Common Myths about Workouts

We’ve all heard some of the common myths about workouts – things like “no pain no gain” and if you don’t do 100 sit ups every day you will never get washboard abs. Sometimes we use these myths to put off exercising altogether. After all is it realistic for most people who have to work for a living to aspire to 100 sit ups every day? Do people who are not full time trainers really have time do that? There are other kinds of myths out there too, things like if you lift weights you will only build bulk, and if you want a leaner look you should do something else, like Pilates for example.

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The Washboard Abs Myth

While it’s true that you need a comprehensive strategy for tightening abs if you want to see a six-pack, it’s also true that no amount of exercise will make your abs visible if you have a lot of fat covering your mid-section.  Toning is important but so is reducing body fat. To do that you must eat right – fewer of the bad carbs that are found in processed foods like white rice and white flour and more whole grains. You also need to ensure you are eating adequate amounts of lean protein to build muscle reduce fat.

Bulking Up Versus Toning

Weight training builds muscle, helps to reduce fat and is also important for maintaining bone strength and bone density – important for men but also essential for women who are prone to osteoporosis. Weight training is essential if you are on a weight reducing diet because increased muscle helps to maintain the metabolism at a higher fat burning rate and it also helps to reduce that saggy skin look that results if you are losing a lot of weight. If you ever catch yourself looking too bulky, which is unlikely unless you are a professional body builder deliberately trying, you can always cut back on the weight training. Until then, just believe that you are doing your body good because you are.

Working out until it Hurts

Your motivation is high, you get that adrenaline rush going and you work out longer and harder than  you intended, hoping it will get you in shape quickly. The next day you can hardly get out of bed. Did you help or hurt your long term goal of getting fit? When you work out hard enough to make your muscles sore, small tears in the muscle are causing the soreness. As the muscles recover, and the tears heal, muscles grow stronger. It is normal to experience a small amount of soreness for a day following a good workout – but muscle recovery is important. Experts often recommend working each muscle group every other day, allowing a full day for recovery. If your muscles are still sore on the second day following a workout, you probably over did things and need to slow down the pace.  A good way to prevent muscle soreness (and injury to the muscles) is to do a few warm up exercises, and then follow up your workout with a few cool down exercises.

Working out with exercise bands provides strength training and gives you full control over the intensity of exercises. Learn more about strength training with exercise bands at