Fact or Fiction?

If you think it takes an hour of Pilates a day to get a body like Jessica Alba, think again

Fitness myths fairly common, says Charmaine Giani, group fitness specialist at Planet Fitness.

Here are a few for starters:

Building muscle prevents weight loss
Women often gain weight with strength training, instead of losing it. ‘This is because the body gains more muscle, so your body composition changes,’ Giani says. ‘You’ll actually have more lean body mass and less fat. As muscle weighs more than fat, it’s important for women who are strength training to have body-fat measurements taken every month or so to track their progress, rather than watching the scale.’

Spot reduction

Many women still believe you can lose fat in so-called problem areas by performing muscle-conditioning exercises in these target zones. ‘Although the exercise will work those muscles, a combination of cardiovascular exercise and conditioning exercises together with a low diet will promote fat loss,’ says Giani.

Women can’t be strong
‘Because many women restrict themselves to correct resistance training, they tend to have less lean body mass than men. However, many women are actually capable of becoming proportionally as strong as men,’ Giani says.