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Common Misconceptions about Resistance Training
By: James McCorley

There are a number of common misconceptions within the fitness indurstry in terms of strength training and weight loss.

Some of these are:

Spot Reducing
Muscle 'Toning'
Un-used muscle turns to fat
Hypertrohpy is rapid and irrevisble
Strenth training makes you slow and inflexible
Muscle 'shaping' exercises.

This article will focus on spot reducing and muscle toning.

Spot Reducing:
You cannot reduce body fat from one particular body part from doing specific exercises. For example doing situps will not make you lose weight from your stomach. If your energy expenditure is greater than your energy intake than your body will use stored body fat as energy. This will be taken from anywhere in the body and, typically, the first place you put on weight, will be the last place you lose it.

Muscle Toning:
This is an extrememly common term amongst the fitness industry however the way it is used and implicated is often incorrect. Muscles do not become 'harder' from resistance training, regardless if 1 rep is performed or 1000!
Muscle "Tone" describes muscular definition, something that comes from muscle size and fat thickness. If looking for good msucle tone, then the aim is to increase muscle size (even if it is slightly) and reduce body fat levels. Ie. Gain muscle and lose fat.
The common idea in the fitness industry is that light weight and high reps will improve muscle tone. This style of resistance training is not optimal for muscle growth and will not reduce body fat as effectively as other methods.


Added: 18-10-2011