilizing your fat as an energy source and the lower heart rates allow your body to use energy systems that are more efficient when it comes to burning fat. Heart rates around 55-60% of your maximum heart rate (220-(your age)=maximum heart rate) for a period of at least 30min is optimal for just burning fat.


      like everyone else said, running increases temperature, burns more fat (higher ratio of glycogen to ketones does not mean less ketones are burned), raises the RMR, saves time in the day for more calories burned, etc.
      It does not take 20 minutes or 30 seconds to start “utilizing fats”. fat is always being burned. the rate it gets used all depends on glycogen levels, leptin levels, cortisol levels, sex hormones, oxidation rates and a whole bunch of other things.

    28. TareX says:

      As a bariatric physician, I really hope people who write this stuff would show some credentials.

      As for Myth #4, if you want to lose weight through exercise, definitely DO NOT choose walking over running. Running (even in short bursts) will burn fat throughout the entire day (as a form of HIIT) as opposed to walking, which is good for your liver fat and lipid profile -but will hardly burn any fat.

      As a matter of fact, recent paper published showed that walking -in addition to not burning fat, increases the appetite, which may even lead to weight gain. So yeah, it’s not a myth: If you want to burn fat, run in short bursts, and don’t just walk.

    29. Talk about stating the obvious

    30. Rob says:

      Thanks but you are wrong about spot fat reduction: hormone strategies for weight loss demonstrate localised fate reduction. We know for instance that testosterone, androgen and HGF1 levels are influenced by weight training and high intensity interval training, we also know that eastrogen causes lateral adipose desposits, we also know that testosterone reduces the effect of eastrogen (counter balances the hormone levels) and thus reduces the deposit of adipose tissue (fat) laterally. Similarly, cortisol causes a propinquity for anterior adipose deposits, in which case some consideration for lifestyle and de-stressing, if you like, are helpful.
      Otherwise, a very good article.

    31. Excellent article in debunking the widely used myths. Very informative. You are so right, diet and cardio reduces bulk, and weights do shape your body without adding bulk.

    32. Steve says:

      Distance does not matter as much as this guy thinks. He seems to think that the only thing in your body utilizing energy is muscles. He seems to forget that you have many systems that use a lot of energy. He forgot that you use a lot of energy regulating temperature. The faster you run the hotter your body becomes, meaning you expend more energy trying to maintain your temperature. Also the heart being a muscle, it also uses energy. The more it works, the more energy is uses. Also, not all muscle contractions are created equal. When exerting less force (as you would walking vs. running) less of your muscle fibers do work. The more force you are exerting the more muscle fibers that are used. The more muscle fibers used the more energy expended. The rest of the article is true, however.

      • guest says:

        @Steve The human body does not expend calories in cooling itself down, but it does expend calories in heating itself.

        But yes, it absolutely does make a difference whether one runs or walks a mile.

        • M.D. says:

          The body actually uses calories in temperature regulation outside the thermoneutral zone, so Steve was absolutely right.

          In addition, the energy needed to run a certain distance is determined by your efficiency, in most cases that makes running more energy demanding per distance . Hence you burn more calories running the same distance.

          You can contract a single motor unit at a time in a muscle so you can basicly train just a part of your abs if you really want to. It’s just hard, plus you’ll have isometric load in other parts of the muscle and so on.

      • Bellingham says:

        Most of this is true. I would debate some of the by the numbers stuff. I’m not sure it isn’t just about calories. But I agree dieting doesn’t work. If you lower your calories too much then you end up binging and putting the weight back on the minute that you break your diet. You must make lifestyle changes that you can sustain over the long haul.

        The argument about walking versus running and distance versus speed is plain wrong. Using the same argument you could say that someone running six miles at six minute miles loses the same weight as some one running eight minute miles which is simply rediculous. Intensity counts — bottom line. You can run faster for a shorter period of time and burn more calories. I recommend speed over distance. Anyone can train and run a marathon but running a fast mile or fast 5k requires true committment. The great thing about running is it takes less time which is nice when you have a full time job and family to support.

      • GUEST says:

        @ Steve: Just what I was thinking! It appears the author has successfully become one of the said clowns in his debunking a myth with the spread of yet another false myth.

        I am guessing his reasoning might have been fuelled from falling for the Heart Rate Zone myth perpetuated obviously by the fitness industry. After all without overweight people, how ever will the multibillion dollar industry afford their expensive mansions? The myth claims that staying in the Fat Burning zone burns more calories from fat and than sugar and is therefore the best for fat loss. They fail to tell you that even though working out at a higher intensity with your heart rate at one of the higher zones say the Anaerobic Threshold Zone, may use more glycogen than fat, the body still burns significantly more fat in this zone than it does at the Fat Burning zone lb for lb!!!!! Its common sense!

        Random example:
        Fat Burning Zone, body expenditure : 40% Glycogen, 60% Fat. The source of the myth which fails to tell you that this 60% Fat use may only equal 10g of fat. Better for the watered down commercials and success of the fitness industry and its numerous gimmicks.

        Anaerobic Zone, body expenditure: 60% Glycogen, 40% Fat. They focus on the percentage to promote their above propaganda and make sure to omit that the 40% fat may actually equal 32g of fat loss. Obviously more efficient and optimal for fat loss than staying in the Fat Burning Zone BUT less efficient for the wallets of the fitness industry.

        Exertion and intensity makes A WHOLE LOTTA DIFFERENCE!! Do your research. Don’t swallow everything people tell you and yes, including what I just typed. Research what I just wrote above and see for yourself!!

    33. Justin says:

      The last one has some good information, but there is something to be said about spot reduction. The more muscle in an area, the more thermogenesis that will occur. While definitely not the the only component, ab exercises are still important.

    34. George says:

      Myth number one is absolutely hilarious. People think they get big overnight. This is especially funny when guys say it – even before they start doing any kind of workout and they are simply… fat!

      If getting as big as Arnold were that easy, everyone would be a fitness model.

    35. HomeList says:

      Good post, there’s lots of useful info in there for people who are just starting to work out

    36. Dylan says:

      As someone who recently started hitting the gym for the first time, thank you! This article was very informative!
      And Myth number 2 is my least favorite one of the whole lot. Carbs are important! A low carb diet is just dangerous as your body will burn off muscle as well as fat. When you stop your diet and gain that fat back, you become heaver than before, with less muscle to support it!

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