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6 Fitness Myths Every Gym Goer Should Know

6 Fitness Myths Every Gym Goer Should Know

Gym popularity has been growing at a steady rate in recent times. Many go to improve their physique, some to increase athletic performance and others just to keep their bodies healthy.

With modern cultural pressures, it’s easy to get caught up in the hype. Seeing others with attractive beach bodies beckon us to head down the gym and sweat it out. Yet, if we are not careful, hitting the gym purely for aesthetic reasons can be detrimental to our health.

Re-evaluate why you are going to the gym in the first place. You want to look and feel healthier right? You certainly don’t want to end up worse off in both departments!

These dangers occur by following bogus fitness myths, depriving you of the health benefits of going to the gym. So let’s debunk the most common ones, setting you on the right path to reach your fitness goals!

1. You Can’t Target or Localize Fat Loss

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    The body is genetically predisposed to store more fat in certain areas. For many, it clings around the midsection and stomach area, giving us an unsightly belly and “love handles”. For others, it’s the buttocks and legs or even shoulders and arms.

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    Unfortunately, these areas of stubborn fat are exactly that, they are the first place to gain and the last to lose it. Many of us have also been fooled into believing we can target fat loss. But sadly, there are no fancy exercises that can override your body’s genetics.

    The best approach is to focus on reducing your overall body fat, using full-body exercise routines and a healthy weight loss diet. You’ve got to be patient, these afflicted areas are often the last to leave!

    2. You Can’t Crunch Your Way to a 6-Pack

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      Performing hundreds of crunches is not going suddenly reveal a glorious 6-pack! In fact, it’s more likely to cause spine and neck problems since this exercise is often performed incorrectly.

      Crunches are never going to burn stomach fat. Unless your stomach is already flat, the first step would be to reduce your overall body fat.

      When you are ready to build washboard abs, use static hold exercises such as planks and bridges. They engage a larger portion of the abs and core, training the muscles more naturally through stabilization.

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      Used in conjunction with a reputable full-body workout routine, you can build a mighty 6-pack and improve your posture without injuring yourself!

      3. You Shouldn’t Ever Focus Purely on Size

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        For those lacking chest definition, focusing primarily on chest exercises may seem like a good idea. After all, a large chest will improve your physique and even improve the respiratory system.

        However, tunnel vision can soon lead to a detrimental muscle imbalance. Without back exercises to compensate, you could end up with rounded shoulders, chest pains and even breathing problems. Worse yet, you could end up looking too far out of proportion!

        Always focus on building a well-rounded physique, only adding a little emphasis on lacking areas. Training purely for muscle size can be a recipe for disaster. Be sure to mix up your training by pushing for strength and endurance too.

        4. Lifting Weights Doesn’t Nessarilarly Build Bulky Muscles

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          This is often a misconception among many female gym goers, who cling to their favorite cardio machines. Yet, lifting heavy weights does not cause explosive muscle growth, for men and especially not for women!

          In truth, large muscles are simply not grown by accident. It requires consistent progression in weight, coupled with caloric surplus diet to support muscle growth. Many men struggle to achieve this balance even when they are trying.

          Genetically, it’s far more difficult for women to build bulky muscles.
          Since their natural testosterone levels are far lower, adding muscle mass is challenging.

          Now you can enter the weight room without the fear of turning into the She-Hulk anytime soon!

          5. Pain is Not Proportional to Gains

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            The key to making physical progress in the gym is to push your limits over time. It’s going to be tough, you’re going to sweat and feel uncomfortably sore at times. Yet, you should never feel pain during any exercise!

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            Pain is an indicator of an injury, pushing through is almost certainly going to make it worse. Even lifting to failure should be used sparingly since it is very taxing on the body. Muscle soreness post workout may come and go, especially if you’re new to an exercise. But don’t ever assume your workout is worthless without it.

            Aim to work harder and push further week-by-week, but do so in a slow, progressive and safe manner. If you feel pain during an exercise, you need to back off and let yourself recover. Otherwise, it could take you out of the game completely.

            6. More Gym Time is Not Always Better

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              Always remember, your body only has a certain capacity for recovery and growth. Pushing beyond the boundaries will only affect your recovery and stall your progress. You need to workout hard strain your muscles, then allow them enough time to recover and regrow stronger.

              Rather than spending hours in the gym, focus on intense 45min to 1-hour gym sessions. Otherwise, you are either not using your time effectively or are training too hard. When it comes to frequency, 3 gym sessions per week with a day between for recovery is ideal for most.

              Unless you’re an advanced lifter who is using specialist routines, it’s not wise to hit the gym more than 5 times per week!

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              Last Updated on July 10, 2020

              How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

              How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

              We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

              We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

              So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

              Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

              What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

              Boundaries are limits

              —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

              Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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              Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

              Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

              Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

              How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

              Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

              1. Self-Awareness Comes First

              Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

              You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

              To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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              You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

              • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
              • When do you feel disrespected?
              • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
              • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
              • When do you want to be alone?
              • How much space do you need?

              You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

              2. Clear Communication Is Essential

              Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

              Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

              3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

              Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

              That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

              Sample language:

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              • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
              • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
              • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
              • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
              • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
              • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
              • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

              Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

              4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

              Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

              Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

              Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

              We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

              It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

              It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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              Final Thoughts

              Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

              Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

              Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

              The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

              Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

              Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

              They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

              Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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