Everyone knows exercise is essential for a healthy body. Then, why is it so hard for most of us to keep it up? When setting a fitness goal, it’s important to maximize your workouts to ensure that you’re doing everything possible to transform your body. However, misinformation, personal opinion and stereotypes can make their way into workout routines and affect them.
Get the facts straight before embarking on or continuing your fitness journey so that you can achieve your fitness goals.
Myths vs Facts
Myth #1: Only do cardio for weight loss
Fact: You need to incorporate both cardio and strength training into your workout.
You should indeed include 20-30 minutes of cardio into your workout routine, but focusing only on cardio will not transform your body as quickly or as dramatically as you would think. By incorporating both cardio and strength training into your workout routine, you can increase your heart rate and builds muscle. The more muscle you have, the more calories your body is going to burns, especially during cardio.
Myth #2: Heavy weights will bulk you up
Fact: You would need to follow strenuous diet and workout programs to bulk up like a bodybuilder.
Some people, particularly women, are concerned that lifting heavy weights will build muscle bulk until they might look like a bodybuilder. This is completely untrue. For a female to really, really bulk up, she would have to do a lot of strength training, follow a very strict diet and take various muscle-building supplements. This is because women do not have enough testosterone to bulk up the way men do.
Myth #3: I worked out today, so I can’t eat junk / unhealthy food
Fact: You can still eat junk food after a good workout.
After spending nearly an hour in the gym burning all those calories, of course, it wouldn’t make sense to eat unhealthy food after that. You might feel like it’s wasteful. However, remember this: Food is fuel, and proper nutrition guarantees results. You can still eat anything you want as long as the calorie input is lesser than your calorie output.
Myth #4: Stretching can help prevent injuries
Fact: Stretching before or after exercise isn’t proven to reduce your chances of getting an injury.
Yes, it doesn’t. This might be surprising since almost all sports will require you to do stretching before and after the game. Stretching is beneficial because it prepares the muscles for movement and eases your workout recovery. However, research does not indicate that it will reduce injury. It’s entirely based on your form and movements during the workout.
Myth #5: If the number on the scale is not decreasing, I’m not losing weight
Fact: The number on the scale is not the best representation of body changes.
The number on the scale is a factor of many things such as how much water you’ve drank, what you ate and what time you’re weighing in. the number on scale often goes up first when losing weight because you’re building muscle from the exercise. It is recommended to weigh in at the same time every day, preferably morning after waking up, to get an accurate result.
Myth #6: Cardio machine shows burned calories with 100% accuracy
Fact: It isn’t 100% accurate.
Many factors determine how many calories your body will burn. Some of them are including your gender, age and current weight. Some machines allow you to enter personalized data in one or two of these factors but it is very rare to get a machine with all 3 details.
Myth #7: Sticking to abdominal workouts will give you a six-pack
Fact: It depends on your body fat percentage.
Abdominal workouts are great for your core and to develop muscle around your abdomen area. They can also improve your body's balance and stability. However, a person’s body fat can prevent abs from being seen. If you want six-pack abs, you have to dramatically decrease your body fat to 10%-12% for men or 11%-13% for women. Strict dedication to eating a healthy diet and exercise is also required to get a good result.
Myth #8: Supplements and protein shake after workouts are necessary
Fact: They are not necessary right after workouts.
Although supplement and protein shakes can assist your body to consume the nutrients needed by your body easily, they’re not necessary. As long as you consume a high-protein meal within 30 minutes after your workout, your muscles can absorb the energy to repair any torn muscles during the workout. This is because your muscle is still burning and working during this time.
Myth #9: If I'm not working up a sweat, I’m not working hard enough
Fact: Sweating is NOT an accurate way to measure how hard you’ve worked out.
You shouldn’t gauge how hard you’re working during a workout. Many factors go into the amount a person sweats, such as the temperature, humidity, and hydration levels. Your body could be efficient in cooling itself, as well.
Myth #10: No pain, no gain
Fact: Without pain, you still gain.
You might feel uncomfortable during a workout. It is normal. But if you’re feeling pain, then it’s not normal. Many athletes live by the “no pain, no gain” motto, but pain is only a way your body tells you that something is wrong. Don’t force yourself through the pain when working out as you could be injuring yourself. This will in turn make it hard for you to continue working out in the longer run.