Time to answer some of the most commonly heard fitness questions, and separate the fact from the fiction!
Squat exercises are bad for the knees – true or false?
THIS IS MOSTLY FALSE
- Any weight training exercise is potentially dangerous if done incorrectly. If squats are not performed properly, they can place undue stress on the knee joint and cause injury.
- A good squat provides lots of benefits. The Squat is a full body exercise, and every muscle works hard: legs move the weight, abs & lower back stabilize, upper-back stays tight, arms squeeze the bar, etc.
- Your knee joint is strongest in a fully flexed or full extended position, not the positions in-between. Partial Squats only strengthen your knees & quads, not your glutes & hamstrings. This causes muscle imbalances & thus injuries. Deep = good!
If you don’t exercise, your muscles turn to fat – true or false?
THIS IS FALSE
- Muscles don’t actually turn into fat as they are two distinctly different body tissues and it’s not physically possible for one to change into the other. Muscle can’t turn to fat any more than wood can turn into metal.
- If you stop exercising, there will be a reduction in your muscle mass
- A reduction in activity, and a reduced muscle mass, means a reduction in your metabolic rate, which can lead to weight gain and fat storage.
- So, by stopping exercise you generally lose muscle and gain fat, which seems like you are turning muscle to fat, but it doesn’t physically occur. As muscles shrink because of inactivity, fat can fill the space where the muscles used to be, giving the mistaken impression that the muscles have turned to that dreaded fat.
Doing hundreds of abdominal crunches will give me a six-pack – true or false?
THIS IS FALSE
- No matter how many sit ups you do in a day, you wont be seeing a six-pack in a hurry if you have a layer of fat covering it up! You will also have to reduce your excess body fat to show off your well defined abdominal muscles to the world.
- The foremost thing to understand is that you do not lose out on the tummy fat with ab crunches. What these ab exercises do is to strengthen your body’s midsection, or the “core”. It is definitely important, but core strengthening only would never lead you to washboard abs. So those ab crunches fail after a certain point.
- As well as doing sit ups, you should focus on other core stability exercises, such as we see in CrossFit. This will strengthen your abdominal muscles so they will be ready to debut as your fat loss continues.
You should not exercise every day – true or false?
THIS IS MOSTLY TRUE
- It is not necessary to exercise every single day of the week. It is important to give your body time to recover and improve. Most of the strength and fitness gains are achieved while you are resting, giving your body a chance to grow.
- This principle applies whatever exercise mode you are doing. You don’t want to lift weights every day using the exact same muscles, and the same goes for a cardio based workout. You should have at least one full rest day a week.
- On the other hand, it is very good if you can perform some type of physical activity every day. This is what we call Active Recovery! However, you should vary the muscles that are being used and the energy system being stressed so that there is always part of your body being rested.
It is possible to reduce the fat from a certain part of the body through exercising specifically that part – true or false?
THIS IS FALSE
- In actuality, this concept is impractical. Have you ever seen someone with ripped six pack abs and flabby arms, love handles, a big butt, etc.? I bet you haven’t, because for the midsection to be toned, the rest of the body must be in perfect shape too. And for that, a holistic approach that combines appropriate exercising with a nutritious diet is required.
- When you exercise, fat is lost from throughout the body. The place that you first put on weight (usually the hips and thighs for women, the stomach for men) is the last place you will lose it from. It is not possible to focus on one body part and only work it in an attempt to reduce that fatty area.
- You should focus on good overall exercise modes, which will burn the maximum amount of energy and help to reduce all of your fat stores. Eventually you will be able to reduce the fat around your belly, but at the same time the fat will come off elsewhere too.
Strength exercises are no good for weight loss – true or false?
THIS IS FALSE
- If you can increase your basal metabolic energy consumption (or metabolism), you will increase your energy consumption – 24 hours a day. One way of increasing your metabolism is to increase the amount of muscle mass in your body. The way to increase your muscle size is to exercise them, such as with resistance and weight bearing exercises.
- If you increase your muscle mass, and therefore metabolism, and maintain the same dietary intake, this will result in a loss in body weight. So, weight training exercises should be an important part of a weight loss program.
- Lean muscles are the fat burning furnaces of the system, and therefore aid the best in removing that layer of flab from your body to help develop that toned look.
- Virtually everyone should include some type of strength training in their weekly workouts regardless of whether they are wanting to lose weight, just maintain it, or build muscle.
But don’t worry: Here at CrossFit we’ve got all of this covered! With proper coaching on good form, teaching about optimal fitness and nutrition, and our carefully structured workout plans, you won’t have to worry about most of these issues. All you have to do is show up and do the work!
Buy In – 5 rounds, not for time of: 50 single skips, 10 light kb swings, 10 ohs (bar)
WOD – Strength Work (add best weight for 5 from each for your score)
Cash Out – Ball Tag (use up remaining time!)
8K recovery run
Please post in the comments when and where you are doing your run if you would like people to join you!
100 Day Burpee Challenge:
Burpees today: 65