Busted Fitness Myths

15 Oct

No pain no gain.
You need to experience some sort of muscle soreness to see results, but you don’t want to go overboard and cause an injury. Delayed onset muscle soreness occurs when nerve endings get inflamed after you slightly tear your muscle tissues while exercising. As your muscles repair themselves they get stronger and bigger, so you can work them all over again. So yes you do need some muscle soreness to see results, but not acute pain – and rest and recovery is important.

I go to the gym so I can eat what I like, right?
Wrong, 80% of your results come from nutrition. If you’re in the gym for an hour a day, you still have plenty of time to eat badly and your workout isn’t going to make up the difference. Exercising does help – but it isn’t going to cancel out poor eating habits.

The more I exercise the better I’ll do.
If you think making the gym your second home is a great way to get results, think again. Too much training not only results in over-use injuries but also stimulates the stress hormone cortisol, which has been shown to increase fat around the stomach. Ideally you need one to two days of complete rest a week and to keep your workouts to no more the 60 minutes.

If I do hundreds of crunches I’ll lose my muffin muffin top
There’s no such thing as spot reducing fat. You can do as many crunches as you like but if you have a layer of fat over the muscles they won’t show. You need to lose weight by eating well, and bear in mind that the first place you gain fat is the last place you’ll lose it.

Exercising long and slow burns more fat
It’s true your body uses more fat for energy while exercising at a lower intensity but a more intense workout will get your heart rate up higher, which burns more calories during and after your workout. Studies have shown interval training can increase your fitness by up to twice as much as traditional, long, slow distance work and is far more efficient for fat loss.

I should always do cardio first
No, you should do it last. If you do cardio first, your body sees it as a warm up and you’ll start by using glycogen stores for fuel rather than burning fat. You need that glycogen for the short, sharp effort of lifting weight. Doing your weights routine first depletes your glycogen (stored energy in the muscles) stores, so when you hit the treadmill your body will be in fat-burning mode straight away.

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2 Responses to “Busted Fitness Myths”

  1. Skye Frank October 15, 2010 at 6:41 pm #

    Great post, very informtive and helpful. Had a similar discussion about nutrition and working out http://skyefrank.wordpress.com/2010/10/15/i-love-to-eat/

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