Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Five Fitness Myths Debunked!

MYTH: More protein = big muscles.
Increased protein does not correlate to extra strength or muscle size. In fact, just like carbohydrates, excess protein can be stored as fat. Exercise, rather than excessive protein intake, is the key ingredient to increasing muscle size. While our bodies do require protein to repair and build lean body tissue, the quantity required is much lower than most think. The general recommendation is 0.8 – 1.2 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight. Thus, a180pound male would need 65-98 grams of protein per day.

MYTH: Women who lift weights will get bulky.
Women do not have enough testosterone to develop bulky muscles. On average, women produce at least 10 times less testosterone than men. If it were easy to “bulk-up” every male at the gym would look like a body builder!

MYTH: Longer low-intensity exercise burns more fat than high intensity.
Weight-loss is a simple equation: calories in versus calories out. While it is true only a small amount of fat is utilized when exercising at higher intensities, it is also true the rate of caloric expenditure and the total number of calories burned are much higher compared to exercising at lower intensities. Therefore, the total amount of fat utilized (‘burned’) during higher intensity exercise is greater than the fat burned during lower intensity exercise.

MYTH: Abdominal exercises lead to a flat stomach.
Despite the late-night infomercial propaganda and the countless gym-goers who devote 20 minutes a day to crunches, a flat stomach is not achieved from abdominal exercises.  For most people, the key component to getting that desired 6-pack, or greater definition of the abdominals, is a reduction in body fat. Everyone has a 6-pack, it’s just a matter of it being covered by a layer of fat, as unfortunately the human body finds the midsection an ideal spot for fat storage. Numerous studies have shown that when enough calories are being burned to lose weight, fat is reduced from the entire body, not just in the area being exercised.

MYTH: Late-night eating causes weight-gain.
Weight-gain is only achieved through consuming more calories than you burn. Studies have shown there is no correlation between weight-gain and the time of day we eat. If your daily intake of food results in a caloric surplus, you will gain weight. Whether you eat your final meal at 5pm or midnight, it all goes back to a simple equation: calories in versus calories out.

Terrieha Romer is co-owner of RYP Performance, a company specializing in outdoor bootcamps, small group training, one-on-one personal training, program design, and athlete performance training. Terrieha has a Bachelors in Applied Physiology & Kinesiology, a Masters in Sports Medicine, and holds several nationally and internationally recognized fitness-related certifications. She is also a former Track & Field Coach and Strength & Conditioning Coach at the High School, Division I, and Division II levels, in addition to working with elite athletes as a volunteer at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.


  1. this is the kind of information i've gradually learned over the past 7 or 8 years while working out at the gym. it really is all about experience. because for a long time I would always only do light weights, but now i really see that it's very difficult to bulk up. I think these are the kind of lessons that everyone needs to be taught in high school, or even middle school!

  2. Thanks! I find it so disheartening that so few people are actually properly informed. I agree 100%, I really believe this info should be taught to middle and/or high school students, in an attempt to properly educate the masses and stop the perpetuation of misinformation!