From sweating out calories to endless crunches for flat abs, a team of fitness experts have finally identified the biggest myths when it comes to working out at the gym.
The team behind online health and fitness site Vivotion.com have debunked the myths surrounding exercise, revealing key workout secrets that go against common knowledge.
Using sweat as an indicator of a good workout and always exercising for 45 minutes or more have been discredited by the experts.
They want to spread the word that any exercise is good for you no matter how old you are or how long you spend on it.
They’ve also helped to dispel rumours that weight lifting will cause women to bulk up uncontrollably and explained why you should always stretch after a strenuous session at the gym.
A spokesperson for from Vivotion.com said: “People seem to assume that if a snippet of information is widely known, it must be correct – however when it comes to working out, this couldn’t be farther from the truth.
“In fact, some of the tips that most people consider common knowledge – especially to do with exercise for weight loss – are complete myths.
“Saying that you must exercise for 45 minutes or more every time and enthusing ‘no pain, no gain’ is only going to demotivate people and make effective exercise seem unachievable.
“Some women are also still afraid of using weights as they think it will make them beef up like Arnold Schwarzenegger – but this will only happen if they’re taking lots of supplements too. Strength training is actually an excellent way to shed the pounds.
“We hope that by filtering the lies from the truth, we can help people get the most from their workout and encourage them to live a more active life in general.”
MYTH: Do your cardio first, then strength training
TRUTH: Have a short, non-intensive warm up then do strength training
If you do your cardio before strength training, you’ll have less energy to do full sets. Have a gentle warm up before, do your weights then finish with a short burst of cardio.
MYTH: Doing a hundred sit-ups regularly will lead to flat abs
TRUTH: Do a variety of exercises that involve your waist too
Crunches may be iconic, but they aren’t the best way to trim your tum and only involve a small section of your abdominals. You’ll see more of dramatic difference doing planks, bridges, roll ups and the 100 sit ups all working together.
MYTH: If you’re not sweating afterwards it wasn’t a good workout
TRUTH: Sweat is not an indicator of calories burned
Sweating is just your body responding to external conditions to regulate your internal body condition – so it’s likely that your body is responding to an overheated gym rather than a gut-busting workout.
MYTH: You need to work out for 45 minutes minimum for your body to feel the benefits
TRUTH: Anytime spent exercising is good
Even if you have a spare ten minutes. Doing a few jumping jacks or squats will immediately raise your heart rate and give you a boost.
MYTH: Lifting weights will cause women to look bulky
TRUTH: Not necessarily
Even if you are lifting big dumbbells, women typically have less muscle tissue and testosterone so physiologically they are less prone to bulking up.
MYTH: Cardio is the best way to lose weight
TRUTH: Grab the weights
Strength training often burns more calories than cardio, depending on the duration and intensity of your workouts. You burn the majority of your calories through your resting metabolic rate (RMR). Weight training preserves your RMR by preserving lean body mass (LBM), which contributes to the calories you burn in a 24-hour period independent of physical activity. In other words, you continue to burn calories long after you’ve worked out.
MYTH: Machines are the safest way to exercise as you are doing it right every time
TRUTH: A personal trainer will know how to work you better
Machines seem to help you do all the movements correctly, but they will only be right if the machine is properly adjusted for your weight and height. You’re better off having a coach or trainer to watch you do exercises, on and off machines, to not only make sure you’re getting the best from your workout but preventing injury too.
MYTH: No pain, no gain
FACT: A good workout doesn’t always mean aching afterwards
Whilst you should always try to push yourself within reason to extend the limits of your endurance, workouts shouldn’t always have to leave you terribly sore afterwards. If you experience a lot of pain during your workout that can suggest an injury or danger. You should feel a little discomfort, but not to the point that you’re hurting yourself.
MYTH: If you don’t exercise when you’re young, it can be dangerous when you’re older
FACT: It’s never too late to start
Whether you’re 21 or 81, a workout regime can massively improve your overall health and age shouldn’t come into it. Exercise in later years, even if you’ve never done it before, is never going to have a negative effect as long as you stay within your boundaries. Find a workout that’s the right level of impact depending on your age and condition.
MYTH: Stretching before can prevent injury
FACT: ALWAYS stretch after
You should stretch when you’ve finished as when you’re working out your muscles shorten as they are on a contracted state. If you spend five minutes stretching you’ll get them back into their original state, therefore preventing injury.