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Table of Contents
Myth #1: Ab Training Will Give Me Abs................................................................................................pg.4 Myth #2: Jogging Will Help Me Look Better.........................................................................................pg.5 Myth #3: Reducing My Calories Is The Best Way To Lose Weight......................................................pg.6 Myth #4: Pilates or Yoga Will Help Tone My Body................................................................................pg.7 Myth #5: Using High Reps and Light Weight Will Tone My Muscles.....................................................pg.8 Myth #6: Training Body Parts Will Burn Their Fat..................................................................................pg.9 Myth #7: Weight Training With Heavy Weights Will Make Me Bulky ...................................................pg.10 More Information..................................................................................................................................pg.11

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Myth1

Ab Training Will Give Me Abs
Our first myth may surprise most of you then leave you with a somewhat sickening regret in your stomach once you realize how much time you’ve wasted on training your abs. The cold hard truth is that if you are a woman looking to flatten your stomach and even develop some impressive but not overwhelming faint abs - doing endless ab exercises will NOT get you there. Furthermore, they’ll be counterproductive to your tight flat tummy! Here’s why: The look of any part of our bodies is determined by our skeleton, muscle, and fat. Since we can’t change our skeletal structure, we can only work with our muscle to fat ratio. Your body has its muscle which is covered by a layer of fat. Now here’s what’s really important to know: you already have abs! And they really are a great set! The ONLY reason they aren’t apparent is because there’s a layer of body fat covering them up. Women in particular are predisposed to a higher body fat which is why not many women have visible abs, it’ws normal. But if you want to work your midsection - tighten or flatten it up, and even show some lines of abs, ab training is not the way to do it. Ab exercises DO NOT reduce your body fat. What they will do is eventually build up the muscle underneath the fat, essentially making your stomach appear bigger and box-ier. That’s right, those ab exercises are actually making you look fatter! The best way to reshape your tummy is to lose fat around the area. Spot reduction through exercise has been proven not to work; but spot reduction through dietary manipulation has! So get your diet under control to see the fruits of your labor. If you were one of those women constantly training your abs, it won’t be long before you’ll be able to see them since they’ve gotten a bit bigger and won’t need as much fat reduction to become visible. Losing fat IS possible with certain exercises, however it will happen systematically across your whole body. So if you need to lose weight in most places, including your tummy, try some fat loss exercises to accelerate the process.

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Myth2

Jogging Will Help Me Look Better
The next myth is just as popular as ab training and can have equally detrimental results. Jogging has become the go-to fat loss exercise for most women looking to stay in shape. However, there are a few things they should be aware of about this exercise which in reality is running against their goals (pun intended). Jogging is simply a form of activity that will help burn excess calories. If done often enough that it leaves you in a caloric deficit (you’re using more calories than you’re consuming) you WILL lose weight. But losing weight doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll look better. Long distance running has been shown to atrophy your muscles. This means your muscles get smaller and that’s NOT a good thing. Most women don’t have much muscle mass to begin with and muscle is the only tissue you can reliably control in order to shape your body. Having good muscle mass gives your body a toned and shapely appearance. Whereas, when you have very little muscle mass, you will look flabby. So even if you lose weight with jogging and get smaller, the mirror might tell a different story because you’ll begin to look a bit flabby. Jogging (long distances) also has a limited capacity to reduce your body fat. Once your body adapts to your running, you’ll eventually hit a ceiling for the excess body fat you can shed through running alone. This is evident in the fact that, while marathoners seem very small, they actually have relatively high body fat percentages because they have so little muscle mass and the distance running no longer helps to reduce their body fat. There are much better ways to reduce your body fat passed the level that only jogging can provide, while simultaneously building up your muscles to give you that fit and curvy look. Jogging should be used as a supplemental exercise for women who still have a fairly high body fat percentage and have already fixed their diets.

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Myth3

Reducing Calories Is The Best Way To Lose Weight
The basic principle at work here is your body can’t gain weight if it doesn’t have an excess amount of calories. It has a certain amount it needs to maintain your current weight, so if the energy (calories) you eat is under that limit, it will have to find it’s maintenance energy somewhere else - like your fat cells, or sometimes your muscles. This does work if you can adhere to the restricted diet, but there are several problems with this model: It’s much tougher psychologically to literally starve yourself everyday until you reach your goal weight - which could be awhile. So you’re much more likely to mess up and fail. You will lose fat with this method, but you’ll also very possibly lose some muscle mass, which isn’t a good thing, mainly because it’s what you can use to shape your body as closely as you want it; and it also raises your maintenance level of calories. So if you need 2,000 calories/day to maintain your body weight and you eat 2,000 calories/day you won’t lose or gain weight. But by adding some muscle to your frame, your maintenance level might go up to 2,400 calories a day, in which case you can eat more without gaining weight, or you can eat the same and lose more fat. Since your body is in a mild form of starvation, when you’ve reached your goal weight and return to normal eating patterns, you will most likely gain the weight you’ve lost back very quickly, and maybe even more. Your body starts thinking to itself, “Since I just came out of starvation, I should try and hold on to as much energy as possible so I can be ready for next time.” This translates to your body holding onto fat more easily. As mentioned previously, starvation diets like counting calories will lower your metabolism and make it much harder to lose weight in the future. If you are smaller, the amount of calories you may need to eat to lose weight might be very low. With such a low amount of food being consumed, it becomes much more likely that you start missing many essential vitamins and nutrients. A much better method to avoid all of these problems and gain a few advantages is to change your food choices. MEMBERS.FITBUTTERFLY.COM twitter.com/fitbutterfly | facebook.com/fitbutterfly
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Myth4

