Truths about Exercise: Dispelling Exercise Myths and Misconceptions

At Vertex Fitness, we believe the most important part of helping people achieve results is through the education we provide and dispelling exercise myths and misconceptions.”

Dispelling exercise myths and misconceptions #1 – It takes many hours of exercise to get results.

Truth – Science shows us that as little exercise as a few minutes a week will make noticeable and positive changes in the body, if done with enough intensity. Exercise is a stimulus to the body, an overload to create change. Any overload will cause the body to change.

The Principle of Overload – The exercise science principle of overload states that a greater than normal stress or load on the body is required for training adaptation to take place. What this means is that in order to improve our fitness, strength or endurance, we need to increase the workload accordingly.

In order for a muscle (including the heart) to increase strength, it must be gradually stressed by working against a load greater than it is used to. (

Based on the principal of overload, one needs to do more work, or work at a higher intensity, then one’s normal workload to see benefits from the work being done. There must be and increase in intensity, duration, frequency or volume. If one increases the intensity, the duration, frequency and volume MUST decrease.

The new minimum exercise standards put out by many different governing fitness bodies state that to get benefit from exercise one must perform minimum of 30 minutes of low to moderate level exercise 5-7 days a week to see benefits. The overload in this standard is increased duration, frequency and volume. We don’t have that much time to dedicate to our health. So, people are not exercising. If we look at exercise from the reverse point of view and overload our bodies by increasing the intensity, which demands that we lower the duration, frequency and volume, we can exercise fewer times a week and not as long and yield the similar results.

So, if you exercise (do work) even once a week for a few minutes as long as it is progressive (always increasing the intensity or work load) you would continue to see benefits from the work being performed.

Spend less time exercising by working harder and smarter, get the results you are looking for and have more time for you.

Dispelling exercise myths and misconceptions # 2 – Exercise alone will be an effective tool to lose weight!

Truth – This is one of the biggest myths, that exercise is an effective weight loss tool. It is not! First, we have to know that body fat is the storage of extra energy that we have consumed. Energy in the body is measured by calories. There are 3,500 calories in one pound of body fat. To reduce one’s body by one pound of fat, there must be a deficiency of 3,500 calories. This means that a 130-pound person would have to walk or run over 35 miles to expend as many calories that are in one pound of body fat.That is over five miles a day for seven days. Compare that to eating 500 calories less then you need to maintain your body weight every day for the same seven days. As far as the reduction of body fat, the result is the same. You will reduce your body fat, in both scenarios, by one pound. The assumption is that the person doing the walking or running had been consuming a balance of calories to maintain their body weight, and continued so for the seven days they were walking or running. If the reduction of body fat is your goal, eating a balanced reduced-calorie diet is the most effective tool you have. Adding exercise to the mix is excellent as well, as it burns a few extra calories, but is not the primary source of the deficiency.

Remember, this is only about the reduction of body fat, not about any of the many other health benefits of exercise. Exercise is EXTREMELY good for us, but understanding the benefits and limitations of what we are doing is also very important.

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