#MotivationMonday: 5 Common Fitness Myths You Should Know

Not knowing these facts could be affecting your results.

If you’re consistent about working out, by now you know that simply showing up to the gym three times a week and lifting a few weights doesn’t cut it. Sure, you’re probably in decent shape, but you’re certainly not maximizing your potential. There are certain commonly misunderstood myths about fitness that somehow have slipped through the cracks over the years. By understanding these, you’ll set yourself up for success in the gym and actually save yourself some time and frustration in the long run.

Here are 5 common fitness myths that you should be aware of…

Lifting Weights Will Cause You to Bulk Up

Consistently, you’ll hear guys or girls talk about how they don’t lift because they don’t want to end up looking like a disproportionate body builder. While this is a perfectly reasonable thing to want to avoid, lifting weights doesn’t automatically cause you to gain mass. Unless you’re consuming massive amounts of healthy calories and maxing out on a regular basis, lifting weights will actually only build lean muscle, which actually burns more calories on a regular basis, causing you to stay lean and fit.

You Can Target Fat Loss

Have some troublesome extra weight around your midsection? A lot of people do. In order to lose this fat, you’ve probably assumed or been told that focusing on this area of your body will speed up the process by which you lose the weight. This is wrong. Fat cells actually spread out across the body, so in order to lose excess weight, the entire body needs to be stimulated. By only doing crunches, you’ll build your ab muscles but won’t lose the fat that’s sitting on top of them. Also incorporate a full body strength training routine in order to maximize weight loss.

Cardio is the Best Fat Burner

Most people seem to think that running and raising their heart rate as highly and quickly as possible is the best way to burn extra calories. This is incorrect. Quick spikes in your heart rate are great, but they don’t persist for long periods of time. Strength training is actually a more efficient way to burn calories as it will raise your metabolism throughout the day and night as opposed to all at once. Combining the two, cardio and strength training, is the best way to ensure that you’re ending your day at a caloric deficit while also boosting your metabolism while at rest.

No Soreness = Bad Workout

Oftentimes if you wake up the next day after having worked out your chest the day prior and don’t feel it, you think you wasted your time and didn’t work out hard enough. This isn’t necessarily true. While soreness does mean that you put a good amount of stress on the muscle tissue of a certain muscle group, if you do a good job of post-workout recovery, it will alleviate some of the soreness. By stretching and refueling with protein within 30-45 minutes of finishing your workout, your body will be replenished enough to repair the tissue without resulting soreness.

Stretching Is Necessary Before a Workout

While stretching is absolutely essential to achieving optimal health, performing static stretches before a workout can actually hinder your performance. Cold muscles aren’t going to stretch the way they should and you can actually put too much stress on them. Performing a warm up routine that’s active is a much smarter way of beginning a workout. Do 20 bodyweight squats, 20 pushups, and 50 jumping jacks to get your blood flowing and ensure that you’ll get the best workout. Then be sure to do your static stretches after the workout is complete to set your body up for success in recovery.

These are five common myths, but there are lots more as well. Do some research before starting a new fitness regimen. Recognize that by doing things properly, you can workout for less time and actually achieve better results.

We’d love to hear of any myths you’re aware of in the comments!

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