When it comes to working out, there are almost as many internet rumors as there are about weight loss and healthy eating. With all this information circulating the web, it can be confusing to separate fact from fiction when it comes to the truth about exercising.
Just because your friend did the squat challenge and ended up with a bum of steel doesn’t mean that this works for everyone, and there’s nothing worse than hitting the gym without getting the results you desire.
Despite what you may have heard, some widespread beliefs about working out are just not true. Next time you hear these seven workout misconceptions, you can rest assure that they are just common myths.
1. You Need To Eat A Ton Of Protein
Many people think it’s necessary to load up on a protein-heavy shake post-gym, but you probably don’t need as much of the nutrient as you think you do. According to research, 20 grams is about all you need to eat after a workout to maintain and build muscle. More than that doesn’t have much benefit, and excess protein consumption converts to fat.
2. Cardio Is How You Lose Weight
If you’re ditching strength training in favor of a run because you think it’s the only way to shed pounds, think again. Although cardio does help burn fat, strength training adds muscle mass, which can help increase your metabolism. Doing high-intensity circuits can actually be more effective than even doing cardio.
3. You Need To Stretch Before Exercising
It’s not uncommon to see people stretching before a workout, but it turns out that doing static stretches before a workout can actually have a negative impact on your performance, including your strength and power. To avoid injury, do “dynamic stretches” instead, which involve active movements that mimic your workout. Unlike static stretches that involve holding a stretch for a longer time, dynamic stretches can improve strength, agility, and endurance.
4. You Can Spot Train A Specific Spot On Your Body
It’s tempting to believe that doing squats will give you a big butt or doing crunches can give you the abs of your dreams, but unfortunately that’s just not the case. Trying to lose weight in one specific area of your body is not possible. Even when athletes train with only one leg, for example, there is still no difference in body fat in the other. Fat gets broken down all over your body, and everyone differs in where they lose weight first.
5. You Shouldn’t Eat Before A Workout
Luckily, you don’t have to exercise on an empty stomach for better results. Despite what many people think, working out before eating doesn’t burn in any more fat in a 24 hour period than working out with food in your stomach. In fact, eating before a workout can actually help fuel your workout and give you a better post-workout “afterburn.”
6. If You Don’t Sweat, Your Workout Wasn’t Good Enough
Leaving your workout drenched doesn’t make it any better than if you were to walk away completely dry. How much someone sweats depends on their body as well as the environment, and workouts like pilates that don’t make you break a sweat can still have effective results.
7. Weight Training Makes Women Look Bulky
Women are often afraid to weight train because they fear that they’ll end up looking like The Hulk, but ladies, there’s no need to worry. Because women have significantly less testosterone than men, they are less likely to bulk up. If you’re monitoring your diet and burning fat, you should end up looking more muscular and defined, but not jacked.
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