With so much information out there about weight loss and reaching your fitness goals, it can be hard to weed out the myths from the facts. Unfortunately, there are some fitness myths that just will not die!! Arm yourself with the knowledge needed to cut through the bullshit and get on the way to your best body ever.

1. Stretching Before a Workout is Best

Stretching is a key part of your workout routine and shouldn’t be overlooked. Stretching when your muscles are cold may not only fatigue your muscles and decrease your performance, it may injure you. Instead of stretching when your muscles are cold and tight, stretch after a workout or a least after warming up when your muscles are warm and pliable.

2.  The Cardio Machine says I Burned 1000 Calories

Cardio machines can overestimate the amount of calories you have burned by as much as 30 percent. These machines don’t take into account your body composition when calculating your calorie output. A muscular person who is only 10% body fat burns significantly more calories than someone of the same weight but 30% body fat.

3. Your Weight is the Best Way to Judge Progress

While it may be your goal to lose a certain amount of weight, body weight never tells the full story! Depending on your initial body composition, you might not see the number on the scale move much due to you gaining muscle as you lose body fat. The same volume of dense muscle tissue weighs more than  the same volume of fat tissue. As fat is replaced with muscle, weight loss may be minimal even as you become leaner.

4. Ladies Should Only Lift Light Weights or they will Get too Bulky

Some ladies avoid the weight room like the plague for fear of getting too bulky while others lift only very light weights and get no results. Heavy weights alone will not cause a woman to become bulky but will help her build strong, toned muscles. Females simply cannot naturally build a huge, muscular physique — females lack the hormones required to achieve the level of muscularity that a male can achieve.

5. You can Spot Tone your way to Flat Abs

Doing countless ab exercises will not give you the washboard stomach of your dreams even though it builds muscle. The muscle will only show if you burn off the layer of fat sitting on top. Since it is impossible to burn fat from just one area of your body, burning fat from your entire body with a solid diet and exercise program is the way to reveal those abs.

6. Exercise is More Important than Diet

Though you may be able to burn off the calories from last night’s nachos by running for an hour, your diet is more important to your fitness and body goals than working out. No amount of exercise negates a diet full of fast food and empty calories. The saying “abs are made in the kitchen” could not be more true. Eating cleanly and exercising smartly will achieve the results you desire much more effectively than loading up on empty calories and trying to purge them all through overexercising.

7. Crunches are the Best Exercise to Tone your Core

So many times in the gym, you see misguided people doing crunch after crunch in pursuit of toned abs. Unfortunately for them, crunches only work the superficial muscles in the abdomen and not the deep transverse abdominis, that acts like a girdle on the abdominal wall. Instead of trying to build a strong core through crunches alone, add some planks, push ups, pull ups, and other exercises that tone and strengthen your entire midsection.