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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 March 13, 2019

              How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

              How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

              Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

              You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

              Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

              1. Work on the small tasks.

              When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

              Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

              2. Take a break from your work desk.

              Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

              Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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              3. Upgrade yourself

              Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

              The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

              4. Talk to a friend.

              Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

              Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

              5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

              If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

              Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

              Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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              6. Paint a vision to work towards.

              If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

              Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

              Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

              7. Read a book (or blog).

              The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

              Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

              Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

              8. Have a quick nap.

              If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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              9. Remember why you are doing this.

              Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

              What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

              10. Find some competition.

              Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

              Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

              11. Go exercise.

              Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

              Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

              As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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              Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

              12. Take a good break.

              Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

              Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

              Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

              Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

              More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

              Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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