Amongst the dozens of strength falsehoods, some have been floating around for more than a decade! The following 6 myths are officially BUSTED:
MYTH #1: To get 6-pack abs you need to do crunches
I'm going to be frank here...ab crunches are the biggest waste of time. Yes, you need strengthen your midsection to get toned abs (and you do this with functional exercises), however, the biggest factor in getting abs is fat loss. Lose the flab and you'll see the abs.
MYTH #2: Light weights and high reps tone muscles
Lifting lighter weights and doing higher reps doesn't require a lot of energy. In fact, this method requires so little energy that you end up only stimulating the smallest of your muscle fibers. That means your muscles won't change shape nor will you burn as many calories as you would with heavier weights and less reps.
MYTH #3: Strength training makes women get "big"
We can thank bodybuilding magazines for this huge misconception. A woman's body chemistry is completely different than her male counterparts'. Women don't naturally produce enough testosterone to get "big". All of my female clients train with heavier weights and none of them have ever come close to looking like a bodybuilder. When women lift heavier weights, the result is sexy muscle tone and more fat-loss.
MYTH #4: You should never squat past 90 degrees
Wrong! Studies have shown that going past 90 degrees in the squat position is less stressful on your knees than stopping at 90 degrees. In fact, the deeper you go, the more you stimulate your gluteal muscles.
MYTH #5: Machines are safe to perform exercises
Most machines target muscles by isolating movements, which limits your range of motion. They also don't adjust well to all body sizes. These factors can cause a muscular imbalance and increase your risk of injury. Free weights do not limit your range of motion during an exercise and your body makes any necessary adjustment while you perform the movement.
MYTH #6: You should wear a lifting belt when going heavy
It might make you feel strong and experienced to strap on that cowhide lifting belt, but the truth is that your body has it's own stabilization system. By using your body's own support system, you engage your core muscles, further strengthening and toning your midsection.
Shin Ohtake is the author of the world-famous fitness program, MAX Workouts. To learn more about how you can get ultra lean and toned with shorter workouts, visit http://www.MaxWorkouts.com