“You should work out your abs every day”, “you should not drink during a workout”, “only cardio will help lose weight fast” – more and more similar fitness myths appear every year, and people suffer from them more and more often. In order for fitness classes not to turn into a dangerous sport, we discuss the most popular misconceptions on this topic.
1. Stretching is useless
It might not help to lose weight like strength or aerobic exercise, but you should not give it up completely. Stretching saturates muscles with oxygen, activates metabolic processes in the body, stimulates the internal organs, and gives elasticity and graceful curves. However, its main advantage is that it makes fitness safe: it will protect you against injury and soreness. Morning stretching will gently awaken the body and prepare it for daily activities, the evening one – remove fatigue and stress before bedtime.
2. Women do not need strength training
They do not need it if they are satisfied with the amount of fat and the slowing metabolism. The truth is that you cannot build a beautiful body without strength training. Stretching, swimming, yoga, running, biking, walking can make you flexible, resilient, and even slim (if you control your diet). However, they do not fundamentally change body quality, especially if you are far older than 18. A correctly made workout program will not only help to lose weight, but also to build a beautiful body – to balance and correct the proportions, for example, to make buttocks more rounded or improve posture. Do not be afraid that such classed will turn you into a “bodybuilder”: female body, in contrast to males, is built so that it is very difficult for us to build big muscles. Those who succeed usually use special additives, and spend more than 2-3 hours per week in the gym.
Besides, you should at least once look at the photos from Fitness bikini contest to understand that the contestants’ bodies are quite feminine and harmonious.
3. To lose weight, you should not eat two hours after a workout
Supporters of this radical approach say that after a weight workout fat continues to burn, if you do not give the body other fuel. Yes, you are really going to lose weight. But the problem is that your muscles will be “burning” in the first place, so no matter how hard you try in the gym, it will bring no good.
After weight training, there comes a period of the so-called anabolic window. This is a condition when you can significantly accelerate the process of muscle tissue recovery. Energy reserves in the body at this time are severely depleted, and a snack will immediately start the mechanism of muscle growth. During this period, even those who want to lose weight need a small portion of simple carbohydrates – for example, an apple. In an hour and a half, you can eat a substantial lunch, consisting of protein and fiber (chicken breast, fish or egg whites, and a portion of vegetables).
4. Only long cardio will help lose weight
Short aerobic exercise will really be ineffective: the process of fat burning begins only 20 minutes after the start of the cardio. Until that time, the body spends more affordable “fuel” – carbohydrate reserves. However, long workouts will not bring benefit either: cardio training (jogging, aerobics, etc..) lasting more than 50 minutes will not get your body rid of fat, but can destroy muscle mass. Without it, you will not achieve perfect body and rapid metabolism!
Ideally, have 25-40 minute workouts twice a week. Alternatively, you can divide one aerobic workout into 5-minute parts, adding lunges, squats and jumping exercises in between. Such exercises stimulate active fat burning without destroying muscles and making you too tired.
5. It is not necessary to mind your breathing during a workout
That’s why many start holding their breath or breathe promiscuously, thereby limiting the flow of the precious oxygen in the muscles and in the brain. It causes serious problems: increased blood pressure, dizziness, nausea, a threat of a heart attack or stroke. To avoid this, exhale when you make an effort and take a deep breath when you relax. If you do yoga, pilates or stretching, where there is a special breathing technique, listen to the instructor carefully. Moreover, it is important that the gym where you train should have good ventilation, otherwise you will not breathe properly.
6. If you go to the gym, you may give up the diet
Alas, this rule does not work even for professional athletes who have to train for 4-5 hours a day: they still have to keep to a diet. What can we say about those who are engaged in fitness twice a week! Do not expect to lose weight if you devour pastry, sweets, and fast food in between the workouts. Everything that you have lost due to extreme effort in the gym will come back easily and quickly.
No training program will work without proper nutrition.
Solution: do not starve or overeat, stick to a healthy, balanced diet. During the day, try to eat about 15% protein, 35-45% fat, and 40-50% carbohydrate of the total caloric content of your daily diet. Be sure to monitor the overall calorie content. For men, it should be from 2,000 to 2,600 kcal. Women require less – from 1800 to 2300 kcal.
7. You can work out in any clothes
It concerns those who choose old jeans as sportswear or the “fitness fashionista” who wear stylish, but uncomfortable clothes to the gym: tight T-shirts and low-waist pants, etc.. Both do wrong: the outfit should be comfortable, not restricting movements, made of absorbent cloth. The least problem that may arise is wrong (inefficient) exercise technique. Other unpleasant consequences may include injury and violation of thermoregulation.
8. To get a six-pack, you need to work on your abs to exhaustion every day
In fact, it will not make your belly flat: working out abdomen muscles every day is completely meaningless. Muscles need time to recover – while relaxing, the body is doing no less important work than during training. Therefore, it is enough to do abdominal exercises three times a week and certainly not to the point of exhaustion. To make your abdominal muscles work, you need to from 15 to 30 reps and three sets. If you find such load too easy, you can add weights or replace the exercise with a more difficult one.