Myth #1 Women who lift weights will get big, bulky muscles
Some women avoid weight training as much as chocolate cake for fear they will add bulk to their frame; this is untrue. Not only do women not have the genetic potential to develop overly large muscles, but we don’t carry nearly as much of the testosterone hormone as men needed to acquire substantial muscle mass.

Strength training is a critical element in maintaining a healthy weight as more muscle mass equals a faster metabolism. Muscle eats up calories; so the more of it you have, the more you burn!

Myth #2: If I’m not sore the next day, I didn’t work hard enough
Oftentimes people equate muscle soreness as a positive indication of how hard you pushed yourself in a workout. Therefore, the sorer you are, the more benefit you reap. False.  Without question, if you regularly change your weight-training routine, you will “surprise” the muscle groups and soreness is inevitable. However, this fatigue should last for a day, two days max. If it persists longer than that, you’ve gone too far. Recovery is integral to a fitness regime as you’re allowing your body to re-build and repair the torn muscle groups.

Myth #3: Targeting specific body parts for weight-loss
I often have my clients (particularly women) ask me how they can target specific “problem areas” on their body to lose weight. Whether it’s their abdominals, thighs or triceps, women tend to get a bit obsessive with particular trouble spots. I hate to break it to you, but there is no proven way to burn fat on one specific spot on your body. You can’t choose slimming down your inner-thighs as your go-to goal and then focus on that one area entirely. The most effective mode of weight-loss is to train your entire body by incorporating all muscle-groups. By combining strength training, cardiovascular aerobic activity and proper nutrition, you will eliminate overall excess body weight and see the results you’re pining for.

Myth #4 If you exercise you can eat whatever you want
Think if you slave away in the gym for an hour that it gives you permission to down that caramel full-fat latte? Wrong. Diet is a huge component to overall health, and in order to see results you have to consider exercise and nutrition equally; you can’t have one without the other. Don’t fall into the trap of fad diets, there is no easy quick fix. Make your meals more balanced by incorporating more fruits and vegetables while avoiding over-processed, high-sugar foods. The most simple equation is this: You have to burn more calories in a day than you consume. Regular exercise and a sound diet will help you reach that goal.

Tina Ceroni is owner of Personal Fit, an Oakville-based personal training company. With a background in Kinesiology and rehab as well as formally trained in the essential and advanced mat intensive program from Stott Pilates, she trains a wide range of athletes looking to reach their personal fitness goals. For more, please contact Tina at: [email protected]