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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 September 18, 2020

              7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

              7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

              Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

              Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

              1. Exercise Daily

              It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

              If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

              Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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              If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

              2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

              Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

              One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

              This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

              3. Acknowledge Your Limits

              Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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              Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

              Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

              4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

              Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

              The basic nutritional advice includes:

              • Eat unprocessed foods
              • Eat more veggies
              • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
              • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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              Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

                5. Watch Out for Travel

                Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

                This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

                If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

                6. Start Slow

                Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

                If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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                7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

                Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

                My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

                If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

                I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

                Final Thoughts

                Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

                Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

                More Tips on Getting in Shape

                Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

                Reference

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