Do you often get confused because you hear one thing about fitness from one person and then another from someone else? You're not alone. It is common for fitness myths to spread around the gym. I am going to clear up the top fitness myths today that way you won't be wondering any longer!
1) Doing crunches and ab workouts will help you achieve a 6 pack. FALSE. Doing endless amounts of crunches will not get you a flat stomach but it can help strengthen your abs. Remember, muscle does not cancel out fat; they are two separate things. Getting a flat stomach will come from eating CLEAN. Clean food will help rid the body of toxins and can help break down fat cells and in turn will decrease the waist line.
2) Machines are just as effective as free motion exercises. FALSE. Machines can help you build muscle in an isolated fashion, but they are not good for functional training. When you do functional training or free motion exercises (ex: squats, dead-lifts, rotational twists etc), you are using your entire body and are recruiting more muscle activation. This will burn more calories in the end and be more beneficial to your training!
3) Stretching before you exercise is good for you. FALSE. Think of your muscles as elastic bands. If you have a cold band and try and stretch it far, it won't move very well and the range of motion will be less. Now, think of your body post workout when your warm. Your body is more supple. You want to perform dynamic stretching before workout (movement through the stretch like a walking lunge or push up) and static stretching (holding a position) after your workouts. This will be easier on your muscles and will help with joint flexibility.
4) The longer the workout the more effective. FALSE. The duration of your workout does NOT define the efficiency. Using your time effectively and doing the proper exercises at the correct intensity will define the outcome of your workouts. A 20 minute workout can be more effective than an hour workout if done correctly.
5) The more you workout the faster you will get to your results. FALSE. Our bodies are machines but that doesn't mean they can run at 100% all the time. Our bodies need to rest and recover from workouts, especially if they are intense. The best time for your body to change is when you are recovering and resting! Make sure to get at LEAST 1 full day of rest a week. However, don't let it turn into a week.
Do you have myths that you want clarified? Ask us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
In good health,
Cristina Walterman, owner of CW Physique, let's you in on fitness and nutrition tips, recipes, exercises and much more. With over 8 years of experience in the industry, she loves to inspire and motivate individuals. She always practices what she preaches and leads by example.