Castle Personal Training

Castle Personal Training is a Corstorphine, Edinburgh based company who specialise in weightloss/toning and Pre and Post Natal exercise.

Blog 13-12-12: Big Exercise Myths

Hi guys,

Yesterday I wrote about some of the food myths that caught my eye recently and, as promised, today is the turn of some exercise stuff I came across recently. Some of this might be very obvious but I see loads of people making these mistakes and have even spoken to some Personal Trainers (Yes even in Edinburgh) who still have clients doing bad, ineffective, exercises.

ImageIs she really having fun, and burning fat?

1 Cardio-Vascular (CV) exercises, such as jogging, are the most effective way to burn calories. I referred to this yesterday by linking to this guy. (Just as an aside, Yahoo!’s “How To” team mean well but are not given the time and opportunity to go in depth and their videos are to be avoided by anyone who genuinely wants to get in shape.) He is, one of many Personal Trainers and Gym Instructors, who insist that CV exercises are the most effective way to get rid of bodyfat. CV work is important. Let me be very clear on this, loads of the “I want to get loads of big muscles” brigade will not want to hear this but; You have to work your CV system as a strong heart/lung function is vital to staying alive longer.

For Fat-burning however the old-fashioned CV exercises are not the best.Look at HIIT work-outs. They burn up more calories in that 30 minutes than you would burn in 30 minutes doing any other type of exercise. But that’s not what makes them super effective! The great thing about High Intensity Interval Training is that you’ll burn more calories after a session than you would after 30 minutes jogging. “Wait a minute”, I hear you say, “Did you say AFTER the session?”. Yes I did. You will continue to burn calories at a higher rate when you’ve already completed your session. This can last for days after a session, which is why it’s so effective.

Another type of exercise excellent for losing bodyfat is lifting weights! (Also Read Item 2) Lifting weights, and general resistance exercises, causes damage to your muscles. The muscles will repair themselves, and become stronger whilst doing so, but to do this your body will need to burn calories. Burning calories = good for losing bodyfat assuming you don’t eat more to reward yourself for working out!

The above is the reason that our METABLAST is so effective. We combine High Intensity Interval Training and add resistance training to it by using your bodyweight. Who would ever want to get onto a, boring, rowing machine again?  Any form of HIIT training should NOT be attempted if you’re out of shape or new to exercise. If you fall into this category read item nr 2!


2; Lifting Weights will make you gain LOADS of muscle!

This is one of the most repeated myths out there and it’s one of the most difficult myths to dispel, even though it’s absolute nonsense. Everybody in the Fitness Industry knows that this is simply incorrect but it’s perpetuated even by some Personal Trainers in some of the gyms that I’ve been to.  A recent survey found that only 20% of women trained weights once or twice per week. As I stated above, lifting weights is a more effective way of burning fat than CV exercise is. So why do women still think they’ll look like The Terminator after lifting a weight a few times. Personally, I think the gyms don’t tell you because they only have X amount of weights and a MUCH smaller weight area than a cardio area. They’d like to keep it that way as it’s cheaper so there’s no point in telling everyone during their induction that weight training is actually a very good idea for everyone wanting to lose some bodyfat.

Image You won’t end up like this when doing weight training

ImageBut you might end up being able to do this and looking similar!

It’s very difficult to gain a lot of muscle, you have to eat quite a bit of additional protein and it’s a very long and difficult process. So don’t be afraid that lifting a dumbbell or Kettlebell will make you massive. It won’t, unless you want it to.


3; Sit-ups, and crunches, are going to give you a 6 pack. Let me make this very VERY clear, as I can’t state this clearly enough; SIT-UPS SHOULD NEVER BE DONE! Doing core exercises is vital, doing crunches etc is fine assuming you keep your spine neutral. There is nothing wrong with wanting nice strong Abdominal muscles. But these exercises won’t give you a 6-pack anymore than a doughnut will.

A nice 6-pack,and toned belly, is mainly a case of low bodyfat percentage. And the only way you can get that is by eating properly and by exercising properly.

Back to my point about the Sit-ups. They should never be done. Sit-ups can, and will, damage your back. There is no need to do a full sit up, the last part of the movement does not contribute anything to development of your abs. It can, and will, however damage your spine as you put too much pressure on it. There isn’t a serious fitness coach or Personal Trainer in the world that would still have their clients do full sit-ups, so please don’t do them.


These are just 3 things I thought I’d post about today, I am sure I will come across loads more myths in the next few weeks..When I do, you’ll be the first to know.

Your friend,


Cardio image courtesy of photostock from

One comment on “Blog 13-12-12: Big Exercise Myths

  1. Pingback: Where have all the good guys gone? How to spot a bad Personal Trainer « Castle Personal Training

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