There is a lot of information out there regarding how to workout in the right manner, but not all of it is correct, and some of it is even counterproductive. Therefore, you would do well to familiarize yourself with the many workout myths which are out there if you are to meet your fitness goals efficiently. It could be that what you are doing is great, but with a few tweaks you could be getting more results for the work that you are putting in.
Myth 1: Calorie Output On Exercise Equipment Is Accurate
A lot of people pay significant attention to the calorie outputs of exercise equipment such as treadmills and exercise bikes. However, such readings cannot possibly be correct. For example, the machines know nothing about your weight, size and gender yet still are able to calculate how much calories you are burning – this is not logical. In order to calculate the rate at which a person burns calories such information must be known. For example, both genders do not burn calories at the same rate, so the calorie output indicated should be different for a man and that of a woman. An expert from CNN suggests that calorie counters on exercise equipment are unreliable:
“It doesn’t mean anything,” said Mark Macdonald, personal trainer and author of “Body Confidence” about the calorie numbers spit out by the cardio machine. Some machines don’t even ask for your weight or sex.
Therefore, take little notice of what the calorie output on your exercise equipment is, and come up with your own calculations that take into account all of the required information.
Myth 2: Cardio Exercises Have To Come First
Most people believe that to start off a good workout session you need to hit the treadmills or exercise bikes in order to get a good amount of cardio in first. However, that is not the best way to start a workout. What you need to do first before doing any cardio is to do some strength training by lifting weights, doing press ups and so on.
Strength training will increase cortisol and testosterone levels for the workout session which will make it easier to train, whereas if you begin with cardio first then you will experience a decrease in glycogen levels which isn’t good for your workout as it could lead to a decrease in your performance levels.
Myth 3: Static Stretching Pre-Workout Is Required
You will undoubtedly have heard by now that you must stretch before and after every workout session. If you have taken part in any fitness sessions with a personal trainer, or attended any sports training where there is a coach then you may have been told to stretch before doing anything else. However, as Men’s Fitness suggests, static stretching pre-workout could be to your disadvantage:
In fact, “static stretching done pre-workout can reduce performance and power,” Allen says. So what’s the solution? While static stretching should still be a part of your post-workout routine, dynamic stretching should be your focus at the start of a workout.
Therefore, try to get in as much of dynamic stretching into your routine before working out, and once you have completed your workout you can rely on static stretching in order to cool down your body.
Myth 4: The More Hours At The Gym The Better
You might think logically that the more amount of effort and time you spend at the gym the quicker your success will be with regards to reaching your fitness goals. However, this is quite simply a myth because it is not the amount of time that you spend working out that is key, but instead what you do in the amount of time that you spend working out. For example, a short 30 minute session can be much more productive that a 2 hour one, if you go about it the correct way. Furthermore, if you are spending a lot of time at the gym then you might be in danger of overtraining and that could lead to impeded muscle growth, as an expert from Ask Men suggests:
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.
If you are still interested in doing longer sessions at the gym then don’t spend the majority of your time doing strength training as such exercise should only take 20 to 30 minutes. What you can spend the majority of your time on is cardio, which can be done for a long time without resulting in a significant decrease in muscle mass.
Myth 5: All Or Nothing Mentality
A lot of people enter workout programs because they were lead to believe that they must exercise often and intensely to see any benefits as otherwise there isn’t any point. However, this just isn’t the case, you can exercise only 3 times a week at 20 to 30 minute sessions and still see great results, both health benefits and visual. The trick is that you must use your short workout sessions productively, you don’t have to be super intense, but you must have a good pace where you are pushing your body with strength exercises. An expert from IDEA Health & Fitness Association suggests that doing even a little gardening can be beneficial:
Research continues to show that any exercise is better than none. For example, regular walking or gardening for as little as an hour a week has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease.
Therefore, if starting a workout program seems a little overwhelming for you then start off with baby steps. Do a few short sessions per week and go from there. Even though it might seem that not much will come of them, you will begin to see the positive benefits, and then moving forward to regular intense exercises will be easier. The biggest hurdle to getting fit is always starting because of how overwhelming it all seems at first.