Top 11 Fitness Myths Most People Believe
April 28, 2014
#1 Stretching Before a Workout Prevents Injury
It is often repeated that static stretching, or holding and locking in a certain muscle group, is the proper thing to do as a warm up. I have found the exact opposite to be true. Studies show that stretching before a workout can actually decrease your performance, power, and overall energy output. To further debunk the myth, exsessive static streching prior to activity can result in a higher injury rate.
#2 Doing Ab Workouts Gets Rid of Belly Fat
There is no such thing as spot training. While isolating your abdominals during a workout is important, it will only produce a force multiplying effect when it comes to having a toned six pack. The most important thing movements you can perform to get a strong and toned core are squats, deadlifts, and pull-ups! Remember, that no matter how strong your abs are, they can still be covered by a layer of body fat. Abs are made in the kitchen!
#3 Machines Are Safe Because It Forces You To Have Good Form
Machines are a “one size fits all” concept. While some have adjustment settings you can manipulate, more often than not you will be limiting your range of motion. ROM is the most important aspect to building lean and strong muscle mass. In my opinion, an beneficial exercise will never ask you to take a seat in order to perform it. Free weights are more technical, but if performed the correct way are much safer than limited your body’s ability to move through a natural range of motion.
#4 More Gym Time Is Better
If you are in the gym for more than 45 minutes you are wasting your time! The more time you spend with your heart rate elevated, the more efficient your workout when it come to calories burned. You can elevate your heart rate with cardio, weights, sprints, burst training, etc. but remembering that a combination of these things is what will really boost your results. Lifting weights for an hour and running for an hour will work, but who has time for all of that non-sense? Sharpen your focus and put all of your alloted energy into 45 minutes or less.
#5 Lifting Weights Will Bulk You Up
This is SO not true! This is a very common concern that I hear working with clients everyday and my response is the same everytime. “If you wake up tomorrow and look like the Incredible Hulk, you can fire me”, I say jokingly. But in all seriousness, building lean muscle is what “toning” really means. If you don’t lift weights, and heavy ones, you will be disappointed in your physique in the long run.
#6 You Shouldn’t Work Out On an Empty Stomach
Despite what some people think, working out on an empty stomach does burn more fat than if you were to eat your full meal before hand. Any time that you are feeding off of your body for energy you get a signifcant amount of energy from your body fat. But what you should also know is that not ALL of your utilized energy will come from body fat. Your body will “eat” away at muscle tissue as a form of energy as well. So if you are someone with some serious lean muscle gains, working out on an empty stomach is not for you! Regardless, muscle gain and body fat loss is heavily dependant on your diet as a whole.
#7 You Should Workout Everyday
Scheduling in rest days is crucial to see the results you want. More is not always better. You body does not change during a workout, it is the rebuilding process through proper nutrition, sleep, and rest that actually makes your hardwork a reality. If you over-do your workouts or workout too often with a lack of simple carboydrates and sleep you will never fully recover.
#8 You Shouldn’t Workout While You Are Sick
I am not saying go perform back to back Burn Bootcamp workouts if you are feeling ill. As long as the symptoms you have are “above the neck” there is actually a large benefit to getting your heart rate up. Oxygen is the mircle molecule that “heals all” in the body. Driving oxygen deep into your lungs, thus oxidizing your blood, will prove beneficial in a more speedy recover. If you are sick, do not workout to exaustion but it is an excellent idea to do some burst training or a few hard sprints out in the front yard.
#9 Working Out Makes You Hungry
In one study with 30 in-shape young adults, researchers examined regions in the brain that indicate appetite levels. Surprisingly, those who exercised for one hour showed less interest in food immediately after exercise, while the inactive participants were more eager to dig into the sweet treats. On the flip side, people who are overweight may be more likely to head to the kitchen after exercise than their leaner counterparts, suggesting body composition plays a role in appetite post-exercise.
#10 You Will Burn More Fat The Longer You Workout
The longer you workout the less fat you are burning. An athletic threshold for even the most talented athletes is about 20 minutes of maximim intensity exercise. Notice NBA players for example, how often they are substituted for during a basketball game that requires sprinting up and down the floor. Training like an athlete trains or “athletic conditioning” should be your main source of calorie burn. Your body has a metabolic response that takes place allowing a heighted calorie burn over the coming hours when you put your body through athletic conditioning. Step on a treadmill for 90 mins at a steady state and the metabolic effect is not near as significant, if activated at all.
#11 You Can Run Off The LBS
Does cardio lean your body out if done consistently? Sure it does! But not if you are eating chocolate cake for dessert. Jogging at a low intensity does not activate your body’s neuromusclar response. Ever get done with a strength training workout and feel “shaky”? That is your body’s shock response telling you that you will have the potential to build some lean mass given you are putting the right nutrition in. This effect does not occur by simply running at a steady pace. Steady state cardio will only initially get the LBS off, lifting weights and building lean muscle tissue will keep it off and allow your physique to change.