You must have heard a lot of stuff considering fitness over the years since the topic of healthy lifestyle is taking a global swing. Probably something like doing a whole bunch of crunches will give you a flat stomach or that squats are bad for your knees. Or maybe that you can replace a whole meal with a single protein bar. Or that exercise will make you hungrier than you were.
If you are missing the mark when it comes to your gym results, you need to forget these and other fitness myths. Here are some of them.
Crunches are the best way to get rid of belly fat
First of all, you’re going to need to burn off fat around your midsection. But crunches are not the best way to do this because they don't burn a lot of calories. They don't contribute much to weight loss. Instead, consider bridges or planks, if you want to achieve more dramatic results.
Protein bars are a good substitute for a meal
Not so much. Unless you’re making your own protein bars, you cannot consider them as a substitute, because they tend to be highly processed.
Exercise increases hunger
This is a common myth. You won’t end up eating more if you burn hundreds of calories during a workout. There is research that shows that exercise does not affect a person’s food needs. This only applies to endurance athletes who exercise for two hours a day or more.
In fact, exercise often suppresses hunger during and after the workout.
It's essential to replenish your electrolytes after every workout
Sports drinks are filled with electrolytes, but also packed with sugar. So, it actually can do more harm than good if you have not been training hard.
They are only necessary for those who have been working out forcefully, for a prolonged period of time. Instead, just drink water.
Sweat equals a lot of calories burnt
Sadly, that’s false too. Because the sweat is a normal response from your body to cool down your skin and regulate your body's temperature, so it could just be due to overheating.
Cardio should be first in your workout
Most people tend to do a cardio workout first, before strength training, according to Men's Fitness. But for a more effective workout, these should be reversed. Doing cardio as soon as you hit the gym can make you spent and decrease your glycogen levels. This will make you less likely to train as hard as you usually would.
If you don’t feel sore, you didn’t work hard enough
Pain is not gain. DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) has a tendency of cropping up when you make movements that your body is not used to. It can also occur if you train too much, or intentionally slow down phase of reps.
It’s never been persuasively connected to progress. And it’s totally doable for you to spend months training effectively without any needless torment. If you’re not into stumbling up and down the stairs, try fewer erratic movements like kettlebell swings, Olympic lifts or medicine ball throws.
You just need to plank for your abs
This is an evolvement of the ‘crunches’ myth. Doing hundreds of spinal flexes for a six-pack is no longer fashionable these days. There's a new myth in town. Which is that holding yourself immobile at the top of a press-up is all you require.
That is such an oversimplification. You’re going to need a range of different exercises to strengthen your entire midsection.
Heavyweights will make you bulky
Big no. There are two acknowledged ways to get stronger: expanding the size of your individual muscle fibers, and using more of them when you lift.
The latter is what you’d do if you had to lift a car off a baby. Athletes involved in weight-dependent sports also do this in order to build their strength without adding on the bulk in their bodies.
Size means strength
Any bodybuilder will be stronger than the average inactive man. People who training particularly to build muscle bulk (otherwise known as ‘sarcoplasmic hypertrophy’) simply increase the amount of fluid in muscle cells. It doesn’t always mean a corresponding increase in strength.
High-protein diets are bad for your kidneys
Yes, your kidneys are involved in protein filtration. But excess intake might damage them.
In healthy volunteers, a daily dose of up to 3.3 grams per kilo of body weight (four times what the World Health Organisation’s recommendation) seems to maximize muscle growth. It also helps fat mobilization, keeping you full and causing an uptick in growth hormone.
You need supplements to make progress
They’re definitely a good way to top up if your lifestyle doesn’t lend itself to three protein meals a day. But less-processed fare is arguably better. Animal proteins offer a comprehensive range of the essential amino acids you need for muscle. They also keep you feeling full and topped up on the five B-complex vitamins.
Likewise, ‘greens’ powders might help with your intake of vegetables if you’re having breakfast of your feet. But fresh veg is better, packing in phytonutrients and fiber that are tough to get elsewhere.
So far, you’ve learned to do more than just crunches and planks for your dreamy belly. That squats and running are good for your knees and much more. Protein bar is not lunch and to eat more chicken and drink more water instead of supplements and sports drinks.
In conclusion, be active and take care of yourself. Forget myths and shortcuts. Take some of this advice, so you can rock these superhero activewear any time you want and be healthy and happy.