5 Popular Fitness Myths Debunked

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.

 

 

3 Reasons it’s Better to Work out in a Group

3 Reasons it’s Better to Work out in a Group

 

Small group training has becoming much more popular than training alone (or taking large classes at a chain gym where you don’t know anyone) and it’s not by accident: small group training has incredible benefits on your fitness levels but also on your mental health. Here’s why you should consider small group training if you haven’t already.

 

Stay Motivated

This might seem obvious, but most of us are, at least, a little competitive by nature. When others around us push us to better ourselves it will keep us motivated to do it. This healthy bit of competition isn’t necessarily about being better than the others in the group, but rather if you are really struggling and you feel like you can’t continue your friends will show you that you can. They will pick you up and help you move along when you’re ready to quit. This is known as a “keep up” mentality – you see someone else in the group pushing harder than you are, and suddenly you want to keep up with them.

 

Be Accountable

Small group training almost always requires a commitment from you. Lots of people, potentially, sign up for these classes so if you’re going to sign up and don’t show up you’re taking the spot of someone else who might really want to be there. If you say you’re going to be at a class, you must be accountable to them and explain why it is that you didn’t show up last time. If you just go to the gym to do your own thing you don’t have to answer to anyone as to why you skipped out, but in class settings you absolutely must be accountable if you don’t show up. Working out this way will make sure you show up when you say you’re going to, and since showing up is more than half the battle usually once you’re there the workout will rock!

 

Get Social

It’s human nature to want to be in groups, be with people and be social so why not use fitness as an excuse to also extend your social life? Think about it: what will bring you closer together than mutual pain and suffering at the hands of a crazy bootcamp class? Those friendships are born out of suffering and you’ll always have that connection with your new friends. Who else will know exactly what you’re going through when it’s hard to get out of bed the next morning? Who else will be able to talk to you about your life and push you through those last few reps at the same time? Group classes help to forge friendships and you already have something in common with all of them: the desire to get fit and meet new people.