Muscles turn into fat when you stop exercising:

No, they don’t. Muscle and fat are two entirely different things and it is impossible for one to turn into the other. However, if you stop exercising regularly, you can lose muscle and gain fat in its place – however, it’s not quite as quick and simple as the image of muscle metamorphosing into fat would have you believe. It just doesn’t happen like that.

If women use weights they will look like Arnie:

Yet again, this is completely untrue. Anyone with an ‘Arnie’ look about their body will be training very, very hard to get it. They’ll be eating a carefully constructed diet, may well be taking supplements, and will be lifting heavy weights. Testosterone is also vital for building ‘bulk’ and women just don’t have as much as it as men, meaning it’s very difficult, if almost impossible for us to achieve the bodybuilder look.

The truth is that weight training is fantastic for burning calories, getting rid of fat, and achieving a fit and toned body. It’s also good for the bones and is proven to help prevent osteoporosis.

Exercise is all you need to lose weight:

While exercise is brilliant for the body and something we should all be doing, unless you also watch what you put in your mouth, you might find your exercise routine to be fruitless in the weight-loss department.

Weight loss is all down to calories in vs. calories out. However, many people are under the misconception that a long session in the gym means they can justify an extra large slice of chocolate cake for dessert. Yet if that dessert means that they’ve now eaten more calories than they’ve burned they won’t lose weight (and may gain it).

Exercise is good for the heart, muscles, bones, and mind. It can also make your body more toned and make you look and feel fantastic. However, unless you also carefully watch what you eat, it won’t make you lose weight.

The gym is the ‘best’ way to get fit:

Complete lies (probably spun by someone in the gym industry themself). The ‘best’ way to get fit is the way you enjoy and you’re able to stick at. Whether that’s jogging in the park, or dancing along to an exercise DVD in your living room; you won’t get fit at a gym if you can’t stand the thought of going.

You can spot-reduce fat and get a flat stomach or supermodel thighs:

Sadly, this is impossible. It doesn’t matter what exercise you do, fat will come off wherever it chooses.

This myth relates to the fact that you can spot-tone areas. For example, squats and lunges will help tone your thighs, but they won’t reduce the fat solely in that area.

This article was written by Crispin Jones on behalf of slimming.com, experts in weight loss. For more information on weight loss or slimming.com, visit their website.

Photo: Ed Yourdon