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You’ve probably heard a lot of advice over the years about what you should and shouldn’t do when it comes to getting in shape. But here’s the thing: not all of that advice is actually backed up by science. In fact, some of the most common fitness myths out there could be holding you back from reaching your full potential.

So, let’s bust some myths, shall we? Here are 10 fitness fallacies you need to stop believing right now.

Myth 1: Cardio is the best way to lose weight.

Truth: While cardio can certainly help you burn calories, it’s not the only (or even the most effective) way to shed pounds. In fact, incorporating strength training into your routine can actually help you burn more fat in the long run. That’s because muscle tissue burns more calories than fat tissue, even when you’re at rest.

Myth 2: You have to work out for hours to see results.

Truth: You don’t need to spend countless hours at the gym to get in shape. In fact, shorter, more intense workouts can be just as effective (if not more so) than longer, slower ones. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a great example of this. By alternating between short bursts of intense activity and periods of rest, you can get a killer workout in just 20-30 minutes.

Myth 3: Lifting weights will make you bulky.

Truth: This is a common concern among women, but it’s simply not true. Women don’t have the same levels of testosterone as men, which makes it much harder for them to build bulky muscle mass. In fact, lifting weights can actually help you achieve a lean, toned physique.

Myth 4: You should always stretch before a workout.

Truth: While stretching can be beneficial, doing it before a workout may actually do more harm than good. That’s because stretching cold muscles can increase your risk of injury. Instead, try doing a dynamic warm-up (think: jumping jacks, high knees, etc.) to get your blood flowing and your muscles primed for action.

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Myth 5: You can spot-reduce fat.

Truth: Sorry to break it to you, but there’s no such thing as spot reduction. You can’t target fat loss in specific areas of your body by doing exercises that focus on those muscles. Instead, focus on overall fat loss through a combination of diet and exercise.

Myth 6: Carbs are the enemy.

Truth: Carbohydrates have gotten a bad rap in recent years, but they’re actually an important part of a balanced diet. In fact, your body needs carbs for energy, especially if you’re active. The key is to choose complex carbs (think: whole grains, fruits, and veggies) over simple, processed ones (think: white bread, sugary snacks).

Myth 7: You should always work out on an empty stomach.

Truth: While some people swear by fasted cardio, working out on an empty stomach can actually hinder your performance and increase your risk of injury. That’s because your body needs fuel to power through your workout. Try eating a small, carb-rich snack (think: a banana or a handful of crackers) before hitting the gym.

Myth 8: Soreness is a sign of a good workout.

Truth: While some soreness is normal after a tough workout, it’s not necessarily a sign that you’re making progress. In fact, extreme soreness can actually be a sign that you’ve overdone it and need to give your body a break. Listen to your body and don’t be afraid to take a rest day when you need it.

Myth 9: You need supplements to see results.

Truth: While supplements can be helpful in some cases, they’re not necessary for most people. In fact, you can get all the nutrients you need from a balanced diet. If you do decide to take supplements, be sure to do your research and choose high-quality products.

Myth 10: Fitness is all about how you look.

Truth: While it’s natural to want to look good, fitness is about so much more than that. It’s about feeling strong, energized, and confident in your own skin. It’s about taking care of your body and mind so that you can live your best life. Don’t get too caught up in the numbers on the scale or the size of your jeans. Focus on how you feel, and the rest will follow.

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So there you have it, folks. 10 fitness myths that you can officially kick to the curb. Remember, getting in shape isn’t about following a bunch of arbitrary rules or depriving yourself of the things you love. It’s about finding what works for you and your body, and sticking with it for the long haul.

And most importantly, it’s about being kind to yourself along the way. Don’t beat yourself up if you have an off day or indulge in a treat every once in a while. Life is all about balance, and that includes your fitness journey.

So go forth and conquer, my friends. You’ve got this. And if you ever need a little extra motivation or support, just remember: you’re not alone. There’s a whole community of people out there who are rooting for you and cheering you on every step of the way.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to do some myth-busting of my own at the gym. See you on the other side!

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