exercise pit falls to avoid
You’ve heard them time and
time again; the diet and training myths that are said to be gospel.
There is always that one
person who is slightly in shape and assumes they know what they’re talking
about when it comes to diet and training. They pass on their ill-founded words
of wisdom to a few other exercise newbies who then pass on the mistakes they
have learnt until every one is following these myths, greatly reducing their
own potential not only to improve their fitness levels but do it in the best
In this article I will cover
some of the most detrimental training and diet myths to help you avoid the
pitfalls so many have fallen into.
Myth No. 1:
When it comes to working out, you’ve got to feel some pain if you’re going to
gain any benefits.
Of all the fitness rumours
ever to have surfaced, experts agree that “no pain-no gain” holds the
most potential for harm. While you should expect to have some degree of
soreness a day or two after working out, that’s very different from
feeling pain while you are working out.
A fitness activity should not
hurt while you are doing it, if it is hurting the most likely possibilities are
that you are doing the activity wrong or you are irritating an existing injury.
As for ‘working through the
pain’, this is just illogical. It’s very simple: if it hurts, stop, rest, and
see if the pain goes away. If it doesn’t go away, or if it begins again or
increases after you start to work out, see a doctor.
Myth No. 2:
Machines are a safer way to exercise because you’re doing it right every time.
Although it may seem as if an
exercise machine automatically puts your body in the right position and helps
you do all the movements correctly, that’s only true if the machine is properly
adjusted for your weight and height.
Unless you have a coach or a
trainer figure out what is the right setting for you, you can make just as many
mistakes in form and function, and have just as high a risk of injury on a
machine as if you work out with free weights or do any other type of non-machine
workout. Simply ask someone to show you how; there is no shame in it.
Myth No. 3:
As long as you feel OK when you’re working out, you’re probably not overdoing
One of the biggest mistakes
people tend to make when starting or returning to an exercise program is doing
too much too soon; this is called overtraining and is so easily done because we
feel fine at the time. The over training feeling does not kick in until a day
or two after, then your body will certainly let you know what you did wrong. In
a word – ouch!
No matter how good you feel
when you return to an activity after an absence, you should never try to match
how much or how hard you worked in the past. It could take you back out of the
Myth No. 3:
If you’re not working up a sweat, you’re not working hard enough.
Sweating is not always an
indicator of exertion; it’s just your body’s way of cooling itself.
It’s possible to burn a
significant number of calories without breaking a sweat; Try taking a walk or
doing some light weight training.
Myth No. 4:
Doing crunches or working on an ‘ab-machine’ will get rid of belly fat.
This is the one I get the
most and is now like nails on a chalk board for me. Don’t believe everything
you hear on those late-night infomercials! While an ab-crunching device might help
strengthen the muscles around your midsection and improve your posture, being
able to ‘see’ your abdominal muscles has to do with your overall percentage of
body fat. If you don’t lose the belly fat, you won’t see the ab muscles.
Then I get this question, “But
can doing ab crunches help you to lose that belly fat?” No!
You can’t pick and choose
areas where you’d like to burn fat. So crunches aren’t going to target
weight loss in that area.
In order to burn fat, you
should create a workout that includes both cardiovascular and strength-training
elements. This will decrease your overall body fat content, including the area
around your midsection.
Eating less to lose fat
lot of people claim to have a sound diet, but this usually ends up being in the
form of a starvation diet. It probably includes skipping breakfast, eating a salad at lunch and one
slice of cheese for dinner if you’re lucky.
is known as the most important meal of the day for a reason; your body is
begging for fuel as it has not received any in most likely a good eight to ten
hours. Skipping meals frequently actually slows your metabolism down and it is much more beneficial
to eat five to six smaller meals spaced evenly throughout the day.
lot of people are always confused by this as they think eating so frequently will
cause them to gain weight. This simply is not true unless you eat many calories
above your maintenance level. Let’s say 1,500 calories is adequate for your goal of weight loss. Instead of eating two 700-calorie meals,
five meals consisting of about 300 calories would be much better.
these points will clear things up for you as to what is fact and what is
fiction when it comes to training and diet. There is a lot of misinformation
out there that continues to circulate every gym in Manchester and beyond (as
evidenced by those in the gym who fail to improve from one year to the next).
it is true that not all of us have the genetics to be professional bodybuilders
or professional athletes; the one thing we can all do regardless of body type
Colin Reilly is the owner of
Independent Gym in Manchester.