It’s not just newbies to fitness and gym-going that can believe some of the inaccurate information circulating the sports and exercise industry. Seasoned athletes, regular trainers and even professionals in the fitness industry can be, justifiably, misinformed about exercise fitness tips and tricks.
Here are 2018's 8 fitness myths debunked by the experts at SCI-MX:
1. Lifting weights will make you particularly bulky.
Some men and women avoid lifting weights in fear that lifting weights will make them bulky. However, there are many factors involved in the process of building muscle and it is actually more difficult to bulk-up than you first think!
In order to build muscle, you need to be consuming enough protein and carbohydrate to cover what you’ve burned, and more.
Additionally, women will find it harder to build bulk muscle due to having lower levels of testosterone.
2. Running is bad for your knees.
Although, for some, running offers some level of discomfort in the knees and other leg joints, there is no direct link between running and problems occurring in your knees.
If you wear suitable running shoes and are careful with your training, there is no reason why running should give you bad knees, no more so than other sports like squash, tennis and badminton.
It is important, however, to practice a couple of all-over body strength sessions alongside your run training to ensure the muscles can handle the stress and impact of running to alleviate pressure on the joints.
3. Light weights are best for toning.
If you’re worried about developing excess muscle, it seems sensible to opt for light weights in the gym. That way you’ll tone, but not get bigger, right?
Wrong! Heavier weights work the muscle and help with toning. While performing multiple reps with light weights can be good for muscle endurance, the optimum way to tone is 8-12 reps with a heavy weight.
4. The more you sweat, the better the workout.
Unfortunately, just because you’ve left a fitness class or your gym workout with sweat-dripping clothes, doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve hit it hard.
When we perspire during exercise, it is essentially the bodies way of cooling itself down. Therefore, excess sweat can be the result of an overheated studio, rather than a particularly hard session.
A good way of measuring how hard you have worked is by using heart rate or power. You can measure power in watts if cycling or spinning, and by the size of the weight if lifting.
5. You should work out every day for optimal fitness.
While consistency is important in any fitness regime, having ample rest and recovery is also an essential part of training.
It’s true that even casual gym-goers need adequate rest and recovery to allow the muscles to adapt to training stress.
If you’re a beginner to training and exercise, you may want to adopt the “one day on, one day off” approach, while more advanced athletes may want to take a rest day just one day a week.
That said, while rest is important, training just once or twice a week, isn’t really enough to make sufficient fitness gains.
6. Crunches are the best way to tone your abs.
Despite common belief that crunches and sit-ups are the “go-to” exercise for toning your abs, plank exercises and bridge crunches are a much more efficient way of building abdominal muscles.
While there are benefits to crunching, it is essential that the technique of the crunches is spot-on for optimal effect.
How to perform a crunch with proper form:
- Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
- Place your hands behind your head so your thumbs are behind your ears. Don’t lock your hands together.
- Hold your elbows out to the side and tilt your chin slightly forward.
- Pull yourself up with your abdominal muscles.
- Lower yourself back down.
- Repeat for 10-12 reps.
Try a reverse plank with leg lift:
-Sit down with your legs pointing out and hands on the floor beneath your shoulders. Make sure your fingers are pointing towards your toes.
- Squeeze your glutes and push your heels into the floor. Lift yourself up and lean your head back. Tilt the chin.
-Make sure your backside doesn’t drop.
-Keep squeezing your glutes.
-Lift your right leg. Hold for three seconds.
-Lift your left leg. Hold for three seconds.
-Repeat for 10 to 12 reps.
-Lower yourself gently, keeping the core engaged.
7. Yoga is a great form of exercise to burn fat and lose weight.
While yoga is an excellent form of exercise for stretching and flexibility, it is not necessarily the highest calorie burning exercise.
Yoga offers numerous health benefits, arguably relieving digestion problems and helping to control hypertension, and can generally be performed by people of various ages.
In truth though, you’ll burn far more calories swapping your 50-minute yoga class for a 50-minute spin class.
In a half hour yoga session, you could expect to burn roughly 120 calories if you weigh 125 pounds. During a spinning class, you’d be looking at 250-400 calories in half an hour.
Swap yoga for a more intense exercise session if you’re short on time: Yoga is a good form of exercise to add in to your fitness regime, allowing time for the muscles to stretch and mind to relax. However, if you need a quick work out, go for an activity that is more intense for improved cardiovascular health.
8. Sports drinks are the best way to hydrate post-workout.
Sports drinks are a carbohydrate drink made of water and sugar.
Although sports drinks can offer some benefits post-racing or training, immediately replacing any lost glycogen during your efforts, you’d be best opting for a protein-based drink, ideally within 20-minutes post-workout. A protein drink works directly to replenish damages in the muscle and contains less sugar, meaning you are much less likely to have a sugar low a couple of hours post-exercise.
SCI-MX RECOVER 2:1 ISOLATE is a great substitute for your standard sports drink, featuring whey isolate, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals to replenish amino acids and maintain muscle mass. An excellent recovery drink.
If you would like to learn more about fitness myths and misconceptions then why not browse our blog for more articles.