Whether you’re a beginner to the gym or a fitness pro, you’ve probably heard your share of exercise tips and tricks online. But, you’ve probably heard plenty of exercise myths as well. How can you tell the difference between valid research and questionable content? Read on to learn the top five exercise myths, and why they are so inaccurate.
Myth 1: Lifting Weights Makes You Bulky.
Whether you’re a man or a woman, it takes serious effort to put on pounds and pounds of muscle mass. In reality, strength training can help you achieve a leaner and lighter figure. Muscle requires energy to maintain, which means that you’ll burn more calories both in and out of the gym. Additionally, women have far less testosterone than men. That means it’s quite difficult to gain serious mass as a woman without an intensive lifestyle change. So don’t be afraid to hit the weights!
Myth 2: You Can Choose Where to Lose Fat.
Sadly, spot-reducing fat loss is not real. You can choose certain workouts to promote fat loss overall, like high-intensity interval training and strength work, but you cannot target a specific place. Fat cells are distributed all over the body, so you’ll need to reduce your overall body fat percentage to change your body composition. Plus, diet is an important component to weight loss success. Maintain a regular workout schedule, but don’t forget to watch your diet once you leave the gym.
Myth 3: You Can Only Strength Train at a Gym.
If you don’t want to spend time under the barbel, there are plenty of ways to challenge your muscles without heading to the gym. Bodyweight exercises, like push-ups and pistol squats, can work wonders for your overall strength. Plus, there are plenty of options that you can use at home to maintain your muscles. Consider trying out equipment like the Ultraslide slideboard. This portable piece of equipment can provide a total-body workout without leaving the house!
Myth 4: Sore Muscles Equal a Good Workout.
Soreness indicates that you applied a great deal of stress to the muscle tissues, but it’s not a necessary component of a successful workout. In fact, you can help prevent soreness with a solid post-exercise routine. Keep hydrated, refuel after your workout, and get plenty of sleep. You may be surprised how refreshed you feel, even after a grueling training session.
Myth 5: You Need to Exercise Every Single Day.
Regular exercise is definitely beneficial, but it’s possible to have too much of a good thing. There’s no need to grind every single day. Your muscles need time to recover. Experts have said that one or two rest days can actually improve your performance in the gym. However, feel free to do light recovery work on those days: stretching, mobility drills, walking, and the like.