Here’s the hard truth, your fitness journey isn’t always going to be straight forward. Throughout your journey, it’s likely you’ve heard about certain aspects of fitness that aren’t true necessarily true or backed by credible sources. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Finding a plan that fits you and your goals takes time and maybe a little extra research or tips from friends you trust. When taking advice from others, it’s good to be mindful of what you should and shouldn’t listen to.
Here are five fitness myths to help you avoid potential setbacks in your fitness journey!
1. You can target your fat burn.
There’s no solid scientific evidence to suggest that you can burn fat on specific areas of your body. Simply put, doing a high number of crunches a day won’t burn the fat off of your stomach and give you the abs you’re working for. The truth is, building strong abdominal muscles is not possible under a layer of fat. Good news? By regularly exercising and eating a healthy and balanced diet, your body can start to burn more fat. You will get more fit and lean out during the process, too (which is never something to complain about!).
Despite what you may have heard, you don’t have to spend hours in the gyms to see results. One of the best ways to burn fat is through High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workouts. Check out a quick HITT workout you can do at home! Once your body gets leaner, you can begin to target muscles and improve definition. “Spot reduction doesn’t work because it usually targets muscles that are relatively small through exercises that are insignificant in terms of enhancing overall fitness, strength and energy expenditure — regardless of how much you ‘feel the burn’ when training them,” Chris McGrath, founder of Movement First said in an Insider report.
2. The more you sweat, the more fat you burn.
While sweat can be a good measure of exercise intensity, it is not related directly to calorie burn. Although you may notice immediate weight loss after an intense and sweaty workout, the weight you’re losing may mostly be made up of water. Instead, the biggest determining factors of how many calories you burn depends on weight, exercise type, exercise intensity and exercise duration. Your best bet is to take part in cardiovascular exercises. These exercises include HIIT, running, dancing, cycling — just to name a few. Strength-based exercises will also result in a greater burn. These exercises include squats, deadlifts, planks, and more.
A great tool to track how many calories you burn per workout is by using a Fitness Tracker. Very Will Fit has listed the best nine that you can check out here.
3. More gym time is better.
Overworking your body will do more harm than good. There are many problems with staying in the gym too long, one being that the quality of your workouts will gradually decrease. Workouts are meant to put stress on your muscles, and that’s how you make strength gains. However, too much stress can cause fatigue, which may negatively impact your workout performance. And, eventually, your exercise form will start to degrade. Overall, this type of mindset is not sustainable. The best way to combat this is by splitting up your workouts and monitoring how much time you spend in the gym — experts say no more than 90 minutes.
4. You will lose weight with exercise only.
To lose weight, you need to either burn more calories than you consume or eat fewer calories than your body uses each day. Some recommendations on how to stay on track include using a calorie-tracking app. HealthEssentials recommends MyFitnessPal, LoseIt! and FatSecret. These apps give you a breakdown of the amount of calories, fat, sugar (and more) that your favorite foods and drinks contain. It may be eyeopening at first, but you can always use it as extra motivation to help you make better decisions about the foods you choose to consume!
Like with anything else, balance is always key. It’s important not to restrict yourself completely from the foods you enjoy. Although self control is a virtue, if you are craving a certain type of food, it’s better to slightly indulge and move on, rather than over-indulging after days of resisting. If you completely cut out all things “bad for you,” you will suffer more in the long run. As long as you are trying your best to stay on track and eat a balanced diet, the pounds are more likely to come off.
5. If you don’t feel sore the day after a work out, you didn’t train hard enough.
Although you might be familiar with the term “no pain, no gain,” this just isn’t true. Sore muscles can be a result of overtraining. While it’s not known what exactly causes soreness after a workout, according to Curiosity, it’s most likely because exercise causes microscopic tears in your muscles, which can create inflammation and a heightened sensation of pain. Keep in mind, it’s not a bad thing to be sore after a tough workout — you just shouldn’t worry too much if you don’t feel any soreness. It all comes down to how often you train.
“Being sore doesn’t necessarily mean it was a great workout — it just means that a significant amount of stress was applied to the tissue,” says exercise physiologist and trainer Pete McCall, M.S., C.S.C.S., host of the All About Fitness podcast. “You can have a great workout and not be sore the next day.” In order to cure sore muscles after a tough workout, Everyday Health advises hydrating, stretching and using your sore muscles.
Kickstart Your Fitness Plan With Maximize Life Fitness And Nutrition
Maximize Life Fitness And Nutrition’s personal trainers stick to the facts. Our team is knowledgable and can help you navigate through your fitness journey. If you’re interested in learning more about training at our facility, we would love to meet with you! You can rest assured that we know our stuff and can combat the many fitness myths that you have been exposed to.