Often times we hear a lot of strange myths about exercise to the point we actually start believing them. Many of these fitness myths scare a ton of people away from the gym so I’m here to debunk those fitness myths that have probably been circulating around you for a while.
You have to do cardio first.
Truth: The best ways to start your workouts is to strength-train first and then do your cardio session. Why? Running or doing other cardio first will reduce glycogen levels, which can prevent you from training as hard as you need to. I’ve experienced this many times. I end up exhausted after performing a treadmill run before my strength training.
Doing crunches will give you flat.
Truth: Crunches are for your abs muscles and your muscles respond better with good nutrition. You’ll find out moves that include your distal trunk- your shoulders and butt- engage your core more effectively. Doing compound exercises like squats, dead lifts, shoulder presses etc plus high intensity training will burn belly fat more and tone your abs.
The more you sweat; the more calories you’re burning.
Truth: Just because you’re dripping in sweat during your workout session doesn’t mean you necessarily burned any more calories than usual I’m sorry. Sweat is a biological response that cools your skin and regulates internal body temperature. It’s a natural response for your body.
Women who lift weights (strength train) will end up looking too muscular.
Truth: Women typically have less muscle tissue and our bodies produce lower levels of testosterone than men therefore we cannot gain absurd muscle mass just from following a normal weightlifting routine. A woman is less physiologically prone to becoming ‘muscular’. So go ahead and lift weights girls!
You have to stretch or else!
Truth: When you stretch after a workout, your muscles are warm and you benefit from increased blood circulation. Stretching will help your muscles to recover faster from a tough workout. There are obvious benefits of stretching but it’s not a must.
You can spot reduce fat.
Truth: You cannot pick and choose what areas of your body you want to lose weight on. Spot-reduction is not possible unless you go for liposuction. Without such surgery, your body will draw fat from different regions at different rates depending on your genetic makeup.
The best way to lose weight is to not eat:
Truth: The longer your body goes without food, it begins to think it’s starving. Not only do you lose fat but you slow down your metabolism but your body begins to feed on muscle tissue for energy. You need your muscle tissue. There are so many diet options if your goal is to lose weight, not eating should not be one of them .
If you aren’t sore the next day, your workout wasn’t effective enough.
Truth: Soreness is just an inflammation and the chemical response to inflammation. The only yardstick by which you need to measure progress is that of your goal. There are Olympic athletes who haven’t felt soreness in years. Judge your workout by what happens during that workout. Don’t wake up the next day thinking that you’re workout the day before wasn’t effective just because you don’t feel any pain.
There you have it! These fitness myths are completely false.
This article was written by Sandra Okeke; connect with her on IG here