Myths are stories, legends or invented explanations that are retold so often that they are accepted as truth. They should not be that way, and they have no place in any individual’s fitness routine. Below are 14 of the most common myths on fitness, exercises and workouts that you and I should know about.
- When you stop working out, muscles will turn into fat
It’s the most typical workout myth in the world. Muscle has never and will never turn into fat and neither does fat turn into muscle. During weight training, more energy is required, hence a bigger appetite. When a person stops working out, the need for extra energy stops as well. But because the stomach size has increased due to a bigger appetite, the need to feel full has become a habit. Those extra calories that were once used as fuel while training is now stored as fat. It may seem like the bulk of muscle has turned into fat, but the truth is that the body became fatter due to eating more than previously needed.
Be it protein or carbohydrates, both turns into fat when not used. Cutting back on training requires you to cut back on food consumption as well.
- Food eaten after 8 at night will turn into body fat
Not entirely true. For people who workout during the later part of a day, it is important to eat accordingly. Whenever there is a need for the body to repair and rebuild, fuel is needed and the body most actively repairs during during sleep. However, it is more important to eat healthier foods during the later part of a day like lean meat, unsaturated fats, vegetables and fruits to avoid the risk of unwanted fat deposits. Give the body at least 2 hours to digest the food before going to bed.
- Six pack abs equal six hundred sit ups and crunches daily
Everyone has six pack abs. Abdominal exercises do not lead to clearly visible six pack abs but fat reduction does. The first place that fat goes to in the body, is the last place fat comes off. Tummy for men and hips, butt, thighs for women. Spot reduction of fat has never and will never work. Here are some of the lesser known facts about losing weight that people ought to know about.
A six pack abs is a definite want for any man working out for it is a social muscle. Ab exercises will definitely strengthen and tone the abs but does not rid the fat. A better use of time would be to spend it on interval cardio sessions and making sure that proper food is fed to the body.
I actually have a personal digital body fat analyzer that I use from time to time that gives me a rough idea of my body’s current state. Accuracy may not be as good as a DXA but it’s good enough for me. You can easily get one at less than $US 10 from online auction sites like ebay.
- Stretching and warm up isn’t necessary
I hit the gym everyday. And everyday I’ll take up 10 minutes to stretch and warm up my body from head to toe. It is necessary to avoid sprains and injuries. Even after a good day’s workout, I stretch. It greatly reduces the severity of DOMS, delayed onset muscle soreness, which will be pretty much appreciated the morning after. Here are 20 more solid reasons why warm up and stretching is important.
- Supplements will boost muscle growth and strength in no time
There are only 2 ways to make the most gains in mass and might.
- A good training program.
- A well planned out diet.
Time and energy should be focused on the 2 methods mentioned above rather than on supplements that claim to be able to bring out the Arnold in you. Some supplements may have serious and irreversible side effects if taken wrongly. For example, steroids taken wrongly may lead to a loss of appetite, constipation, intestinal irritation, vomiting, nose bleeding, headaches, increased aggression and even liver cancer. It’s way better to attain the results we want naturally. Think safe, think long term. Our body’s health should not be taken lightly.Weight training will make women look beefy
To look beefy, you’d need testosterone. Lots of it. Hundreds and hundreds of nanograms per deciliter of blood. The average testosterone levels for a human being are :
- Male : 300-1,000 ng/dl
- Female : 20-80 ng/dl
Women just do not have the testosterone levels necessary to look like The Rock in Scorpion King. As a matter of fact, weight training is the fastest and easiest way for women to look leaner, sculpted and toned. Light to moderate weights and many repetitions are the most effective for toning and strengthening and making you look like Megan Fox in Transformers.Vegetarians will not make it in bodybuilding
It’s so wrong. There is Bill Pearl who won Mr Universe twice, first in 1953 kicking Sean Connery’s ass (6th), and in 1971 before retiring. 1951 Mr America, Roy Hilligenn is another perfect example who still looks young as hell at 77 years old. You can see more of today’s vegetarian bodybuilders at veganbodybuilding.com.
Vegetarians get their protein from nuts, seeds, cereals and legumes. B12 vitamin and iodin are 2 other essential nutrients available through seaweed.Your body weakens with age
It’s all in the mind. Think old and you’ll look old and act old. The fact is, body building doesn’t only improve your physique and rejuvenates your spirit, but also gives you a healthy perspective on people and the world around. Some of the older bodybuilders include :
With regular exercise, weight training and a low-fat diet, you’ll gain increased energy levels, leaner body mass and an optimum body fat percentage. With the big 90 around the corner, people still do experience renewed strength, increased mobility, stronger bones and greater flexibility by exercising.The longer time I spend at the gym, the fitter I become
For me, it’s no longer than 60 minutes 3 times a week. The focus here is on efficiency and effectiveness like this super cool 15 minutes workout that works every muscle in your body. An average bodybuilder does not spend more than 1 hour working out. People who just don’t have the time to workout that much will lose interest and motivation to exercise, if the myth were true. The point is, any exercise, at all, done correctly is better than none.If I don’t feel pain in the morning, I didn’t work out hard enough
When we lift weights, our muscle fibers will tear a little. Muscle soreness is expected, but normally heals within a week. Anything more than a week is an indication of over working out. Committing to a fitness program will eventually lead the muscle into getting used to it. Changing a fitness program regularly will ensure that all muscles are worked on and experiencing growth.
However, what happens in the gym is only meant to PROMOTE muscle growth. The REAL process begins only when a person is RECOVERING. Pain should not be used as a measurement of a workout session’s effectiveness. Some soreness, yes, but not pain. Always remember to stretch before and after. Get enough rest and work on different muscle groups on different days. Rest a day if the muscles are still sore.
Avoid drinking water when your body is over heated
- upper back
- abs & lower back
An average human body’s water content is 60% for men and 55% for women. In my body, 86 out of 143 pounds is water. If the body’s water content drops 5%, it’s already considered dehydration. An hour of vigorous exercise is enough to drain a quart (~1 liter). Drinking before, during and after is pretty important.
During exercise, muscles generate heat that will cause a rise in body temperature. This heat is doused by water when it is carried in the bloodstream and pushed to the surface as bullets of sweat. It continues to drain water from the body until it is replenished. Thirst is already a sign of dehydration. Drink a cup every 15 minutes. Keeps the muscles oiled and the body productive.There is no need for doctors if I don’t plan on biting off more than I can chew
If you have never done any resistance training before in your life and you’re above 40, it’s best to consult your doc. Go for a physical exam that examines the temperature, blood pressure, pulse and respiratory rate. Things that concern your cardiovascular fitness, blood cholesterol levels and medical history should also be taken into account. Ask doc about the best exercise given your medical profile.The prime time for exercising and working out is in the mornings
Correction. The best time to exercise is the time that works with the individual’s body clock and fits their busy days. People working out in the morning are more likely to stick to their fitness plans as they are able to get it in before the various demands of life compete for their time.
Many, many people believe that the best way to lose fat is to start pushing your body right after waking up in the mornings, on an empty stomach. I say no. Exercise is meant for toning the muscle and burning fat. Inability to draw energy from the main source will only force the body to go to other sources of energy, which are your muscles and fat. More muscles are used up as fuel as their composition is much simpler compared to fat.It is okay to cover a week’s worth of workout during the weekend
It’s also much better spreading a workout all over the week instead of pounding the body during weekends. A weekend warrior will lose out on other health benefits. Blood pressure and glucose levels are temporarily lowered during each exercise, which are beneficial in the long run. Exercising regularly also keeps a person’s appetite consistent.