10 Myths You Hear At The Gym

If you’ve ever eavesdropped on fellow gym members while you’re working out or when you’re standing in line at the juice bar and heard their conversations about what to do and when to do it and how, you might find yourself wondering what is true and what is myth. In this article, we will list the ten most common myths you hear at the gym and either verify them or debunk them.

Myth 1: If you drink a lot of water, it will help you lose weight

drinking-water-workoutFact: Although this is one of the most common myths believed by the vast majority of people, there is virtually no science to back it up. People will tell you that if you drink a lot of water you will have very healthy skin or you will flush most of the toxins out of your body.  But when you get right down to it, there is no science behind this belief to make it true. Scientists and physicians from the University of Pennsylvania will tell you that these kind of benefits from drinking a lot of water just are not true. The myth that drinking a lot of water will help ease your hunger pangs and make you less hungry is also, unfortunately, just not true. Drinking a lot of water may help you eat less because you’re running back and forth to the bathroom all day long but that’s about the only benefit you will get from ingesting large amounts of water. And more to the point, the people who tell you that you need to drink between 8 and 10 glasses of water each day? They are also wrong. Human beings only need to drink water when they are thirsty and this means about 4 to 6 glasses a day will be plenty.

Myth 2: You must stretch before you work out to avoid injury

stretching-before-workoutFact: It is extremely beneficial to stretch after you’ve had a workout but stretching before you work out will not make you more flexible or increase your range of motion. Some physicians believe that if you stretch prior to working out that doing so will destabilize your muscles thus making you more prone to injuring yourself. They suggest that doing a short warm-up is adequate enough because it will get your blood pumping and prime you for your exercise.

Myth 3: People who eat a vegetarian diet are healthier

cook-vegetariansFact: The only thing that makes eating a vegetarian diet healthier is that they generally, by the very nature of what they’re called, include a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables. Most dietitians would tell you, however, that removing an entire food group — meat — even accounting for its higher levels of saturated fat is not such a good idea. Meat provides a great deal of iron to the human body when it is eaten and that keeps your energy levels stable and helps you to think more clearly. Meat also helps the body produce certain enzymes which help to fight infection. Scientists have also discovered that women who do not consume meat in their diet are at higher risk for developing postpartum depression following the birth of a baby.

Most vegetarians will try to get their iron by eating legumes like lentils or other beans, tofu or cereals which have been fortified with iron.

Myth 4: If you lift weights your body will take on a bulky appearance

weight_liftingFact: The truth is that using free weights will not turn you into the Incredible Hulk. If you really want to increase your muscle size, the only way you will be able to do that is by taking testosterone. If you’re a woman, it simply can’t and won’t happen. The reason men tend to bulk up is because they have between 20 to 30 times more testosterone in their bodies than women do. If you secretly want to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger you would have to a tremendous amount of weight lifting, much more than the average woman would be able to sustain. The truth of the matter is that strength training will help you lose weight because it will help you build lean muscle and lean muscle burns fat. This means that you should spend a little less time on the elliptical machine and a little bit more time doing bicep curls when you work out three times a week.

Myth 5: If you want to prevent painful bouncing, wear a sports bra

sports-braFact: Wearing a sports bra will do more than just prevent painful bouncing. It will also help keep your breasts from developing permanent sagginess. You may think that your breasts will sag just because you’re getting older and gravity is doing its work. But high-impact exercises such as aerobics can also cause your breasts to sag. This is because doing high-impact exercises will affect the connective tissue in your breasts that helps to keep them firm. If you’re going to choose a sports bra, look for some kind of compression bra if you’re a small breasted woman. Women with breasts larger than a size C should choose an encapsulation bra which will provide support to each breast independently. You should always replace your workout bra every six months.

Myth 6: Taking a hot bath will keep your muscles from getting sore

hot-bath-post-workoutFact: Surprisingly the exact opposite is true. If you settle into a tub of chilled water, it has an effect similar to an ice pack on your entire body. The process of exercising opens your blood vessels and they will remain opened like that for about an hour after you have finished your workout. The soreness happens because lactic acid enters your muscles through your dilated vessels. Chilled water will cause your blood vessels to constrict cawhich will limit how much lactic acid can get into your muscles.

Myth 7: Running will not help your strength training

running-strength-trainingFact: This could not be farther from the truth. If you are hoping to increase your muscle mass on a dramatic level, this might be true. But running helps develop lean muscle mass and that helps keep your bones healthy. This does not mean that you can completely substitute running for your strength-training program. You will need to continue doing your lower-body strength training so continue with your squats and lunges and push-ups.

Myth 8: Keeping some weights in your hand during cardio exercise will increase your calorie burn

This is one of the myths we all really, really want to believe. And the answer is that it is true but it doesn’t help enough to make it worthwhile. It is true that keeping some weights in your hands while you’re doing cardio does help the calorie burn but only slightly. But doing any kind of uncontrolled movements can cause damage to your joints and can actually cause muscle injury. The better and more effective option is to either increase your speed or your resistance level. You’ll get better results if you do either one of those.

Myth 9: Eating fresh fruit is much better for you than eating frozen fruit

frozen-fruitsFact: Do you have any idea how long fresh fruit sits around once its been harvested before it ends up in your grocery store? While it’s hanging around waiting to be shipped it can and does lose a lot of its vitamin nutrients especially its vitamin C. Frozen fruit, on the other hand, is picked and fast frozen while it is at its peak of freshness.

Myth 10: If you want to get rid of your belly fat you have to do crunches

Fact: Some people can do belly crunches until the cows come home and never sport a six-pack. Seems crazy, but it’s true. This is what will happen if your abs are covered with a lot of fat because it is impossible to “spot train”. If this were not the case, wouldn’t it make sense that everyone would be showing off their gorgeously sculpted thighs and abdominal muscles? If you want to get rid of your belly fat you first have to get rid of most of your overall body fat. The best way to do this is through cardio exercises and strength training.

 

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