There are many fitness misconceptions that you may have that could be holding you back from achieving the results you want, whether you work out at home or at the gym. Here are a few of the most common misconceptions and truth behind them:
1. Crunches are the best exercise for flatter midsection
Proper nutrition is actually the best way to get a flatter stomach. You can do all of the crunches you want but it won’t matter if you’re eating junk food. The best way to flatten your stomach is to make sure you’re eating a balanced and nutritious diet with a variety of foods while also incorporating strength training and cardio into your workout because if you don’t get rid of body fat first, you’ll never see those abs!
2. If I’m not sore, my workout wasn’t hard enough
Chances are that after the first couple of weeks of working out you may feel pretty sore a few hours or even a few days afterwards. This is called Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. After awhile you’ll notice that you don’t get as sore but that doesn’t mean that your workouts aren’t hard enough. This just means your body is adapting to the workouts you’re doing. The way to gauge if your workouts are hard enough, are if you are getting the results you want, not by muscle soreness.
3. Rest days aren’t important
Rest days are essential to let your body recover from tough workouts. Each time you exercise, you cause microtrauma to your muscles and connective tissue. Your body then needs time to heal this trauma and this what aids in the muscle building process. So in addition to helping you see results, recovery days will also give you the energy you need for your next workout.
4. (For the ladies) If I lift weights I’ll get bulky
As a personal trainer, I hear this from my female clients a lot. Women see men getting bigger from lifting weights they may think, “if I lift heavy weights like that, the same thing will happen to me”; Not necessarily. Men can develop more muscle mass than women because of the amount of Testosterone they produce. Females also produce testosterone, but men produce about 20 times more so they can naturally develop bigger muscles than women. The pros outweigh the cons by far when it comes to lifting weights, ladies!
5. I should focus solely on cardio to reach my weight loss goals
If you just want to lose weight, then yes, cardio will help you meet that goal. But, usually when people say they want to lose weight, they want to lose body fat and to do that you also need to incorporate strength training. A good exercise program shouldn’t just incorporate one of these two components, it should incorporate both.