fitness fact or fiction

Fitness Fact and Fiction

By Shir Barzilay, J Personal Trainer
ACE Certified Personal Trainer, Bachelor’s Degree in Nutrition & Dietetics 

Everyone wants to work out in the most effective way possible. But with so many fitness ‘facts’ swirling around, what do you need to know to get strong, lose weight and feel great? J Personal Trainer Shir Barzilay takes us through some of the most common fitness “fitbusters” below.


Weight training makes everyone bulky: FICTION

Women typically have less muscle tissue than men do, and they produce lower levels of testosterone. Because of this, strength training is less likely to make women “bulky.” Strength training benefits everyone in and out of the gym, and women are no exception. Lifting weights can increase lean body mass, which increases the number of overall calories you burn during the day. Thus, lifting weights can help you lose weight and slim down.

Skipping sleep can cause weight gain: FACT

Research has shown that even partial sleep deprivation increases production of the hormone ghrelin, which triggers hunger. Ghrelin, the hunger hormone, opposes leptin, which is the hormone of energy expenditure, and inhibits hunger. This combination can lead to weight gain.

The more you sweat, the more calories you burn: FICTION

Sweat is the body’s biological response to cool down your skin and regulate your body temperature, but it is not an accurate measure of the calories you’re burning. While it is true that you weigh less after sweaty gym sessions, you gain the weight back when you re-hydrate yourself. If you want to track your calorie burn more accurately during your workout, consider using a heart rate monitor. The J has large monitors throughout our facilities where you can see the results of your workouts in real time.

You can gain weight and lose fat at the same time: FACT

It’s time to throw out your scale. Body weight is made up of so much that isn’t accurately represented by the numbers on the scale. It is entirely possible to lose fat at a slower rate than you are gaining muscle, and, in cases like this, your scale won’t show you the gains you are making. A different way to measure your progress is by taking progress pictures and body measurements and noticing how you feel.

You have upper, lower, and middle abs: FICTION

The abs you see on your favorite #fitspo Instagram models is actually all one muscle. The muscle you are seeing is the rectus abdominis. Your trunk is also made up of external obliques and the serratus, as well as muscles you do not see. To achieve higher levels of ab definition, it is important to perform exercises that build the rectus abdominis muscle, as well as being in a caloric deficit to burn the fat on top of the muscle.

Have more questions about fitness facts and fictions? 

All J members are eligible for a complimentary fitness assessment and consultation every three months. Now is a great time to speak with a J trainer to get your questions answered and learn the best way for you to begin or continue on your fitness journey. Schedule your appointment today! Contact:

Staenberg Family Complex/Creve Coeur: Bernie Suddarth, 314.442.3452
Marilyn Fox Building/Chesterfield: Andy Hayes, 314.442.3147