Ever heard the phrase “Feel the Burn”? Yup, I remember hearing that [A LOT!] when I first started working out. I thought it meant that I had to feel the burn in order to see results. Well, guess what…I was wrong.
Prevention Magazine recently did an article all about exercise myths and I just had to read. I learned about these myths a long ago, but the reminder is always nice. Sometimes we get caught up in things we hear in the media and just believe them to be true. Like the saying “If I read it on the internet, it must be true.” I’m not so sure about that whole internet saying. I mean, not everything is true, right? Hello, fake news!
To help you get a better feel for what’s true and what’s not, let’s go through the myths in the Prevention Magazine article one at a time.
Myth #1 – No pain, no gain.
If you’re experiencing pain either during or after a workout, it’s not a good thing. True pain is different than muscle soreness. Pain is our body telling us that we need to take a break. Muscle soreness is a normal part of a good workout and is how our body grows stronger muscles. If you’re hearing this phrase from a trainer, get a new one. One that knows the body. And if you’re experiencing true pain, you may want to see your physician.
Myth #2 – You can slim your belly with crunches.
Ummm, nope. I’ve tried. Doing crunches will strengthen your ab muscles, but it won’t necessarily help you burn the fat just in your abdomen. That’s because you can’t target weight loss to one particular area of the body. The real key to losing belly fat is through nutrition. I’ve learned that weight loss is 20% exercise and 80% diet. If you really want to lose your belly, take a hard look at your nutrition. If you need help deciding what’s right for you, contact me and we can work together to make a plan.
Myth #3 – To see results, your workout has to be an hour long.
Another myth that I always thought was true. I’ve done both long workouts and short workouts and both give me great results. However, there’s just one problem. Long workouts can be really long! If you’re like me, you’ve got a ton of things going on and a shorter workout is better for you. If you’re looking to get some time back, but still fit in nutrition, try a shorter, more vigorous exercise like high-intensity interval training (HIIT).
Myth #4 – Doing static stretches before exercise can help prevent injuries.
The truth is, static stretches, or long, slow stretches, can actually do more harm than good. Static stretches don’t necessarily help warm up the body and warming the muscles is really want you need for a good workout. Instead, try dynamic stretches. These involve movement while doing the stretch. Think of a lunge with small pulses. According to the article, the dynamic stretches are spot on if they mimic your actual workout, just at a lower intensity.
Myth #5 – Strength training is better than cardio if you’re trying to lose weight.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love strength training but I wouldn’t necessarily use the word better when comparing it to cardio. The article indicates that cardiovascular exercise burns more calories per minute than strength training and while this is true, I don’t think you should do solely one or the other. I recommend incorporating interval training of some sort because it will increase your heart rate, keep the body confused and you’ll get in both cardio and strength training. My favorite workout that does just this is P90X3 – it has cardio, strength training and is short. For me, it’s the best of all worlds.
Now that we’ve gone through the myths, is there anything that surprises you? Or is there another myth that wasn’t mentioned in the article? Share your thoughts below. And remember, don’t believe everything you read on the internet.