Are you ready to play fitness fact or fiction?

Just when you think you have mastered your muscle-making moves, a new study is released contradicting all the body building beliefs you thought were true.

Do gym pains equal gains?

Are machines safer than dumbbells?

Enough worrying about your workout!  I'm here to cut the cardio-training crap and finally settle your workout woes with the answers to the most popular fitness questions.

Myth #1: Ab work will eliminate stomach fat.
It is way past your bedtime.

You should be asleep, but instead you have fallen under the trance of late night infomercials: a knife that can cut through a tire?  Sold.  A blender that magically makes my meals lower in calories?  Sure, throw it in the cart.  A belt that uses solar power to blast fat from my stomach?  Done, done and done.

There is one problem the hosts on HSN forgot to mention: there is no such thing as spot training your tummy!  Even worse, all of the sit-ups and core contraptions in the world will not guarantee six pack abs.

If you want to work off your waistline, you must implement total-body exercises into your routine.  Unfortunately, the body does not respond well to spot training, (targeting specific areas of the body and trying to lose weight in exact that spot).

A sweat session that includes resistance and cardiovascular training is the best way to reveal abs, and notice overall improvement in your body and health.

Myth #2: Machines are safer than free weights.
Most weight machines are designed to function easily, as it guides your body in the direction of the exercise.  However, they can be very dangerous when the height and weight aren't calibrated properly.

Furthermore, it is important to remember that each body moves differently.  Equipment such as the Smith Machine can encourage the body to move in an unnatural position, taking your joints through a risky range of motion.

Machines are a great option when working with a Personal Trainer, who can adjust the settings for you.  Otherwise, I always recommend opting for free weights or cable machines in lieu of weight stacks.  Not only does this form of resistance training recruit core muscles, which aids in bettering your balance and stability, they also allow the exerciser to work several muscles groups at a time.

The machines can be very limiting as they only focus on one muscle group per exercise.  If you are still uncertain about what resistance training routine is best for you, seek the assistance of a certified Personal Trainer.  Doing so will improve the quality and safety of your workouts.

Myth #3: No Pain, No Gain.
This old adage is as logical as pressing your tongue to a frozen pole!

If something is painful, stop!  It is that simple.

While most fitness forecasts predict a chance of discomfort for the next 24 to 48 hours, there should be never be a probability for pain.  The key to knowing the difference between pain and progress is understanding the moment you experience your burn.

Experiencing pain during an exercise is a huge red flag that you need to stop immediately.  On the other hand, soreness several hours or days following a hard routine is to be expected.  Respect your body by listening to workout warning signs.

If you want to get fit, know your facts first.

Earn it.

To learn more about the types of classes Ashley offers, visit ashleyblakefitness.com.