TOP 5 FITNESS MYTHS, BUSTED.
MYTH # 1 – STRENGTH TRAINING WILL MAKE WOMEN BULK UP.
TRUTH – IT’S REALLY HARD FOR WOMEN TO PUT ON A LOT OF MUSCLE AND ‘BULK UP’ FROM A STRENGTH TRAINING PROGRAM.
Women simply don’t have as much testosterone as men.
Testosterone is one of the primary hormones involved in building muscle mass.
In fact, if looking good and losing body fat is your goal, strength training can really help! Lean muscle burns calories even at rest and will really help to shape up the body. Weight training also helps to keep the bones in your skeleton strong.
Don’t forget, keeping your nutrition in check is of course vital for any weight loss programme.
MYTH # 2 – YOU CAN ‘SPOT REDUCE FAT’ FROM CERTAIN BODY PARTS.
TRUTH – IF YOU WANT TO LOSE BODY FAT, TRAINING THE WHOLE BODY AND ENSURING YOU ARE IN A SMALL CALORIE DEFICIT IS KEY.
Your body burns fat as a fuel when in a caloric deficit . There is nothing you can do to burn fat from certain specific areas.
“If you want to get lean, train, diet and be patient, enjoy the process!”- Phil Howard, Head Coach at Capital fitness
Everybody is different, you will naturally lean up and lose fat from some areas before others. You may notice your face or arms show signs of getting leaner, while other areas lag behind. That’s life! Stay on track and eventually you will be lean all over.
MYTH #3 – DOING LOTS OF CARDIO IS THE BEST WAY TO LOSE WEIGHT.
TRUTH- IF YOUR GOAL IS TO LOSE FAT, SPENDING HOURS ON THE TREADMILL OR X-TRAINER ISN’T ALWAYS THE BEST APPROACH.
Sure, doing some cardio can help to put you in a caloric deficit, however, if you want to really improve your physique, turn to weight training and nutrition first, then add cardio as a supplement to help shift that last bit.
Adding in traditional cardio simply adds time to your workouts, detracting from the time you have to strength train. It also takes time to recover from this extra physical burden, especially when your in a calorie deficit.
Just think, if you want to burn an extra 3500 calories (1 LB of fat) in a week from cardio alone, it could take you an extra hour everyday, yes 7 hours a week on top of your normal weights routine. Cutting 500 calories from your daily diet would achieve the same and takes no time at all.
Try keeping the cardio back as a tool to use once the calories get low and you don’t fancy cutting them again.
Time is precious so don’t waste it.
MYTH #4 – YOU NEED TO STRETCH BEFORE A WORKOUT.
TRUTH – IT’S TRUE THAT SHOULD’NT JUST JUMP STRAIGHT INTO A WORKOUT, BUT DYNAMIC WARM-UPS ARE THE WAY TO GO.
They get your whole body nice and warm and you can also tailor them to be more specific to that days workout. If done correctly a dynamic warm-up routine can be really time efficient and fun.
Try and keep your body moving throughout the dynamic warm-up phase, and consider using movements that help to improve mobility for the lifts or movements in that days training session. Foam rolling stiff or immobile areas can also be advantageous for most.
Save all the long static stretches to the end of the workout. Holding a muscle in a static stretch can actually reduce its ability to contract as readily during a lift, making it weaker.
Short duration, faster mobility type stretches and moves prior to training. Long duration, slower developmental type stretching after.
MYTH #5 – YOU SHOULD GIVE 100% AND TRAIN TILL FAILURE ON ALL YOUR WEIGHTS EXERCISE.
TRUTH – WELL, GIVING YOUR BEST AND STAYING 100 % FOCUSED ON YOUR TRAINING IS CERTAINLY ADVANTAGEOUS. HOWEVER, TRAINING ALL OUT AND PUSHING YOURSELF TO THE LIMITS EACH AND EVERY TIME YOU TRAIN IS A RECIPE FOR DISASTER.
A well designed program should slowly build up intensity and volume over time. Setting targets and sensibly progressing up in weights, sets or repetitions will allow for plenty of progress. Going ‘hardcore’ all the time really bumps up the risk for injury and limits the bodies ability to recover. Getting injured is the last thing you need.
A good example of bad practice would be training at maximum intensity on the first exercise of a workout, then being too exhausted to get quality work out of the other lifts in that days routine, thus causing an actually reduction in stimulus and volume and reducing progress. The same can be said for going balls-to-the-wall on Monday and being too beat up to return to the gym on Tuesday or Wednesday. Again reducing frequency, volume and progress.
Manage intensity and make steady progress! You should be in it for the long run, putting yourself at unnecessary risk and losing ground is no good.