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11 Fitness Myths We Should Stop Believing Already, From Dr. Oz’s Personal Trainer

Do crunches flatten your stomach? The more you sweat, the more fat you lose, right? Donovan Green, personal trainer to Dr. Oz, debunks common fitness myths that could be sabotaging your weight-loss goals.

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Myth: Crunches are a great way to flatten your stomach

Fact: A flat stomach actually comes from eating foods that are low in fat and
refined sugars. No matter how many crunches you do, they will build
only the muscle that lies deep beneath those unforgiving layers of fat.

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Myth: The more you sweat during exercise, the more fat you lose

Fact:
The harder you work out, the more calories you’ll burn within a given
period. But how much you sweat has nothing to do with how much fat you
lose.

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Myth: Lifting weights will make me bulky

Fact:
Weight training accounts for 70 percent of your calorie burn.
Resistance forces your muscles to work 10 to 20 times more than regular
cardio, without bulking. Bulk comes from high calorie intake, which is
why professional bodybuilders consume a lot of calories while lifting a
lot of weight. If you combine weight training with a moderate, balanced
diet with medium to low calorie intake, you will burn fat and sculpt
your body without adding bulk.

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Myth: Muscle weighs more than fat

Fact:
A pound of muscle and a pound of fat weigh the same, a pound. However,
muscles are denser than fat and occupy less space. Adding muscle to your
physique will create curves where once there were none.

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Myth: I can turn my fat into muscles if I exercise with weights

Fact:
Fat and muscle are completely different tissues, so you can’t transform
one into the other. Although muscles can’t physically turn into fat,
they can atrophy. When you exercise, your initial goal should be to burn
fat and build muscle.

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Myth: You can lose fat from specific parts of your body by exercising those spots

Fact:
There are no shortcuts to fat loss. If you do full-body strength
training and cardio workouts, the excess fat will eventually come off
from the places where you want it gone.

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Myth: If I’m not sore the next day, I didn’t work out hard enough

Fact:
Soreness is not a reliable indicator of a good workout. It’s normal to
experience some soreness after a workout, especially if you regularly
change your routine. Soreness can also be a sign that you pushed your
body too hard. I enjoy feeling sore, but that’s just me. The key is to
make sure that you’re challenging your muscles to their fullest
potential.

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Myth: Cardio is only for folks who want to lose weight

Fact:
Even Superman needs cardio to stay in tip-top shape. Your heart is your
engine, and without a strong engine you’ll never get far.

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Myth: Walking won’t help me lose weight

Fact:
Walking will absolutely help you lose weight, assuming you walk at
least 5 times weekly for a minimum of 30 minutes a day. Challenge
yourself to walk faster and farther as your body gets used to the
exercise.

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Myth: The best time to work out is early in the morning

Fact: It doesn’t matter when you work out, as long as you do so at some point during the day.

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Myth: Weight lifting is only for men

Fact:
Weight lifting is a great way for both genders to burn calories. Women
can benefit particularly from weight training because it increases bone
density, which helps you avoid osteoporosis. Also, ladies, targeted
weight lifting will help firm and tighten your backside.

Get Motivated, Lose the Weight

In his first book, personal trainer Donovan Green shows how to lead a healthier lifestyle. Through fitness advice, mental motivation tips, and fresh recipes, Green reveals a 30-day plan to tone and supercharge your body.

From No Excuses Fitness, copyright Donovan Green, courtesy of Hachette Books. Learn more and buy the book here.

Originally Published in Reader's Digest