1. I Can Crunch My Way To A 6-Pack. You cannot spot reduce. Period. If you want a 6-pack, or less jiggly arms, or a tighter derriere, you have to get rid of the fat on the muscles. You can crunch and plank all day, and you may develop strong muscles, but the layer of belly fat is hiding your light from the world. You must clean up the diet (the cleaner and less processed the foods the better) and engage in fat-burning movement. For the most effective and efficient use of your time, look for fat-burning workouts that engage the entire core throughout the workout, like the MMA-inspired workout Core de Force. Bottom line, you will always have to burn away the fat to see what’s underneath.
2. I Went To The Gym This Morning, So I Can Eat Whatever I Want The Rest of The Day. You sweat a lot, and you pushed it so hard and you burned from 300-700 calories. Then you have pizza for lunch at 500 calories (if you have only one slice), and you are at a wash. Then you had birthday cake at the office and went out for drinks and potato skins after work…And now you see the problem. You cannot out-train a bad diet. We tend to overestimate the calories we burn in our workouts and underestimate the calories we eat. So, if you are not getting results despite your time in the gym, start keeping a food log. What gets tracked, gets improved.
3. Weights and Strength Training Will Make Me Too Bulky. This is typically one that most interests the ladies. However, there are a few fallacies in this one. First, of all ladies, your testosterone levels are not as high as a man’s, so rest assured, weight training will not make your body look like a man’s. Second, muscle burns fat. Your body actually burns more calories maintaining muscle than it does fat, even in a resting state. Finally, muscle defines how your body will look. Do you want a flat booty or a sculpted one? Do you want a sexy toned tummy or a flat yet loose one? Do you want to be shapely? Then add strength training into your workout routine.
4. I’m Not Getting Results, Even Though I’ve been Doing XYX Workout For Five Years. Just like variety is the spice of life, exercise variety is the spice of your body’s continued improvement. You love Zumba, so you do Zumba 5 days a week. Keep in mind these things. When you perform the same exercises repeatedly, they become easier over time. In fact, your body’s nervous system, muscles, and other physiological systems can adapt to a workout routine in as little as six to eight weeks. Eventually, your workouts won’t offer you much of a challenge. If you don’t change up your routine, your fitness level will plateau. Added to that, repetitive exercise puts you at risk for overuse injury. Finally, last but certainly not least, your brain needs a motivation mojo boost. Give it something different to look forward to!
5. The Longer the Workout, the Better. “I don’t have time” is one of the most common reasons for not exercising; yet, you do not have to spend hours in the gym to get some incredible results. Instead, focus on the quality and purpose of the workout. If you are looking to improve cardiovascular health, a mere 10 minutes a day can yield improvements. If weight loss is your goal, you will want to workout 5-7 days a week at a fairly intense level, keeping in mind that “intense” varies depending on the level of your current conditioning. Make your workout efficient and effective. A solid 30 minutes of HIIT (high-intensity interval training), will give you a fat-burning and body sculpting workout, and there are many workout programs, like the 21 Day Fix, for instance, that will change your body in only 30 minutes a day.
6. You Should Always Stretch Before Your Workout. Touch your toes and hold; deep calf stretch and hold. Static stretching is how we were taught in gym class right? We now know that deep static stretches when your muscles are cold can actually result in injury. The best warm up exercises are dynamic stretchings, such as arm swings and hip circles. In addition, a warm-up should mimic the movements you will be doing in your workout. For instance, before a run, a walk or light jog is the best way to prep the body for what’s to come.
7. It’s All About the Steps! Tracking your daily steps is fun and motivating and a great indicator of your overall daily movement. However, don’t base your workouts solely on how many steps you will burn otherwise you will miss out on a well-rounded workout program. Things like strength training, yoga, swimming, etc. may not give you steps, but they are all part of your total body conditioning for all the reasons above!
Just like everything else, exercise trends come and go. What was seen as the “must-dos” and “never-dos” 10-20 years ago, may be considered bad advice today. That doesn’t mean your P.E. teacher was wrong, it just means that exercise science has advanced and we know more about how the body works today. The most important thing to remember is that Movement (exercise) + Fuel (good nutrition) = Outcome (your rocking body). Move safely, focusing on effective and efficient exercises, fuel your body with the appropriate amount of unprocessed foods, and you will be in love with the outcome in no time.
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