Everywhere you look, there are different sources of information on the next greatest fitness method. Trying to categorize a piece of information as fact or Myth can be quite challenging, but it must be attempted if you hope to reach your fitness goals.
Here are nine of the most popular Myths that have been unmasked for you. The sooner you learn the truth about exercise, the closer you’ll be to achieving your desired results.
Myth #1: More hours spent in the gym leads to better results
In reality: If you think making the gym your second home is a great way to get results, think again. Overtraining is a surefire way to stop any muscle growth — instead of your body rebuilding its muscle tissues, it’ll continue to break it down. This means you’ll actually start to lose muscle. You need to train smarter, not harder. When you are in the gym, give 110%.
Push your muscles, then give them the rest they need to grow bigger and stronger. Make sure to do cardio training. If your workouts are taking much longer than an hour, chances are you are either wasting too much time between sets, or you’re not training in the most effective manner.
Myth #2: If you want to be strong, you need to get huge
In reality: Strength and size do not have a direct correlation. Power training (one measurement of strength) encompasses training that may not add any size, yet you can still see a great deal of strength improvements. If you look at many well-recognized martial arts experts — like Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan — they are very small, but incredibly strong.
Their small sizes contribute to their quick speed; therefore, this is the best type of training for them. Obviously, some people will have the goal to bulk up as much as possible and that’s fine. Just remember: Bulking up isn’t necessarily a requirement to gain strength.
Myth #3: In order to see maximum results, you must use the latest equipment
In reality: There are so many different pieces of fitness equipment out there, knowing what will deliver can be difficult. Truthfully, often the best choice is still a simple set of dumbbells. When using dumbbells to perform your workout, you will target all your core muscles. Dumbbells also offer the most variety of exercises you can do, which is critical in preventing plateaus from occurring. Finally, dumbbells are incredibly cheap to buy. So, if you don’t belong to a gym, you can get a very effective, affordable workout in the privacy of your own home.
Myth #4: If cardio is part of your training, you won’t gain any muscle
In reality: Since performing cardio may make gaining muscle a little harder, it doesn’t make it impossible. Remember: Since you are going to be burning more calories while doing your cardio, you’ll need to ensure you are making up for these lost calories in your diet. This is so you still maintain the surplus of calories needed to gain muscle mass. Focus your cardio sessions on shorter sprints rather than on longer endurance ones; this will probably aid your strength training.
Myth #5: Lose your love handles & gut by doing ab exercises
In reality: Ever see the guy laying in the corner doing thousands of sit-ups in his quest for a six-pack? While he may be developing unbelievably strong abs, he won’t be doing anything to reduce the layer that is covering those muscles. In order to see this specific group of muscles, you must lower your overall body fat percentage, which is best accomplished through a good cardio program and a proper nutrition plan.
Myth #6: Always work a muscle to failure
In reality: While you may be tempted to push your body to the max during every single workout, this isn’t the best approach since it can lead to overtraining. You need to create a proper, moderated workout — have some hard days interspersed with some easier days that your body can use to recuperate. These “easy” days aren’t wasted workouts; they can be used to focus on other aspects of your training, like muscle endurance by performing more reps with a lighter weight.
Myth #7: Muscle turns into fat
In reality: Just as fat can’t transform into muscle, muscle won’t transform into fat. Building muscle and losing body fat are two completely different processes and, while this can be done simultaneously, it is very rare. Most of the time, you need to focus on one objective before you can focus on another. This is so because, in order to gain muscle, you must consume more calories than you burn and, in order to lose body fat, you must burn more calories than you consume.
Myth #8: If someone looks fit, they know what they’re talking about
In reality: While it may be tempting to believe everything that guy in the gym tells you simply because his body resembles Brad Pitt’s during his Fight Club days, you still need to judge this information for accuracy. Some people are blessed with good genes and will look great no matter what type of training they do. Also, everyone is unique, so what works for one person will not necessarily produce the same results in another. Half the battle of fitness is determining what works for your body, so while listening to what this guy has to say, make sure you analyze it and see how well it will apply to your own situation.
Myth #9: If your parents are overweight, chances are you will be too
In reality: Obesity is slightly genetic, however, there are a great number of factors that you can do to reduce your chances of becoming overweight. A good portion of weight gain is attributed to environmental factors, such as overeating, the rise of automated technology replacing manual tasks and a decreased rate of exercising. Instead of relaxing on the couch after work and diving into a bowl of potato chips, take a trip to the gym first. You’ll be more energized and it’ll help you take the necessary steps to defy any bad genetics that may be at play in your body. So, attaining the ultimate physique all boils down to this: genetics, a great fitness program and a proper diet. Hopefully you will avoid these 9 exercise myths to never fall for.