We've all heard it before, or experienced it ourselves. "I'm not sore, did I really workout as hard as I thought I did?" or the flip side "I'm so sore I can barely walk, that was a killer leg day!". The discussion of whether abs are made in the gym or the kitchen, and can you out exercise your happy hour habits? The team at Hybrid Fitness is here to help, we tackled four of the most prevalent myths in today's fitness culture.
Myth 1: "No Pain, No Gain!" If you aren't sore the next day, you didn't workout hard enough.
This statement is overused and potentially dangerous. Many people assume that if they worked out really hard or hit a new PR yet feel totally fine the next day that maybe they need to work harder. This isn't true. Soreness is your bodies way of responding to inflammation. DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) is actually often a result of overtraining. If you aren't sore after a workout that may have left you sore previously it just means your body has adjusted and your energy expenditure was just right. Pushing yourself at each workout to the point of pain or discomfort can actually leave you injured or requiring extra rest days which can impede your training and get in the way of desired "gains". It is important to know your body and to know when you should stop or when you can push further.
Myth 2: "Lifting weights will make me huge."
A lot of people, especially women are concerned that lifting heavy weights, or even any weights at all will make them bulky. The female body isn't built to bulk up. It takes a lot of time, dedication, dietary changes, and concentrated effort for a woman to notice any significant muscular gains. Weight lifting will however increase your metabolism, help with bone strength, heart health and allow for faster fat loss which will lead to the strong, toned, fit look many women desire.
Myth 3: "I worked out today, so now I can eat anything and everything I want."
The saying "calories in versus calories out" is true when it comes to maintaining, losing or gaining weight but it isn't as simple as it sounds. If you spend an
hour doing cardio and burn 500 calories but then immediately go and eat pizza or french fries you will erase all the hard work you just did and may even eat more than you burned causing a weight gain. All calories are not created equal and if you eat the wrong types of food you won't properly be fueling your body. In addition, working out can not erase the harmful effects some foods have on your body either. If you eat a bunch of foods that are high in trans fats or hydrogenated oils you increase your risk of heart attacks, heart disease and strokes as well as other ailments. Its important to eat a healthy balance of proteins, carbohydrates and fats in addition to a combination of strength and cardio activities.
Myth 4: "I will have a 6-pack if I do 100 crunches every day."
Crunches are a great exercise but they are not the key to revealing your abs. Did you ever hear the saying "abs are made in the kitchen"? That is because diet is the number one key to revealing your abs. Believe it or not everyone has abs. They are the muscles in your stomach but in most people they are less visible due to higher amount of fat in the stomach area. In order to reveal a "6 pack" you must first lower your total body fat percentage. The best way to do this is through a structured diet and strength training combined with cardiovascular exercise. Crunches and other core exercises are great and will build up and strengthen the abdominal muscles but they will only be revealed once the layers on fat are gone.