8 Workout Myths—Debunked
Want to improve your looks and life in general by following a workout regimen? Well, that’s definitely a great idea. Be warned though—some fitness facts that have been ingrained in our minds are no longer true and may actually be harmful. These include:
- Myth: Stretching before an exercise is an absolute must
Fact: Recent studies show that stretching before a workout does not really do much to increase your range of motion. In fact, it may even just destabilize muscles. Start your workout instead with a light aerobic exercise as a warm-up. (Stretching after a workout, however, remains beneficial.)
- Myth: Your new diet should be heavy on protein shakes
Fact: No, this doesn’t really work. Most protein shakes (especially premade ones) are usually just a mix of cheap protein, sugar, some vitamins and coloring agents. They’re not necessarily bad, but you’ll do better by eating whole foods that are rich in fiber instead.
- Myth: If you’re a woman, weights are no-no—lest you look bulky
Fact: Women naturally have high levels of estrogen, which makes it very difficult for them to bulk up. In fact, a woman needs 4–5 hours of focused weight training to create any significant bulk.
- Myth: The best way to a six pack is through ab crunches
Fact: If you really want to get rid of the fat on your belly, focus on cardio workout. Abdominal crunch is actually one of the least effective exercise for the core and may even cause strain on the back.
- Myth: Sports bras are optional
Fact: Sports bras hold down breasts so that they don’t bounce while a woman jogs, does aerobics or performs other high-impact exercises. They minimize stress to the Cooper’s ligaments, which is the connective tissue that keeps breasts firm.
- Myth: Everything boils down to weight
Fact: Weight loss doesn’t always equate to progress. In fact, one of the most common errors of people new to working out is to measure their success solely by how much weight they have lost. The problem here is when such people forget to factor in their diet and the changes in their body. If you exercise regularly, even if you don’t lose weight, you will improve your stamina, strength and overall health.
- Myth: Men and women need different forms of exercise
Fact: Should men do more weight training while women do more cardio? Not necessarily. While we do have different hormonal make-ups, our bodies have the same basic composition so exercises affect as pretty much the same way. A lot of men focus on developing their upper body, while women focus on their lower body. An ideal workout, however, should involve the entire body, regardless of sex.
- Myth: You can blast fat out of certain parts of your body
Fact: This just couldn’t be true, no matter how much we wish it. The truth is, working out burns fat, but it doesn’t just burn the fat on which part of the body you’re training, but all the fat anywhere in your body. You can focus on developing muscles, sure, but you don’t really have much control on how your body burns fat, just how much.