Are you making these common workout mistakes? Take a look at these 10 workout myths exposed.
MYTH # 1. You need to stretch before and after you workout to prevent injuries. The reality is, stretching is not proven to prevent injuries before or after a workout. In fact stretching before a workout when you are really stiff can often do more harm than good. The best way to ease into your workout is by doing similar motions on a smaller scale. For instance, if you jog, warm up by running. If you are lifting weights, start off with a warm up weight. Stretching after a workout can be a good idea, but it is not so much about preventing injury as it is about preventing blood from pooling in your extremities.
MYTH # 2. Scales are the best indicator of fat loss or gain. Throw away your scales. They are not an accurate measure of body fat. You can lose fat, gain muscle or vice versa but the reality is, the scale cannot tell the difference. The best way to determine true weight loss is by inches lost or how your clothes fit. Let your belt tell the tail or use fat calipers which measure percentage of fat on various parts of the body.
MYTH # 3. Spot reduction will help you get a 6 pack or a muscular bottom. Repetitive actions such as crunches or lungs may very well develop more muscle in that area however the fat will still remain in that area as well so you will have fat over muscle. Fat is lost at different rates and in different places in the body. You cannot choose where the weight will come off. A healthy diet combined with strength training and cardio will take the weight off eventually, even in the mid section.
MYTH #4. Expect to experience pain if you want to experience workout gain. Never should you be experience pain during a workout. Pain means you are doing something incorrectly and are setting the stage for an injury. It is normal to feel some stiffness and soreness the day or two after a workout, especially if you haven’t worked out in a while or you increased your weight or switched up your routine. This is normal but never work through pain during a workout.
MYTH #5. Machines are a safer way to exercise than free weights. Machines cannot guarantee you are using them correctly. They are only as good as the people using them. Too many people fail to adjust machines properly for their body or use incorrect weights. This can cause increase the likelihood of injury as much as using free weights. Ask a fitness coach to give you a demonstration of how to use machines or hire a personal trainer who will often use both free weights and machines. It is a good idea to know free weight routines as you can do them at home and are not as dependent on the gym.
MYTH #6. I exercise so that I can eat what I want. Diet is more important than exercise when it comes to losing or maintaining weight. You can monitor your diet and definitely lose weight however exercise is no guarantee for weight lose if you continue to eat what you want. People who claim that they exercise to eat are often just trying to maintain a current weight. Those people who want to lose weight, need to exercise regularly and continue to watch what they eat.
MYTH # 7. Low-intensity exercise burns more fat. The myth is that if you exercise too intensely, you end up burning carbohydrates instead of fat. The truth is, total energy spent is more important than where the energy is coming. Generally the more intense the workout, the more calories you were burn and that is what is important. Interval training is a great way to maximize calorie burning without spending hours exercising.
MYTH # 8. Sweating is an indicator of how hard I am working. Sweating is your body’s mechanism of cooling itself down so many factors come into play such as the climate, your core temperature and how efficient you are at cooling down. Contrary to what you may think, the most in shape bodies will sweat the most because they are efficient at cooling down. That is why professional athletes sweet profusely. Only you can judge how hard you are working and your heart rate is the best indicator of this.
MYTH # 9. Lifting weights will make women bulky. Women have too much estrogen to build large amounts of bulk. Woman are not built like men. Lifting weights helps increase lean muscle mass which helps you burn fat. Not to mention it is great for bone health.
MYTH # 10. If I stop strength training, my muscles will turn to fat. Muscle does not suddenly turn to fat. If people look more fatty after they stop working out, it has more to do with stopping exercising and not adjusting caloric intake according. Research does show that taking a break from working out for at least a week every 2 months can help with muscle repair and actually improve muscle gains. Read more...