7 Fitness Misconceptions That Needs to Stop

Ben Emanuel II

Here are 7 myths and misconceptions that have dominated the fitness industry. We’ll also discuss scientific alternatives and explanations to help you achieve your goals.

Given the reality that it would take some time before gyms can open in some locations, you’re most likely going to exercise on your own. The downside is that you might be doing your own research too on how you should proceed with your fitness journey. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of misconceptions and misinformation about fitness. Some of these misconceptions can harm your goals.

Here are 7 myths and misconceptions that have dominated the fitness industry. We’ll also discuss scientific alternatives and explanations to help you achieve your goals.

Myth 1: Working out twice a week is enough to stay fit

Since people are busy with their schedules, a lot of people just do their exercises once or twice a week. Is this enough to stay fit? Working out once or twice a week won’t cut it. Experts believe that you need to do it at least three times a week if you wish to see considerable changes in your level of fitness.

The ideal is to train 5 to 6 times a week. That’s because the body is made to move. It gives your body enough training stimulus to develop and improve.

Myth 2: Women who lift will look bulky

A lot of women are hesitant to do resistance training thinking that they are going to bulk up and look less feminine. In reality, you bulk up based on the food that you consume. What weight lifting does is that it helps in maintaining a high bone density plus it can also raise your metabolic rate. And because women can develop more muscles from lifting weights, it is even possible to lose more fats even at rest.

Also, you have to account for the hormones. Men have more testosterone supply than women. In a studycomparing the role of testosterone in athletic ability and muscle mass among women, it has been discovered that those who received additional testosterone hormone improved their muscle mass and endurance better than those who didn’t receive their testosterone.

It only means that it is hard to build muscles especially for women. You won’t instantly look bulky if you watch what you eat.

Myth 3: Carbohydrates make you fat

A lot of people think that carbohydrates can make them fat. There are even fad diets that propose to cut carbohydrates completely from a person’s diet. What they don't know is that these diets make you lose weight because of the caloric deficit that it creates. It means that anything you eat in excess can make you fat.

Carbohydrates are needed for energy. If you deprive the body of carbohydrates, the body usually turns to other sources. Some would even go to the extent of doing a keto diet saying that fats will ultimately be the body’s primary energy source. What proponents of keto diet don’t tell you is that glucose is the preferred fuel source of cells in the body. And that’s what makes keto diet not a sustainable option in the long run.

If you wish to lose fats, it is always a good idea to have a balanced diet. Be sure that you are only eating what your body can burn. A good rule of thumb is to have a deficit of 500 calories a day if you want to lose weight.

Myth 4: You get six pack abs by doing sit-ups (lots of them)

It can be frustrating to do countless sit-ups for weeks or months and still not see the desired six-pack abs. For starters, sit-ups will only target the abdominal muscles. What you want is to develop other muscles such as your oblique. One of the best exercises to incorporate with sit-ups is to do planks. Planking can engage the entire core.

You also get to see weight lifters develop six-pack abs even if they claim that they don't do any sit-ups or specific core exercises. That's because some movements require the core to engage. For instance, you will need to engage your core if you are going deadlift or perform Olympic lifts.

Next, you also have to understand that six-pack abs appear if you no longer have fats that cover your muscles. You tend to lose this by having control over what you eat and how much you eat.

Myth 5: You have two weeks before you lose your muscles

Some people believe that they could stay fit even after two weeks of inactivity. What they don’t know is that it happens sooner than they think. Muscles start to atrophy within 5 days. Cast immobilization is a good example of this. In just a matter of 5 days of disuse, quadriceps muscles lose 3.5% of its muscle mass. And not only that, it loses around 9% of its strength.

Myth 6: You need to always do exercises intensely to see the best results

A lot of people get frustrated to start their fitness journey thinking that they can't get the best results if they are not going 100 miles per hour with their workouts. If you are starting, it is highly suggested that you aim for the volume of your workout rather than intensity. Be sure to be consistent even if it is not that intense. You will need to have the right foundation if you wish to improve your overall fitness.

Myth 7: Stretching is best done before workouts to avoid injuries

Another common misconception is that you need to stretch your muscles before you work out if you want to avoid getting injured. On the contrary, numerous studies suggest that static stretches can be detrimental to your performance if done before the actual workout.

Instead, you’d rather want to do dynamic stretches. What’s the difference between static and dynamic stretches? A dynamic stretch is a low-intensity workout that helps prepare your mind and body for the intense workout. If you are going to do sprints, then might as well walk and do a few laps of slow-paced jogging. High steps, butt kicks, and jumping jacks are other warm-ups that you can do.

But should you stretch after your workout? Yes. In fact, this is the best time to stretch. It’s a good way to relax the muscles and prevent injuries. Unfortunately, not a lot of people do this after their workout.

Final Thoughts

Believing these myths can be counterproductive if you wish to reach your fitness goals. Some will hold you back while others can even cause injuries. With the right knowledge of how your body works, you'll see a big difference in your progress. Which of these misconceptions did you believe? Let us know in the comment section!