Pilates or Yoga Will Help Tone My Muscles
Pilates and Yoga have become very popular with women, but provide very little when it comes to actually shaping your body. It’s claimed by Pilates advocates that it will give you lean muscles, and Yoga is believed to help tone your body for some reason. Both of these assumptions/claims are false. While they can both be very beneficial for flexibility and mild core stability, they do virtually nothing for your look. Flexibility training does not change your muscles visually and should only be considered to promote a balanced body, not an attempt at visual change. Pilates and Yoga will provide some mild strengthening of muscles but not nearly enough to induce significant hypertrophy/muscle growth. By the same token, these exercise regimens will not “lean you out” or “produce lean muscles” or “tone.” All of these expressions imply the same thing which is reducing body fat and/or increasing muscle mass. Reducing and increasing fat and muscle are the only two things that will change the appearance of your body - whether you call it toning, leaning out, or whatever marketing expression people want to use, it all boils down to the same thing. Yoga and Pilates will not reduce your body fat because they don’t provide enough of a stimulus or burn a lot of calories; and as we’ve already seen, they will not increase muscle mass to a noticeable degree. By no means do we encourage you to drop any of these two exercises because they do provide many health benefits. Just don’t start them with the hopes of changing the look of your physique. NOTE: To be fair, Yoga (and maybe even Pilates) can indirectly lead to fat loss by reducing stress levels. High stress levels lead to excessive cortisol secretion. Chronically elevated cortisol will store body fat, especially around the belly button.

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Myth5

High Reps and Light Weight Training Will Tone My Muscles
Weight training is one of the best ways to shape your body quickly and precisely. However, high reps and light weight is NOT the way to go if you’re looking to “tone” your muscles. That’s why it’s such a shame when these well intentioned women throw away their time and effort by either using repetition ranges that are too high, weights that are too light, or both! Like we already mentioned in the previous myth, toning your muscles is simply a function of the amount of body fat and muscle mass you have in a certain area. So how do we use weight training to do this? The goal of weight training for any physique conscious woman should be to increase their muscle mass in certain areas and to set themselves up for accelerated fat loss by increasing overall muscle mass along with their metabolism. As you’ll see, high reps and light weight accomplishes neither of these. High reps above 12 reps build very little muscle because they’re being trained for endurance. This targets smaller muscle fibers that have very little growth potential. Also, when they’re used on isolation exercises, they won’t provide enough metabolic demand to directly induce fat loss. Light weights have the same problem. Even more so if the weight is so light it doesn’t hit the threshold for your body to adapt. Your body needs to be pushed passed its day to day limits to adapt. If you’re currently using weights that aren’t much heavier than things you lift in your day to day life, they won’t be providing enough resistance to trigger any change in your body. NOTE: High reps above 15 can induce fat loss if whole body movements or large compound movements are used with moderate weight and rest intervals are kept to a minimum.

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Myth6

Training Body Parts Will Burn Their Fat
This is what’s called “spot reduction” and is a prevalent belief. It’s the belief that by training a certain body part it will burn the fat in that specific area. This, for the most part, just won’t work on most women. That’s because fat loss is mostly systematic. Systematic fat loss means fat is lost throughout the entire body. Ignoring the fact that most isolation training exercises don’t produce any sort of fat loss by themselves, metabolic training doesn’t act locally. When you train and start mobilizing your fat storage for energy, the fat doesn’t mobilize in the region closest to the area doing the work, it mobilizes seemingly randomly throughout your entire body. So if you’re training your arms vigorously and long enough for your body to tap into its fat stores, it may come from your legs, or your back, or your kneecap. Where the fat comes from is largely dependent on your hormonal profile, not which exercise you’re currently doing. Furthermore, we alluded to the fact that isolation training wouldn’t induce any fat loss in the first place. You would need whole body, compound movements to do this. So your movement selection should be systematic anyway. Don’t despair though, because there are ways to spot reduce, but it’s largely nutritional and has little to do with your training. The trick is to manipulate certain hormones with nutrition, stress management, and overall training. Hormones tell your body where to store fat, so by manipulating them, we can essentially tell our bodies where we want to reduce our fat. NOTE: There’s increasing evidence that training for spot reduction IS possible. However there’s a very specific way to do it and it doesn’t readily apply to most women unless they’re already close to having visible abs (or have a stubborn body part even at low body fat percentage) and need an extra boost of localized fat loss. A future article on our website MEMBERS.FITBUTTERFLY.COM will address this.

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Myth7
Training With Heavy Weights Will Make Me Bulky
Our last myth is probably the most important myth of all. Because accepting it as fiction can lead you to the quickest and most effective way of sculpting your physique. Weight training with low reps and relatively heavy weights won’t make you bulky or masculine! Here’s why weight training in any manner won’t magically turn you into a man: 1. Even for the most testosterone filled men, muscular weight gain doesn’t happen over night and requires much time and dedication. Nobody goes to the weight room once and discovers they’ve built noticeable amounts of muscle the very next day. Building muscle is a slow process and takes awhile to become visually noticeable. 2. Women do NOT have high levels of testosterone, and so they progress at an even slower rate with a lower genetic limit as to how much muscle they can put on. That means that you probably couldn’t over develop your physique even if you wanted to. In fact, you SHOULD embrace heavy weights done at low reps, because this is by far the most effective way to build muscle and therefore shape your body and burn more fat. Heavy weights also help “tone” the muscle by increasing muscle tonus. Muscle tonus is when the muscle is in a steady partially contracted state. So you’ll have perkier muscles without having to flex your butt or arms all the time!

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