7 Workout Myths Dispelled
Don’t believe the lies!
1) Weights will make me bulk up.
Unless you are on steroids and throwing around some serious iron, you will not bulk up. In fact, weight training is the only sure way to change body composition. So drop the three pound dumbbells and grab the eight’s or 10’s (I mean your Michael Kors handbag is at least 10lbs). Still not motivated? Well listen up, lifting heavier weights is more effective in increasing muscle strength, which in turn increases your metabolism, annnnd burns more fat. Win win.
2) Stretching before exercise prevents injury.
It actually can do the opposite. Static stretching (stretches you hold) pre-workout is comparable to taking your car out for a drag race first thing on a winter morning. Crazy. Like your car you must be warm before you start holding stretches. Cold muscles limit joint mobility and can lead to pulled muscles. A better option is engaging in some dynamic stretches that mimic your planned workout. Think walking before a run. Jumping jacks and body weight squats before lifting weights. Save bending over and touching your toes for the end of your sweat session when you and your muscles are nice and warm.
3) Spot reducing works.
I can’t tell you how many new clients start their first session of with, “Sooooo, I want my inner thighs to shrink, but can my butt stay the same?” My response, “Honey, we are about to change your entire body. Inner thighs are a part of the package, not the total package.” So I am here to tell you the same, your muscles aren’t as single-minded as your fitness goals. Muscles are more like cool homegirls…they work together. Fat loss and muscle gain is distributed throughout the body, not one area of the body.
4) Running on a treadmill is better for my knees.
The difference in impact on concrete versus a rubberized treadmill, grass or a track is actually relatively small when it comes to joint impact. So if you are worried about your knees, whether you run indoors or out, do a legitimate warmup, like a few minutes of walking combined with dynamic stretches for large leg muscles connected to the knee….think walking lunges, jogging in place or high knees.
5) Crunches are key to a flat stomach.
Or a neck injury. Not only do many people do crunches incorrectly it is usually the only thing they are doing when it comes to sculpting their midsection. News alert! Crunching only works your core along one plane of motion- (sagittal) front to back. Not cool since there are two other planes dying to join the party- the frontal plane (side to side movement) and transverse plane (rotational). So change things up and add some standing oblique crunches or twists to your lunges. Oh and up that cardio. What a shame it would be to have a six pack covered in fat.
6) No Pain No Gain.
True, if it doesn’t challenge you it wont change you…but if it hurts you then something isn’t right. How can you decipher soreness from pain? If you feel the same level of soreness more than 48 hours after a tough workout, (it should taper off) then this may be a sign of a pulled muscle or other injury. Also if you feel pain in your muscles or joints during exercise that too may be worth a doctors investigation. But lets not get it twisted. Feeling the burn should not be confused with muscle/joint discomfort. The burn is where you want to be, as this is exactly where your results live.
7) Exercising on an empty stomach will burn more fat.
Lies. There is no true evidence supporting this notion, so “fuel up” before you “cut up” at the gym. Not only will you move slower, doing so can also lead to muscle loss as the body pulls energy from protein when carbohydrates aren’t present. So keep it light with a snack that has about 30g of carbs. If you can’t stomach food before a workout then sprint to the dining room table no more than 30 minutes after your workout to refuel asap.