Some fitness advice can actually be harming your hustle and preventing you from reaching your goals. We’ve all seen those viral videos of people completely embarrassing themselves at the gym by using a machine inappropriately, or doing an exercise blatantly wrong. However, some things you hear and read might not be as clear, so we’re here to help distinguish right from wrong. Keep reading for the top 10 fitness myths and what we know to be true.
1. Myth: You should work out in the morning for best results.
Truth: Time of day doesn’t matter; as long as you are making time in your day to work out. Once you make it a routine, your body will adapt.
2. Myth: Crunches and sit-ups are the best exercises to get abs.
Truth: Your diet is the most crucial aspect in seeing your abs; they say abs are made in the kitchen. Everyone has abdominal muscles, but whether or not you can see them depends on how much fat is covering them. What you eat has a greater impact on fat burning than what exercises you do. However, many different exercises help strengthen the core muscles. Try planking – it engages your entire core, resulting in a better burn.
3. Myth: Lifting will make you too bulky.
Truth: This only happens if this is your goal, especially for females, you have to eat a TON of protein and carbs to truly get bulky from lifting, otherwise it will actually shape you, lean you, and tone your body. Women don’t have as much natural testosterone as men, resulting in less “bulking up”.
4. Myth: Doing cardio before weight lifting results in a better work out.
Truth: While both are important components in your work out, heavy cardio before lifting will only result in fatigue and hinder your weight lifting abilities.
5. Myth: If you’re not sore, the workout wasn’t good enough.
Truth: Inflammation causes soreness; the best way to measure the success of your workout is compare how you performed compared to your goal. An intense workout causes microscopic damage to the muscle fibers, resulting in muscle soreness. If the pain lasts over 72 hours, you may have worked out too hard or caused more serious injuries.
6. Myth: Weight lifting and training changes your fat to muscle.
Truth: Weight lifting only increases your muscle mass. The best way to burn fat is to maintain a healthy, balanced diet, and maintain a caloric deficit.
7. Myth: Stretching before working out can prevent injury.
Truth: Warming up and stretching are different things. Warming up is beneficial and should mimic the routine you’re about to do, just less intense. Recent studies have found that stretching before a workout does nothing to prevent injury. Some researchers believe it actually impedes your performance as it undermines your strength and speed.
8. Myth: You can target weight loss to specific body regions.
Truth: Your body pulls fat from different regions depending upon your genetics. This is something that you cannot control. Consuming less calories than you are burning will result in weight loss from wherever your body decides.
9. Myth: The more you sweat, the more fat you burn and weight you lose.
Truth: Sweat is the body’s way of cooling off; fat oxidation occurs within the body. In other words, sweating doesn’t burn more fat.
10. Myth: Carbs are bad for you.
Truth: “White carbs” , or highly processed foods, are not so good for you, but complex carbs are great, especially if you are an athlete or work out often. These help with muscle soreness and give you more energy. Think more whole grain and starchy vegetables.
We know it can be hard to tell what source to trust when you’re looking for the best fitness advice. Keep your goals in mind and remember these “truths.” A balance of diet and exercise is vital, you can’t control your genes, and sweating more doesn’t mean burning more fat. Do your research and learn about your body and what you’re comfortable with as you create a routine that works!