May-June 2015 | MYTHBUSTER




Fitness expert Mark Miller of Mark Miller Fitness shreds some longstanding fallacies about diet and exercise

Written By: Mark Miller | Photographer: Grant L. Gursky

As of 2014, U.S. health clubs brought in $23 billion in total revenue, with about 53 million memberships. Those statistics are up dramatically from the year 2000, so our culture’s drive to look and feel better is very much on the rise. 

Here’s the problem: The more popular something is, the more misinformation there is surrounding it. That’s why we recently asked award-winning local fitness expert Mark Miller, of Mark Miller Fitness in Salisbury, to expose three of the biggest myths that currently cloud the fitness-and-exercise industry.

Exercise Myth 1:
You can target one area, like belly fat, and get rid of it.

There’s no such thing as “spot reduction” — except in media hype. It is physiologically impossible to lose fat in one specific area. Losing fat in the belly, hips, butt and everywhere else does happen, but only because you’ve created a caloric deficit; that is, you’re burning more calories than you’re eating. The best and only scientifically proven way to do that is with lifelong healthy habits — in other words, a balanced, nutrient-rich diet and a consistent, balanced exercise program.

Exercise Myth 2:
Women will bulk up if they lift heavy weights.

Genetics play a key role when it comes to your build. According to the American Council on Exercise, women — especially those who have small frames and a little testosterone and muscle tissue — have a minimal chance of bulking up when lifting heavy weights. Even men are unable to bulk up easily, despite the amount of testosterone and muscle tissue. In fact, lifting heavy weights with fewer reps or lighter weights with higher reps could have a similar 
outcome, if the exercises are performed to the point of muscle fatigue in less than 90 seconds.

Exercise Myth 3:
Home workouts are fine, but going to a gym as the best way to get fit.

Research has shown that some people find it easier to stick to a home-based fitness program. In spite of all the hype on trendy exercise programs and facilities, the “best” program for you is the one you will participate in consistently. 


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