Here are the 10 common fitness myths you could be confused about. The fitness industry is full of buzzwords and trends that mislead, spread misinformation and can make it difficult to figure out the best approach. Sports For Champions however is here to help, in this blog we will dispel some of these myths and hopefully point you in the direction of the best route to your fitness goals.
A common misconception is that it\’s possible to target a specific muscle group that will increase fat burned in that location. The scientific consensus among fitness experts and researchers is that spot reduction is a myth. Training just your core for a month will be beneficial only to strengthening that muscle area, fat is reduced throughout the body through exercise. Cardio, also known as aerobic exercise, is one of the most efficient forms of fat-burning exercise, Cardio training increases the heart rate which results in an increase in fat being burnt.
You need a low body fat percentage to have abs
This is complicated as in terms of muscle mass, someone with a low amount of abdominal muscle will be able to see their abs only at a low body fat percentage. But your abs can be made visible with an average BMI through training of the abdominal muscles. Genetics also play a role as everybody is different and everyone\’s abdominal muscle structure is different. The difference between a six-pack and an 8-pack can be down to the bands of connective tissue between the rectus abdominis muscle. It is recommended for men to be around 6 to 13 percent body fat and woman to be 14 to 20 per cent to make abs visible for the average person. In reality, it is dependent on the person as height and body type play a part. But generally, a lower body fat percentage does allow the abdominal muscles to show through.
Top ten fitness myths – a low body fat percentage is required to have abs
100 calories are the same no matter the source
While there are 100 calories in two tablespoons of chocolate chips and the very same 100 calories in 400g of broccoli. The difference lies within the other macronutrients, the chocolate will have high sugar and fat while the broccoli would be more balanced and affect the body more positively. Appetite, energy levels and long term health are all affected by the food we eat. While a calorie is a calorie the source dictates its effect, if weight loss is the goal caloric food with natural sugars and good fats should be prioritised over processed food that can be detrimental to your health.
Running on a treadmill is as effective as running outside
Running on uneven terrain engages more of your muscles, it requires more energy and ends up burning more calories than running the same distance on a treadmill. Treadmills are also easy to hop off! It is inconvenient to rest mid-run when outdoors, as running a mile requires the same distance to be covered on the return journey.
No days off
This misconception comes from the thought of losing gains, without rest the muscle cannot heal fully and therefore cannot break down efficiently to grow. Failing to get the correct rest can result in the loss of made gains and increase the risk of injury.
Stretching is unnecessary
Many believe stretching should be done if the muscles or joints feel tight, in reality, stretching should be a cemented part of your warm-up and cool down. Before exercise, dynamic stretches get the muscles warm and ready. You should always do static stretching after working out since your muscles are warm. Although new info suggests stretching loosens your tendons and makes muscles feel weaker and less steady. Therefore most in the industry recommend just post-workout stretching.
No pain no gain
It is a common belief that if you do not feel sore the day after a session you haven\’t trained hard enough. While some discomfort is expected, a persistent sore feeling will set back your fitness goals as you should not train while sore. Overtraining is a common mistake made that results in injury and prolonged recovery time. Ego lifting is another trend that is a part of the no pain no gain mentality, ego lifting is exactly what it sounds like it is lifting the heaviest weight you can manage in an attempt to boost your ego. Just because you can doesn\’t mean you should, building up to a one-rep max is different to lifting as heavy as you can on each exercise you perform.
A healthy diet has to be bland
Celebrities have popularised the idea of living on chicken and broccoli, with very few alternatives given. It\’s also common for influencers to promote bland and distasteful food that leaves you feeling unsatisfied. Is it all a means to an end? Doing the research shows you can eat healthily and enjoy your food, introducing sauces and seasonings can spice up the bland and boring meal plans you want to follow. Following a diet doesn\’t need to be a chore, tracking macros and your caloric intake for the average person is unnecessary. Unless you are required to be the desired weight from your job, tracking all your food should be for fun rather than something to torment yourself over. As long as you eat in moderation you can allow cheat meals into your diet to encourage or even reward yourself for sticking to the diet. Enjoy your fitness goals, your journey is to be enjoyed.
You have a half-hour window after lifting to feed your muscles
The elusive “Metabolic window” has been a widely discussed topic, it\’s the theory that after you workout your intake of protein and carbohydrates can aid in the increase of muscle mass. In attempts to shift the body from a catabolic state to an anabolic one. This is a topic of contention, what can be said is that the study from the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found the prime protein intake window is up to four hours after exercise. Intaking protein after a lifting session has not been shown to influence the rate of muscle protein synthesis. In comparison to intaking the proteins and carbohydrates up to 3 hours later. Therefore science has proven that the strict half-hour window is fictional.
To grow muscle, you need to do eight to twelve reps using moderate weight for each set
Hypertrophy can occur with a variety of different weights and rep ranges; the emphasis is aiming for progressive overload. Diversifying your rep ranges and sets is proven to be more beneficial in attempts to maximise hypertrophy. High rep ranges (15 or more) provide increased muscular endurance. While opting for a lower rep range (5 or less) is more suitable for size building and strength training. Although time-under-tension is argued to be the most efficient way to train muscles. Being in a rep range that allows the weight to be controllable, while still putting strain on the muscles allows the muscles to be broken down more effectively. Conclusively it is often agreed upon that to maximise your training efficiency cycling rep ranges is the most beneficial system to follow.
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