Dispelling Common Fitness Myths

An ice cold glass of lemon water is a great way to boost your metabolism.

Women should avoid lifting heavy weights otherwise they run the risk of getting too bulky.

If you use a block or a strap in yoga, you must not be very good at it.           

Or, perhaps my personal favorite, Pilates gives you long, lean muscles. Really? All on its own, without regard for what you’re eating or what type of cardiovascular exercise you’re getting?


With so many silly fitness myths floating around such as those referenced above, it can get confusing to distinguish which are complete and utter nonsense and which are actually worth your time to take notice of.

            The Huffington Post published a list of the top fitness myths[1] including such beliefs as ‘sit-ups and crunches are the best for developing a toned tummy’ or ‘if a workout doesn’t hurt, it’s not working’ and ‘there is such a thing as spot reducing fat in problem areas’.

Where are these ideas all coming from?

Undoubtedly, some come from taking accurate information and taking it out of context, or only partially understanding an article that was published or even a conversation overheard at the gym.

For example, if a fit looking trainer is overheard telling his or her client that drinking four glasses of ice cold water in the morning will speed up their metabolism, an overweight onlooker could easily assume that doing that alone is the trick.

It’s not simply that ice water will magically speed your metabolism; rather, there are a few things to consider.   First, if you’re eating because you think you’re hungry but you’re really thirsty, rehydrating first could result in not overeating. Second, if you are comparing drinking ice water to what you used to drink, which, for example, may have been coffee with sugar, then yes, you’ll save on calories and a sugar spike.

But if you’re thinking that the cold temperature of ice water is going to cause you to burn extra calories, think again.

According to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences website, you’ll only burn about 8 calories drinking a glass of ice water versus a glass of room temperature water[2].

In addition, with the world at our fingertips, it’s easy as 1,2,3 to point and click and land on a website that sells you pills to burn fat while getting a suntan at the same time[3]!

Having only a small understanding of how the body’s kinetic chain works can also confuse the situation. If you’re running on the treadmill at the gym and your knee begins to hurt, the problem is not necessarily coming from your knee[4]. If could be an imbalance in the hips, poor running shoes, tight calves or a cadence that’s too low… and those are only the tip of the iceberg!

Everything is all connected and not having a thorough grasp of how all the muscles work in synergy could easily lead to one to thinking that lying on the ground doing crunches is the best way to develop abdominal strength[5]

So the next time you read or hear something that sounds a little odd, remember to let that be your first hint that it probably isn’t all that valid. Who’s written it? What are their sources? Does what they’re claiming sound like something that just couldn’t possibly be true? If it came from a trainer, what is their background? Remember, just because they may look the part doesn’t mean they’ve got a solid education behind them.

There are no cutting corners when it comes to your own health and fitness but there are endless gains to be made when incorporating sound training principles into your weekly regime.

[1] Flocker, Michael. “12 Common Workout Myths Debunked.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, n.d. Web. 20 July 2015

[2] “Ice Water With Lemon for Losing Weight.” LIVESTRONG.COM. LIVESTRONG.COM, 22 May 2015. Web. 21 July 2015

[3] “Protan Slim Tan Fat Burner and Tan Accelerator 60 Caplets.” : Amazon.co.uk: Health & Personal Care. N.p., n.d. Web

[4] “Muscle Imbalance and Common Overuse Injuries – SportsMD.” SportsMD. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 July 2015


[5] “Mayo Clinic: Exercises to Improve Your Core Strength. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 July 2015