The world is rife with bad and misleading information, none of which is more evident than when it comes to health and fitness, particularly exercise. “Experts” spew this bad information and the internet makes it painfully easy to become a believer in all this nonsense. The result is a legion of exercisers who regurgitate this bad information to the point where they believe it to be gospel. It’s time to stop some of this madness.
- “I know how hard I’m working by how much I sweat.” Sweat is a natural body function to cooling the body from rising body temperatures. This can be caused by exercising; it can also be caused by sitting in a heated room; a state of nervousness, etc. People differ in their ability to sweat but it has no correlation with the effectiveness or intensity of the exercise.
- “The more I work out, the faster I’ll see results.” You can exercise all you want, but if you fail to pay attention or give as much credit to nutrition as you do exercise, it’s an endless battle. You can’t out exercise a so-so approach to nutrition and simply working harder, longer, or faster can have some serious negative consequences.
- “I’ll only do cardio because I need to lose a lot of weight.” It shouldn’t be a shock that the leanest (not thinnest) bodies in the gym are found in the weight room but for too many people it’s still a hard pill to swallow. Cardio is not the best way to leanness (dropping body fat); resistance training and nutritional control is.
- “I’ll start working out as soon as I lose this weight.” Kind of defeats the purpose, doesn’t it? While weight loss should never be the primary reason you start working out, no time is better than the present to start making better, smarter choices, one that should include regular exercise.
- “I can eat whatever I want because I work out.” Exercise is not a permit to eat more food. Yes, depending on your goal (i.e. bodybuilding, endurance event, etc.) you may need to “beef up” your caloric intake to compliment your training but chances are as a recreational exerciser you don’t burn nearly enough calories working out to create a necessity for more fuel.
- “If I’m not sore the day after my workout, I didn’t train hard enough.” Muscle soreness is not dependent on the success of a workout session. Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is the result of either one or more of the following: new muscles movement/group used; new muscle fiber type used; increased resistance/load pattern; poor nutrition recovery habits; sickness. If soreness is how you base your workout success, you need to rethink your methods.
- “Even though I’m still hurting, I’ll work through the pain.” There’s smarts and then there’s common sense. Pain is never a good thing. It’s the body’s mechanism for warning you that: 1) something’s not right and 2) a natural healing process has begun. Listen to your body. Working through pain only prolongs recovery time or worse, leads to bigger issues.
- “I’m doing “X” crunches a day to flatten my abs.” The only reason this one still exists is because like dieting, a whole industry is built on misleading you for continued profit. Here again is all you need to know – everyone has a six pack; everyone’s abdominal muscles are flat; the two reasons people will see or obtain a “flat” stomach are genetics and the layer of body fat between the skin and the muscle wall. And sit ups no matter how many numbers you do will change that.
- “I like to jump right back into my work out after taking time off.” The biggest mistake many people will make come January is an absurd assumption that they can pick up from where they left off with their exercises program. Whether it’s a few weeks, months, or years, you have got to give your body time to acclimate from going from nothing to increased physical activity.
- “I stick with weight machines because they are safer.” There is a risk of injury no matter what you do when it comes to exercise. If you chose an option because you like it, that’s one thing. Do not let fear of the unknown dictate your exercise selection. You may be selling yourself short.
See you tomorrow for Day 4 of the 12 Days of Fitness
Til next time, train smart, eat well, and be better
Just in case, here’s what you might have missed: