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There are in all walks of life myths, old wives tales and beliefs. Health and fitness is no exception, so in the next series of blogs, I, the personal trainer and your expert, will look at some of the most common myths in fitness. Questions like “is running bad for my knees?”, “Will yoga give me a perfect figure?” and “exercising on an empty stomach, will it make me thinner?” will all be answered.
False. You can do 1000 sit ups a day and if you are still eating more energy than you are putting out then you will keep your fat tummy. This myth is closely connected to the “spot toning” theory that says you can exercise a particular area and lose fat in that area alone. This is not the case. Although you can tone your arms, for instance, and they may begin to look slightly better, the muscle tone is only beginning to show despite the layer of fat on top that will remain. The body takes fat when needed from all over, all at once, and contrary to belief will do so fairly evenly. Some things seem to get thinner before others during weight loss, but this is simply because some areas are less fatty than others, the areas that are fattest will take longer to appear toned, and areas that were not holding much fat will be revealed sooner.
If you want to have a flat tummy then you need to burn fat. The best way of doing this is to eat slightly less energy then you expend. One of the best ways of doing this is to increase the metabolic rate by building muscle tone. The bigger the muscle group the more effect it will have on this rate, so clients need to do “big bang” exercises. Crunches and sit ups only work the abdominals, a small muscle group, so their effect will be limited. Lunges, squats, push ups and bent over rows however work lots of things at once and toning this way will make you burn fat thus gaining a flat tummy. Out tutor at Premier Global Windsor (the guy who trains personal trainers) would frown (a lot) on crunches given to clients in a programme. They only work a small area and take up time in which you could be doing more effective things. We get lots of personal trainer clients coming to us from all parts of Berkshire, Windsor and Maidenhead who have been doing lots of gym work and not really getting there. Many times this is because they are not doing the right things in the gym and are doing too many CRUNCHES!!