5 Popular Fitness Myths Debunked
There are a lot of fitness “truths” out there, and it seems like what is true today won’t be tomorrow. Well, there’s a few things out there that have always been true, even if fads having you believing otherwise. Here’s 5 popular fitness myths that just simply aren’t true.
Myth #1: No pain, no gain
Ultimately pain is a signal your body sends when something just isn’t quite right – perhaps your workout is too intense or your form is incorrect, either way what your body doesn’t like what you’re doing if you’re in actual pain. The muscle soreness caused from a heavy workout, such as your quads after squats, is very normal but that shouldn’t be confused for pain. If you are having troubles walking or with regular mobility the day after a workout you might have pushed too hard and you should give yourself sufficient recovery. Soreness is to be expected, but you should not be in pain.
Myth #2: Women who lift weights will become bulky
This myth has been circulating with the aerobics and step class goers for years, but it is ultimately not true. Gaining huge amounts of muscle takes an incredibly regimented diet and workout schedule, plus that much extra muscle – order to look “bulky” – would require a large elevation in testosterone levels which women just naturally don’t have. Having a low body fat percentage will show the definition that your muscles naturally have, but without doing it on purpose women who lift weights will not become bulky. If anything, they will come to have a much more defined shape to their body.
Myth #3: I burned the calories, so I can eat whatever I want
What? Why? If you are on the path to losing those extra 10, 20 or more pounds then why would you sabotage your success? Seriously. In order to lose weight you need to consume less calories than you burn in a day, a way of thinking known as CICO or Calories In Calories Out. If you burned off 500 calories during your workout, that’s a pretty intense workout. But you can completely ruin that extra deficit with just one small snack. Due to the amount of processed foods consumed, calorie intakes are pretty high for those of us in a busy lifestyle. Don’t ruin your fantastic workout. Eat your regularly planned meals, ensure you have enough protein, fiber, carbs and fat in your diet and you will see those results. Don’t waste your efforts with just one snack; it’s so easy to over eat and you need high intensity workouts to burn a large number of calories.
Myth #4: If you’re trying to lose weight you should start with cardio, and then move to weight training when you’ve lost some weight
No. A million times, no. Cardio and weight training are both valid workouts but they will give you drastically different benefits. Cardio training helps your lung capacity and works your heart – it is an aerobic workout. Weight training is anaerobic. Aerobic workouts burn fat stores, which requires much more oxygen to complete. Weight training, on the other hand, uses your glycogen stores to complete the workout. What might be more relevant is this: weight lifting keeps burning calories even after you finish working out as it increases your metabolism over time. Cardio, on the other hand, doesn’t have quite the afterburn affect but it will burn more calories during the workout than weightlifting. Each has its own benefits and drawbacks, but you do not have to choose one over the other if you’re just starting out.
Myth #5: Working out should be hard, and it isn’t meant to be fun
This myth goes all the way back to fundamentals. Working out – in any form – is great for your body: it can relieve stress, help you sleep better, help you with focus and memory and just add quality to your every day life. So why would you choose a workout that you don’t enjoy? If you hate running don’t do it. Don’t want to squat your own body weight? Then don’t do it. It’s really that simple. You don’t have to hate it and it doesn’t have to be hard. Notice how kids do things they really enjoy doing? They don’t put themselves through stuff they don’t like so why are you? Choose a form of exercise that you look forward to doing and it will become a whole lot less work.