Doing everything you can think of to lose weight? Still not working? Find out the top six fitness myths you probably believe.
The world of fitness is a constantly growing industry. There are endless diet plans, endless workout plans, and thousands of "gurus" with their tops off telling us how they got ripped.
Bad information does the rounds in fitness circles, and fitness myths are rife. Secret formulas to get you the body you want, special fat burning diet plans that melt your fat away... If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Check out our list of six fitness myths that you may believe to be true.
1. You Can Target Specific Areas of Fat
You'll have seen the ads on social media - "burn belly fat with this exercise".
The only way to target specific trouble areas on your body is liposuction, which isn't for everyone.
As a rule of thumb, the first place you gain fat will likely be the last place you lose it. For some, that might be the belly. For others, it might be the face, legs, or bottom.
2. Carbs Make You Fat
The Atkins Diet made low carb diets famous when it skyrocketed in popularity in the early 2000s. This damaging philosophy that the best way to lose weight was to cut carbohydrates seemed to damage the macronutrient's reputation.
Any nutrition expert (without an agenda) will tell you that no one food group makes you fat. If you eat more calories than your body burns, you'll gain weight over time. If you eat fewer calories than your body burns, you'll lose weight!
3. If Women Lift Weights They Get Bulky
This is one that most men scoff at because they wish it were true that simply lifting weights adds muscle! This myth is far from the truth.
In reality, it's actually harder for women to add muscle due to having less testosterone than men - the hormone that promotes muscle growth.
4. Free Weights Are Only For Experts
Did you know that weight machines were originally designed for rehabilitation purposes? They are good for isolating specific muscles and this can be beneficial to someone recovering from an injury.
Free weights are a far better all-round method of training as they can employ multiple muscle groups at once, thus giving you a more efficient workout.
5. If You're Not Sweating, You're Not Trying Hard Enough
Of course, ending a workout covered in sweat is a good indication that you have worked hard. But not sweating doesn't indicate the opposite.
Resistance training will work up less of a sweat than cardio because cardio heats your body more - sweating is simply your body's way of cooling itself.
6. No Pain No Gain
It's a cliché, and it's not true in terms of fitness. One of the most popular myths, especially amongst men, is that if it doesn't hurt, you're not going to see the results you want. It's classic bravado, and probably results in more injuries than six-packs!
Your Fitness is in Your Hands
If you feel like you're struggling to distinguish the truth from the myths, maybe it's time to speak to someone who can guide you.
When it comes to exercise, find something you enjoy, and do that. Fitness and weight loss will come as a bonus rather than the goal.